October 15, 2014
Last weekend BIKE DOCTOR RIDER, John Adams completed the UK's toughest MTB event
The Bear Bones 200 is a 200km independent time trial through the Cambrian mountains and beyond. It's a true test of stamina, self reliance and mental toughness. You're free to make your own decisions (and mistakes), maybe you'll choose to stop for a few hours rest or perhaps you'll try and press on through the night hoping to outrun the 'sleep monster'? Whatever your strategy, the goal is to ride the full route, without any outside assistance, as quickly as your mind and body will allow. Here's how it went for John Adams! Amazing!!!
My plan of attack, ride for 19hrs, stop for 5 hrs, going for a 24hr time, all i need is to keep my average speed of 6 mph. It's "10 o'clock off you go" Stuart casualy said, straight onto a slippery climb but there's no rush it's a long way and this is only the start I thought i picked up a few places on the first downhill.
Dropping into Barmouth my brakes are on fire 41 miles and over 5,000ft of climbing, feeling good, filled my water bladder a quick bite to eat in a shape of a chicken wrap drink of coke and set off once again up a very steep tarmac road which lead to a nice bit of single track, then at 18:00hrs came HELL, we came across a stream which we had to push the bike along while i was walking along tussocks by the time i came out of the stream I had to use my lights not planned for this waist deep in ferns no signs of any paths slow pace whilst burning valuable battery life.
I could hear Steve wall in my ears "if your moving your grooving" eventually we reached the peak, tired and fatigued whilst decending down on a nice fast flowing downhill we missed the bridleway well a faint sheep path, luckily it was only approximately 500 yards to be back on track crossing through a few fields and came to a farm track, making our way to the A470 we came across a fast flowing river crossing which was knee deep at 21:00hrs this is exactly what we didn't need.
After crossing the river we made our way up to the forestry and then decided to call in the pup at Trawsfynydd holiday village for a quick warm up, glass of coke and to refill my water bladder at 23:15hrs time to leave at 00:00 we reached halfway 68 miles in 14:15 hrs way behind schedule Richard suggested that we should stop for a little kip, the last forestry before Ffestiniog was chosen, changed my socks, gloves, jacket, and hat on, into my sleeping bag around 01:00 alarm was set for 04:00 all is needed now is to regulate my breathing which i found really difficult to do, 4 o'clock came around so fast, gear all packed and ready to ride by 05:00 we left Ffestiniog on a killer of a climb heading towards Penmachno the most northerly point in the race, once reached we started to count down the km just 98 km left god that felt good we've got down to double figures I punched the air in triumph, after another long killer climb out of Penmachno we came across a nice double track with a very technical decent, once again we came to yet another hike a bike that lasted 1 1/2hrs - 2 hrs we are down to 85km slow progress.
We dropped down to Llyn Celyn for a fair bit of tarmac riding which was really welcoming, our pace on this bit was 20km per hour, that lead straight to a get of and push this one went on and on never ending crossing streams, boggy bulrushes whilst climbing this one was soul destroying at least 3hrs walking on no paths pure hell.
Eventually we came to a tarmac road that lead us to Coed y Brenin forestry, one of the riders we met just out side Penmachno had enough an decided to follow the road back to the finishing point.
Richard and I carried on with the pace picking up until we came to a forestry gate with all fallen trees moral was low at this point, it really looked like an army assault course and pushed for another 30 mins eventually we came to a forestry road, looked at my gps 22 miles left time now 15:45 we dropped off that mountain joined the A494 for another nasty climb we down to 19 miles now and I've run out of water across a double track that lead us to the A470. We saw two riders out in front the first once since 08:00, we passed them heading towards Mallwyd, at last we reached the last bit of off road section that lead us to a gate that was fenced off a quick detour luckily it was downhill and back on tarmac we had 5 miles left and 17 minutes to get to the finish on 33hrs, we peddled if our lives dependent on it, we got to the finishing line at 19:00hrs, 33 hrs since we set off, covering a total of 141miles and 19,262ft of climbing.
At 19:00hrs there were 9 riders still out there.