Life on Two Wheels - Mountain Biker on the Summit of Snowdon - Yr Wyddfa


Life on Two Wheels
Life on Two Wheels

Life on Two Wheels

Forward Cycling to the Summit of Snowdon [July 1989]

This is a photograph that will surprise those who know me as a road cyclist. After a gap of a couple of years in my mid-20's, I bought a mountain bike just as they were taking off in the UK. I quickly set a goal of riding up some serious climbs, including here at Snowdon. It was a tough slog riding up from Llanberis, though amusing when the Snowdon Mountain Railway went uphill with the gawping tourists marvelling at my effort. No other cyclist went up the mountain on that day - perhaps because mountain biking was relatively new. For that reason there was no problem riding up the path - I think there is a restriction these days as the increase in cycle traffic has led to track erosion. Back then I knew little about cycling fuel and hydration - I simply called into the hut halfway up and rammed several Mars bars in my mouth, washed down with a mug of tea. It was a hot day and I was gagging for water near the summit. I drank the old café dry before getting an elderly bloke to take this photograph, simply to prove to my friends that I had made it to the top - several of them were going to ride with me but, one-by-one, they dropped out. Like them, I did hardly any training but I was relatively fit in those days and felt invincible. The route down the Pyg Track was ace, though a bit terrifying at the steep section near the summit. The path went to the north of Llyn Llydaw and it was all rather wonderful. I cycled along the valley to Capel Curig in a state of bliss shouting "Veni, vidi, vici."

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