A brave Forge force crossed the border into Wales on September 26th for what is reputedly the toughest sportive in the UK, the Dragon Ride.
The fiery course saw two intrepid riders take on the 157km route (with 2,100m of climbing), while an impressive half dozen of Forge’s finest lined up for the 211km jaunt (with only 3,100m of ascending!).
Having all met at the start line at 7:30am, the Forge flotilla headed out together to tackle the first 40km and the introductory climb of the day, Sardis Hill. At 1.1km long with an average 6% gradient, it was a mere appetiser.
Passing friendly locals, brilliant food stops with excellent catering on near-empty roads, the climbs kept piling up. Glyneath, Black Mountain, Devils Staircase, two takes on Bwlych and the unmerciful 10% average gradient of Devil’s Elbow.
And there was a fanfare for Forge as Megan clocked the 3rd fastest female ascent on the timed section of Devil’s Elbow, while Jonny blasted to the top 20th fastest overall. Kudos.
With the legendary Rhigos (5.6km at 5%) and Bwlch (7.9km at 5%) climbs remaining the weather turned, marring what were no doubt amazing views but not dimming the spirits and after cresting the final climb, the riders dropped down into Port Talbot and welcoming sunshine and warmth.
Medals, beers and burgers awaited. A big day out in the Welsh mountains.
Da iawn Forge folk!