Normally I’d say I love a Bank Holiday. Its a free day off. This time though its caused be a bit of minor stress. I’ve begun booking my accomodation for my cycle tour in May and it hadn’t occurred to me that I go away over the May Bank Holiday. Not a problem, I thought, when I did realise but 1. trying to find accomodation and 2. not paying through the nose for it has forced a change of plan.
So a couple of weeks ago I fired off my booking requests for just simple B&B’s that can lock up my bike and where I can get either an evening meal there or within walking distance. I had to do a bit of research and came up with 4 places for my 4 nights (I’m stopping at my parents on Day 4). This then lead me to think why could’t all the major booking sites like laterooms.com, booking.com, alpharooms.com etc have a simple cyclist friendly filter like secure storage available for your bike alongside parking for example? It would make it a damn site easy to find somewhere for what I want. Anyway, I digress. Emails went off. Boom, Bala and Oswestry came back straight away. Booked. I waited and waited for Knighton and Aberystwyth, nothing. I sent the emails again, nothing so I began to find alternatives and it became very obvious, accomodation was limited and what was left was expensive. I don’t want to pay £75 B&B to stop in a posh cottage in the middle of nowhere nor do I want to pay it for a sea-view in Aberystwyth. I came up with a much, cheaper alternative on Day 2 by staying at the Borth Youth Hostel. Right on the seafront just a little further riding that day up the coast but I was struggling with Day 1. Knighton is small and limited. so I started looking further afield. All the local(ish) hostels were full. I had a think and came up with a change of tack. Look at the bigger towns which had a better chance of having somehwhere to stay and work around that. Machynlleth was was my first choice. Boom, found a place, just needed somewhere for Day 1 on the way there. I skirted around and found a cool place available in Clunbury, literally in the middle of nowhere (not far from Craven Arms) and that was that. Route changed, accomodation sorted.
BUT….my orginal idea was to get to the seaside. Day 3 to Bala was only 30-40 miles now so I’ve worked a coastal loop through Aberdovey, Tywyn, up towards Barmouth, jumping on the Mawdach trail to Dollgellau and then beasting myself, as I originally planned, over Bwlch-y-Groes. The distance has gone up to almost 70 miles so I’ve had to lose Lake Vyrnwy and the Hirnant Pass but I gain 30 miles of coastal, sea views, which in hindsight is probably better and a bit more manageable. Definitely a queen stage now for the views, ascents and gradients.
Here are the my new first 3 days