Rode it today with Lukesdad in preperation for the sportive in July. Its 104 hilly miles around Carmarthenshire and up over the Black mountains.Its the hardest ride I have done to date by far. Started at LukesDads place which is only a few miles from the route ,this meant starting the circuit about 20 miles from the normal end. This had the unfortunate effect of putting one of the major climbs right at the end of our days riding. I suffered some serious leg muscle cramps and this slowed us right down as I had to walk now and then to stretch the cramps out of my legs.Lukes dad was great, he encouraged me along and gave me some invaluable tips on hill climbing (a major feature of the Merlin) In fact putting his tips into practice I got over the big hill at 100 miles better than earlier ones. Many thanks to Lukesdad for your patience and making it an enjoyable but tough day.(for me anyway)I now have a much better idea how to train for and ride the Merlin in July.