Last Man to Finish the Merlin :-)

Banjo

Fuelled with Jelly Babies
Location
South Wales
Did the Merlin Sportive today 104 miles about 7500 ft climbing .Weather was not good ,gale force winds and rain most of the way. Finished in 8 hours 45 minutes last rider in.

Well pleased at the time as I was hoping for sub 9 hours after taking 10 to ride around the route a few months ago. The wind was quite dodgy on some of the mountain bits.Really savage gusts made it interesting to say the least.Especially on the descents. Not at all concerned about being last rider in as several didnt finish and some diverted onto one of the shorter routes.

Really enjoyed the day chatted to allsorts of riders.Most quite happy to swap a few pleasant words . I surprised myself going up the Black Mountain, passed several and not passed by anyone on the way up. I think most of those doing the full route were ahead of me by then but quite satisfying all the same.

Signposting was good loads of food, gels and high 5 at feed stations Every one friendly and encouraging even the Sag wagon crew who asked me if I was ok with about 10 miles to do, They would have had to shoot me to get me in the van at that point:biggrin:

About 500 entries with 100 doing the full route the rest divided between the 23, 56 and 70 mile routes, no idea how many actually finished it though. Sadly one lady needed a trip to A and E after coming off on the Black mountain.

High point of the day was chatting to Wales rugby international Colin Charvis after finishing.He got round in 7 hrs 30 and what a nice bloke .
 

Mark_Robson

Senior Member
Well done and I'm glad that you had a good day. ;)
 

lukesdad

Guest
Cracking effort, Chapeau :tongue:

Have to reinforce those comments. Really good event. Not even the weather could spoil it,thought the police were marvellous,nice to come to junctions and ride straight through with them holding up the traffic,even on the A40:smile:

The descent off the Black Mountain was indeed dodgy to say the least with the rain and crosswinds.

Didnt stop at feed stations so couldn t comment but signage was excellent.

As for Colin Charvis what a good sport, the sight of him putting his helmet on top of all that hair will live with me for many a day:ohmy:

One for your diary, next year,and as everything goes to various charities,theres no ripping off going on.
 

koro

Active Member
Well done Banjo. I have always liked reading about your progress... it`s getting me to feel perhaps to give a Sportive a go next year. Well done again.
 
OP
Banjo

Banjo

Fuelled with Jelly Babies
Location
South Wales
koro said:
Well done Banjo. I have always liked reading about your progress... it`s getting me to feel perhaps to give a Sportive a go next year. Well done again.
Thanks for that.I didnt realize anyone actually read any of my ramblings:smile:

Re doing a sportive . go for it .Its a great day out ,the atmosphere is amazing. No need to wait until next year lots of them have shorter routes on the same day(if I were sensible thats the option I should have taken). I was worried about the mass start its a bit intimidating starting off with hundreds of other bikes but everyone seemed to be good natured and patient to go along slowly until it opened up enough for the fast ones to start overtaking.

I am still on a high now just from having completed the course.
 

jacklad

New Member
well done banjo, did the trip myself. spoke to the people at the final feeding station and they also told me that quite a few turned off at the final split rather than carry on. but i thought to myself i,m out here now i might as well continue. big thanks to a fella called ceri who i've never met before but we got ourselves around in just under 7hrs, delighted.
 
OP
Banjo

Banjo

Fuelled with Jelly Babies
Location
South Wales
jacklad said:
well done banjo, did the trip myself. spoke to the people at the final feeding station and they also told me that quite a few turned off at the final split rather than carry on. but i thought to myself i,m out here now i might as well continue. big thanks to a fella called ceri who i've never met before but we got ourselves around in just under 7hrs, delighted.
The people at the last feed station were great .Held the bike for me and ciouldnt have been more helpfull despite me keeping them out there for ages. I thought the station was at the top of the hill so pulled over and scoffed a gel and some nuts then realized i was only 100 meters from the feed station :ohmy: Thje hardest climb for me was the little one right at the end.

Under 7 hours is just a dream for me Maybe under 8 could be achiebvable by next year .......
 
The weather was "breezy" at times wasn't it? I left my carbon rims on as the forecast didn't look that bad. The descent of the Black Mountain was "interesting"! :sad:

Glad you all enjoyed yourselves. Remember to book that weekend off work next year too.
 
Hello Banjo,

I think it was you I got talking to on the way down off the Black into the feed station, we left at about the same time but I had to press on to keep up with the gang I was riding with on the stretch north on the A40. They dropped me and Phil on the drag up from Llanwrda. I wondered whether or not you carried on with the long ride as you said...
I missed the turn down to Llansawel (despite knowing the road) and eneded up doing a bonus 6 miles as a result.
Suffered like a dog on the road down through Abergorlech and Brechfa (but not as much as Phil) and still enjoyed myself.

It was good to talk to you on the road into Llangadog.

Mike
 
OP
Banjo

Banjo

Fuelled with Jelly Babies
Location
South Wales
Hello Banjo,

I think it was you I got talking to on the way down off the Black into the feed station, we left at about the same time but I had to press on to keep up with the gang I was riding with on the stretch north on the A40. They dropped me and Phil on the drag up from Llanwrda. I wondered whether or not you carried on with the long ride as you said...
I missed the turn down to Llansawel (despite knowing the road) and eneded up doing a bonus 6 miles as a result.
Suffered like a dog on the road down through Abergorlech and Brechfa (but not as much as Phil) and still enjoyed myself.

It was good to talk to you on the road into Llangadog.

Mike
Hi Mike glad U enjoyed it .dont think I could have managed any bonus miles to be honest.:-).One guy returned to the Llansawel feed station while I was there to collect his glasses which he remembered only after getting 5 miles further up the road.

Keep an eye on the informal rides forum,I went to the first south wales one on the Gower last night.Great fun didnt even rain though the roads were wet in places .unlike the Merlin ride we seemed to dodge all the showers this time.
 
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