Wild Wales Challenge (Cycling)

Gwynedd, Bala, Gwynedd, Wales

The Wild Wales Challenge is a bike ride - with a difference. Held annually, on the bank Holiday Sunday at the end of August, it attracts over 500 cyclists, young, old, and not-so-young to Bala in North Wales, where the event starts and finishes.

The WWC is NOT a race - it's a challenge ride, with a different route every year, set amidst glorious scenery and using minor roads and lanes, and riders ride it at their own pace, the object being to complete the route within a generous time allowance.

Being set in North Wales, the route is of course up and down, and it is a challenge. The distance varies between around 76 to 86 miles. The route is devised by the Organiser in the hope that riders will look around as they pedal and enjoy the spectacular surroundings which abound in Wales.

The event is open to all cyclists; you don't have to be a member of a club or organisation. Although the WWC is organised on behalf of the Merseyside District Association, which is affiliated to the Cyclists' Touring Club (C.T.C.). There is an entry fee which covers all the services provided to riders (more of that in a moment) and the surplus goes to the Merseyside D.A. The WWC therefore is not a private enterprise event run for profit, but an official C.T.C. event.

The event is a challenge event but if you're reasonably fit, you won't have any real difficulty with the route. Some of the climbs, like the Bwlch y Groes or Church Hill, are pretty daunting and, some riders will dismount and walk up.

Any sort of bike may be used, but it must, for obvious reasons, be roadworthy. Brakes are especially important. Unless you're an exceptionally strong rider low gears are a must; whether you ride a mountain bike, a tourer, or a racing bike, and there are even tandems completing the event.

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