Talk of the Devil

The Devil’s Staircase deserves its reputation as one of the steepest roads in Wales.  I thought I might manage to ride the 25% gradient at least as far as the first hairpin,  but the laws of physics and biology dictated otherwise.
First the front wheel started skidding on the remains of last winter’s grit-salt, then it gave a few bumps as it lost and regained contact with the tarmac. Finally it was too much. My heart rate was above what is considered sensible for someone of my vintage, so it was time to get off and walk. This was a similar speed to riding, just a little easier.
The Devil’s Staircase is one of three climbs out of valleys between Abergwesyn and Tregaron.  Although also steep, the others were rideable. The second was the valley of the Towy and was marked with the Ceredigion boundary sign.  There was a handy rock to sit on, making an ideal spot for lunch.
As I was setting up the camera for a selfie of my lunch spot, a road cyclist in bright red and yellow came whizzing past with a friendly “Morning” and charged at the climb.
He was followed by half a dozen other members of Taff Ely CC, so I grabbed the camera and took some shots of the peleton climbing the zig – zags up the side of the valley.
They were leaving the cafe in Tregaron when I arrived (they must have had a long lunch), so I asked if they’d cycled all the way from Cardiff.  No, they’d driven to Rhayader and were returning via Cwm Ystwyth and the Elan Valley.

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