Next Thursday 3 friends and I are tackling the Lon Las Cymru, the cycle route through Wales starting at Holyhead in the north and heading down to Cardiff in the south.
Despite the route being broken into 8 stages and being 'perfect for a weeks cycling' we've got 4.5 days to do it in.
This means that on most days we'll be doing about 50 - 60 miles, but with over 1000m of climbing on 3 of the days.
Here's our intended itinerary, I'd be happy to hear anyone's thoughts or advice espeically anyone that's done this ride themselves.
Thursday: Holyhead - Caernarfon (30 miles - 3.5 hours)
Holyhead - Menai bridge - direct on the A5 - 22miles / 2.5hrs / 320m ascent
Menai bridge - Caernarfon - NCN8 - 8.5miles / 1h / 70m ascent
* pretty flat and fast, mostly road surface.
* The A5 route will save us about an hour on the sustrans route and allow us to get into Caernarfon in plenty of time for dinner.
Friday: Caernarfon - Barmouth (51miles - 8-9 hours)
Caernarfon - Penygroes - Portmadog - 29miles / 4h / 480m (steep ascent out of Criccieth) (shortcut 20miles /3h)
Portmadog - Barmouth - 22miles / 4-5h / 620m (some very steep gradients before flatter ride to Barmouth)
* there is 1100m of climbing today.
Saturday: Barmouth - Llandidloes (61m - 8-10 hours)
Barmouth - Dolgellau 10miles / 1h /20m
Dolgellau - Corris - Machynlleth - 28miles/ 3-4h/620m (route now takes to hills with significant cumulative ascent)
Machynlleth - Landidloes - 23miles/4-5h/780m ascent (mountain road climbs to 509m)
* 1400m of climbing - it's the start of the big hills.
* out of dolgellau 7km ascent first 2km steep followed by steep bits then 180m in 1.6km (10%+). Then 4km downhill, then up and down before run down into machynlleth.
* from Machynlleth there is a gentle ascent for 4km, then starts in earnest with 400m climb in 7km. false summits and steep sting in the tail.
* 5km descent is a joy
Sunday: Llandidloes - Brecon (64miles - 11 hours)
Landidloes - Rhayader - 15m/3h/490m
Rhayader - Builth wells - 17m/3h/430m
Builth wells - Glasbury - 16m/2h/190m
Glasbury - Brecon - 16m/3h/360m (one significant and steep ascent)
* biggest day of climbing with over 1 mile today!
* A long day of cycling but not very far which means lots of hills.
Monday: Brecon - Cardiff (52miles - 7-8 hours)
Brecon - Merthyr - 23m/4-5h/540m (a major ascent and descent)
Merthyr - Cardiff - 29m/3h/90m (easy cycling)
* A hilly start then a gentle 30 miles into Cardiff for a celebratory drink and the train home.