25 May 2016
Velothon 2016 Wales Race Report
An exhilarating experience with 14,000 riders!
I wasn’t going to write anything about the Welsh Velothon 2016, as before the event I didn’t think that there would be anything outstanding about the experience. I was wrong, for several reasons.
It’s worth noting that I almost didn’t participate in the event. The previous week I had completed my first half iron distance triathlon, my planning and preparation for which was carried out with military precision. Transversely my planning and preparation for the Velothon 2016 was carried out with the precision of Michael J Fox performing open heart surgery.
If I asked you name something that you think I forgot to pack, unless you said ‘bike’ then you would probably be correct, and even then I failed to bring a crucial component to male it road worthy. I also forgot my cycling shoes, helmet and food.
We had travelled up to Wales the day before Velothon 2016 in order to register, and after checking into our hotel and realising I’d forgotten everything, I then had to make the 140 mile round trip back to England to pick up the necessary items, reluctantly shelling out another £6 to cross the toll bridge back into Wales for the second time that day.
Since I had already made a pigs ear of it, I then did a series of things that I would never normally do prior to a race. Instead of a carbohydrate loaded meal the night before I had a spicy curry and a glass of sherry, and on the morning of the race I had an underwhelming bacon bap in lieu of my customary nuts, seeds, fruit and yoghurt.
I was amazed by the amount of support we received from the residents of the Welsh towns and villages that we cycled through. They were out on the street, many of them with parasols, barbeques and wine (despite the occasional periods of bleak weather) and they were making a day of it, cheering us on, despite most of them probably not knowing any of the people riding. I was humbled.
Velothon 2016 Summary
- Closed roads (no cars)
- 14,000 other riders so no bleak lonely stretches between pelotons
- Nice scenery
- Some challenging climbs
- Great support from the Welsh community
- Largely well organised
The Bad (knit picking)
- Despite over 90% of the riders being male, there were an equal amount of male and female toilets at the race village, with meant there was huge ques for the men’s and none for the ladies.
- Feed stations were in disarray and the offerings were unremarkable (no cake or biscuits!)
- On site catering was shit
- The medal design was a step down from last year
Overall Velothon 2016 was a great event which I will definitely try and participate in again. Entries for 2017 can be found here.