A book worth owning

Le Sportif generally relies on a combination of a sixth sense, recommendation, gravity challenging roads, and an absence of traffic for the uncovering of new rides. However, of late Le Sportif has under the spell of a small, yet dangerous publication, the value of which was recently proven in a wonderful coincidence whilst fooling around in the Pays de Galles in the dawn of 2012. Studying an OS map of the area around Dolgellau a particular road between Dinas Mawddwy and Lake Bala stands out, daggers…

Driving over the road at night in a snowstorm kindled the desire, and fuel to the fire was mentioning this by chance to a local resident, whose rash claim was that it could never be ridden over by a bicycle. The gauntlet.

As happy chance has it this road also appears in the book! 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs The true beauty of the book is in the total absence of any recommendation as to further riding, or incorporating it into a practical route. Our intrepid guide parks the car in a handy layby, the bike is hauled from the boot, mounted on a stationary trainer, warm up, bike off trainer, climb undertaken, returns to car, ticks list, drives on. To this end, Le Sportif offers you this beast as part of a true beast of a ride in the astonishing geological manifestation of Southern Snowdonia (LS04).

The prospect of achieving all the climbs in this book, as Simon (the author) claims to have done, is appealing, and the further possibility of then offering the challenge of completing all the climbs as some sort of Le Sportif challenge is even greater. However, whilst Le Sportif shall certainly endeavour to undertake the raising of two fingers to gravity at every opportunity, this challenge can only truly enter the realms of Le Sportif once all rides are ridden, recommended and well routed. Watch this space…