I have done with the Wales for the time being. I smell, I have mud not only on every item of bike clothing I own but also on my children, tent and husband. I thought my legs had tanned un-naturally but I have realised now that the iron ore in the mud was staining my skin. Beneath this my skin is merely pink and blue, with some attractive "Is it self harm?" bramble scratches for good measure. Hey-ho, still pretty pleased with it all. Lots of nice people, extraordinary scenery and riding, no punctures, no crashes (to speak of), and a respectable record on finish times and that. Also some endearing images- a lovely gentleman disappearing over the bars of his bike into a river, apparently competent riders comedy-skidding into moorland hummocks (Or is it tussocks? Never got the difference.)
When a 6 hour cut off for a day ride is a short day you know you should probably go home and have a sit down.
Night riding is genius. The Special Stage on Thursday was a night race in the middle of Wales-nowhere. Borrow some massive lights and a bouncy bike and whizz down a hilll in the dark. I promise that it is vast amounts of fun, and if you do it in company you won't even suddenly get the feeling you are about to be attacked by supernatural forces. Though maybe other people are made of sterner stuff than me, I don't know. Racing off a proper ramp and everything into a never-seen-before woods and doing some kamikaze dash down a hillside has got to be one of the actual funnest things that it is possible to do. I am not actually even joking.
Anyway. I will shut up about Wales and mountains for a bit. Time Trial anybody?