The Black Mountain climb is the sort of ride I have always felt suited me but have never been able to fully back up that theory with a decent ride. The weather, my fitness and injuries have always stopped me performing as well as I would like on the medium length climbs that feature a moderate gradient.
Thankfully today the stars were in alignment and after a tyre screeching drive up to the top (the road was very quiet and the bends have nice open apexes) it was time for a speedy descent down to the start.
This is a shot from one of the lower car parks as the car park at the top doesn't share the same fantastic views
After spending longer than usual making sure both cameras were working as desired it was time to see if I could make it back up to the top in decent shape. I'm pleased to say that I did; holding onto a higher gear than normal I settled in to a fairly comfortable pace on the lower part of the climb and the only limiting factor was the fact that I was getting hotter the further up I rode. It was quite a muggy afternoon and by the time I reached the first car park I was sorely tempted to take a pit stop for an ice cream. Not to eat you understand but to smear over my head. I'm sure I've said it before on this blog but whoever felt polystyrene was a suitable material for cycle helmets needs a good slap.
The gradient slowly ramps up until the wide and open hairpin bend and then starts to slowly ease. By the time I was on the upper part of the climb I was able to get back up to a decent pace and roll across the summit feeling pretty satisfied with my efforts. I know I'll never be the fastest person to take on the 100 climbs but it is nice to finish a climb without feeling like you've just gone wheel to wheel with an angry gorilla and lost.
After the Black Mountain it was off to Swansea for the night where I had a date with Constitution Hill
After packing my stuff away it was off to Swansea for the night as early the next morning I was planning to ride Constitution Hill and Bryn Du. Fortunately it was a pretty quick drive there which after a long day at the wheel was a welcome relief. I suppose I had better get a shift on and edit the videos...