1350 Metres of climbing with 50 miles of riding was the challenge to complete the ACME 2019 Hilly Fondo Reliability Trial. Dry weather was forecast with a cold stiff wind, especially on the high mountain roads.
While other members were away racing only three members decided to take on the challenge, leaving Tonypandy at 9.30am were Mike Bevan, Kerry Lewis & Rob Davies. The immediate tough warm up miles up through Penygraig and upward to Penrhiwfer before descending Barn Hill into Tonyrefail. The Gilfach climbs caused a few splits before regrouping on the fast descents into Blackmill. The Tailwind was very welcoming on the rolling hills up through the Ogmore Vale valley, passing the village of Nant-y-moel before the first major climb, up the high Bwlch mountain road. A steady pace was taken on the winding ascending road as the temperature’s started to drop. Finally the top was achieved as an ice cold temperatures were felt, a quick stop to add extra clothes before the long decent down into Cwmparc.
Rob decided to take the shorter route option on arrival back into the Rhondda and headed back to Tonypandy to complete the trial due to personnel time limitations.
Mike and Kerry cycle on, up through Treorchy and onward to the start climbing to the highest point of the Fondo ride, the 509 metre Rhigos Mountain. Both mainly stayed together but after the two thirds distance Mike started to pull away to reach the top first. Once again temperatures started to drop, a quick regroup on top before the fast speedy decent down to Hirwaun.
The rest of the trial now consisted of rolling fast roads through Aberdare, Mountain Ash, Abercynon and onward to Pontypridd. The previous mountain climbs were now starting to their toll in the final miles, but Mike & Kerry kept a high pace wanting to finish the trial in a respectable time. Through Trehafod Town to climb the final short climb passing by the Rhondda Heritage Park with only a mile left to the Finish. Finally the end was in sight at the War Memorial in Porth.
Mike and Kerry finish time was 3 hours 45 minutes, both felt they rode well throughout to complete the trial. The extra couple of weeks of training since the 50 in 4 and longer Sunday Club rides had benefited them both on this tougher reliability trial.
Photo from the Event:- Press Here