Head to the Welsh coast & Llangrannog; home of Bica the Giant’s tooth! Fast valleys, remote Welsh mountains, old mining towns; it’s all there! Descend the Devil’s Staircase and climb his Elbow #wills_hills galore! Updated route for 2022.
WHEN: +iCalFri 26th August 2022 21:00 - 09:07 Sun 28th August 2022
WHERE:Felix Road Adventure Playground Felix Road Easton, BS5 0JW
Route notes and a variety of navigation files will be available usually the Monday before the event. Use the interactive map for an overview of what lies ahead (subject to change); toggle the elevation & grade on/off by clicking the key. *Please note plugin's 'grade' is experimental so take it with a pinch of salt.
Legend has it the Giant Bica lost his tooth on Llangrannog beach whilst eating berries from the cliff. The solitary rock is known as Carreg Bica, or Giant’s Tooth.
With a late start cruise to up the Usk Valley through the night; new for 2022 continue to Llandovery, then over the hills through Brechfa Forest to the Teifi Valley and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park & Steve’s. Then skim along the coast to Llangrannog; view the village and the Giant’s Tooth from beside St. Carannog’s statue as you decend to the coast. Inland again to Tregaron and the infamous mountain road with its iconic phone & letterbox. Descending the Devil’s Staircase can be just as daunting as climbing it! Then across Sennybridge Ranges via Mynydd Bwlch-y-Groes stopping in Sennybridge this time. Buckle up for The Devil’s Elbow. Also new for 2022 you now head over The Rhigos before hopping back across The Valleys; use an old railway path and cross Hengoed’s Viaduct in the process. For most you’ll enjoy the sun rise as you head back over the bridge.
Supper before depart included.
Breakfast at Steve’s in Pembrokeshire included.
Postal finish through my door; tea/coffee & toast if after 06:00 (or if I’m riding too then once I’m back).
There are no sleeping facilities en route. I would aim to have a nap on Llangrannog beach.
Type & Validation
- The route is advisory - you just have to visit the controls and gain proof of passage within time limits where specified; there may be parts that you'd like to take a different route and that is entirely up to you; the time limits for the controls don't change!
- Validation: Instant - you get to take your validated card home straight away at the end of the event.
What others think.
This is a journey. For me, my first 500km ride, it made quite an impression.
You’ll likely be riding through 2 nights. You’ll ride nearly every steep hill in south wales. Expect the weather to be nuts. Believe the elevation profile.
I was lucky to meet a couple of riders at different moments where it wasn’t going so well in my head. Their kindness and wisdom in the face of the absurdity, genuinely helped me get round. Hat tip to Dad as well, for the hour and a half in a cafe in Fishguard chatting while I tried to get dry after that rain.
Headwinds though Llandeussant, midnight ponies in the road above Merthyr, boy racers in the valleys, the kids doing night shift in Macdonalds, singing into the night, the sea!. We’ll be back for more.
Organisation perfectly minimal. 10/10 would ride again. Thanks Will!
An absolute classic
I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed an audax so much (and there’s been some stiff competition). Every detail of the Giant’s Tooth 500 was perfectly thought out. The vegan curry at the start was delicious (thank you!), and I appreciated that we went through the busiest parts of South Wales in the dead of night, so had the roads (even the dual carriageways) to ourselves. By the time the sun came up we were riding through beautiful scenery, which we enjoyed for the rest of the ride. I was delighted by the number of 20% (and even 25%) hills Will had managed to squeeze into the route – it seemed absurd at times, that someone could expect us to mange yet another near-vertical gradient, after so many others, and so many hundreds of kilometres, but somehow we made it over all of them, and were glad we had. I loved revisiting some of my favourite roads (especially the one between Tregaron and Abergwesyn), and discovering new ones. And very much enjoyed the camaraderie in the 24-hour Macdonald’s controls. (Worryingly, the food there tasted better and better as the ride wore on.)
Like or loath it? Let others know.
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