She’s very modest about it, and wouldn’t let me have a photograph of her cycling, but Susan Hanbury has, for the first time, undertaken the gruelling Tour de Môn Canol – a cycle ride of 77 miles around mid and North Anglesey. Well admittedly previously she has “only” ridden the Tour de Môn Bach (a mere 46 miles). Here is her report of the event:
Friday evening, August 17th, I drove the Tour de Môn cycling route, still undecided whether I would cycle my usual Tour de Môn ‘Bach’ (46 miles) or face the challenge of the middle distance, 77 miles . Well, that Friday evening jaunt by car took me two and a half hours and quite frankly, opened my eyes to previously un-noticed steep gradients and took me along Anglesey roads I didn’t know existed.
A little over 36 hours later, early Sunday morning, I positioned myself at the front of the first wave of Canol (middle distance) cyclists at the Newry, Holyhead start line. To be fair, there was very little interest in me, a (late) middle-aged lady dressed in cycling leggings, a cotton blouse….and sandals(!) although participants at this distance usually sport full-lycra clothing, specialist footwear and many other expensive-looking gadgets to track their progress. I did have a pretty-snazzy peaked cycling helmet, tinted cycling glasses and a classy carbon-fibre road bike which had been a retirement present to myself.
I surprised myself and supporters at home who were tracking me online by breezing the first 20 miles round the Holy Island coastal road, whizzed along the RAF Valley section and arrived confidently at the first rest point at Mona airfield. The next 17 miles from Bodffordd, through Llannerchymedd, up to Bryn Teg, then round to Moelfre, following the busier coastal road was achievable without too much effort.
At Moelfre primary school, the second rest station, I realised that I was going to successfully complete the whole route, but that the next section would be gruelling. It was here too, that the competent cyclists on the Mawr (Long) course merged with the Canol cyclists and just as I faced some physical and mental challenges around Mynydd Parys/ Parys Mountain, Amlwch and Cemaes section (27 miles), these super-fit cyclists whizzed by.
At Cemaes, I began what appeared on the map to have been a descent to Melin Llynnon at Llanddeusant but found myself on a long hill, thankfully though, off the main coastal road. I would have liked to finish here as my hands were feeling numb and my sandals were not poviding the foot support I needed.
Approaching Valley from Llanfachraeth is not my usual route as the traffic can be particularly worrying for the lone cyclist. Groups of club cyclists are more obvious to the motorist. Now outside Spar Valley and back along the coastal road through Trearddur Bay and Porthdafarch is one of my customary cycling routes and I was grateful for its familiarity, despite the nasty hills and the pull up towards South Stack turning was tiring.
Entering Llaingoch and the last few hundred metres down to Newry were exhilarating. There was my husband Fenton, smiling at the finishing line. A brief hug, then a graze of the snacks and treats lined up for the cyclists. My appetite had returned.
The event medal has long since been tucked away in a drawer or possibly re-cycled…but the hand-painted stone given to me by a friend and pictured here was a lovely surprise and immensely appreciated. The caption and character painted on the stone summed up the event for me and now sits happily by our front door. To quell any small, inner voice to challenge myself to a greater distance next year, I hope to cycle the shorter route in fancy dress, for a good cause.
Broadband Public Meeting – Rhun ap Iorwerth AM
I have invited the Welsh Government Minister Julie James to visit Anglesey in the coming weeks to attend a public meeting regarding the island’s significant issues with Broadband.
Ahead of the public meeting on November 29th in Bodedern’s Village Hall, which gets underway at 6pm, I extend an invitation to the residents of Rhoscolyn as well as the rest of the island who are having issues with their broadband connections, to attend the meeting and express their concerns.
A lot of people on the island have been able to secure a broadband connection by now, of course, but there are still lots of problems that my constituents tell me they’re having with the service. So please come along and share your views and experiences. I look forward to seeing you there.
(see the message in Welsh in the side bar, with a poster about the meeting in both languages)
Môn-SAR/Rhoscolyn NCI exercise
A joint exercise took place in and around Rhoscolyn between Môn-SAR and Rhoscolyn NCI (see report below from John Mossman who is a member of both organisations).
Caro Wilson reports: On Saturday 20th October Rhoscolyn NCI was invited to join in an exercise being held on the headland and farmland in Rhoscolyn. Several of us took part and even volunteered to be the lost casualty.
Caro preparing for the exercise (left) and Jo Jones the volunteer casualty – Jon Mossman.
I was alloted to a search team and went out with them to follow a search pattern determined by details available of the person, their last known movements and personal details and computer generated algorithyms based on data collected nation wide on missing persons details. I learnt a lot from the team I was with and came away somewhat tired but having a greater appreciation of the role of Mon SAR volunteers and the training and assessments they go through. Luckily the casualty was located and all was well after she had been brought back to base on a stretcher.
Photographs by Jon Mossman (left) and Caro Wilson.
John Mossman gives some background to Môn-SAR and the joint exercise: Firstly, many thanks to the residents of Rhoscolyn for “hosting” a joint exercise on the 20th October between National Coastwatch Institution and Môn Search and Rescue (Môn-SAR), which was a great opportunity for the members of both volunteer organisations to learn more about each other’s work on Anglesey. It was nice to meet with some local passers-by who stopped to have a chat with us about what we were doing.
The exercise was based on searching for a missing suicidal woman from the local area with Môn-SAR’s control vehicle coordinating three search parties consisting of both Lowland Rescue and NCI personnel. A number of search tasks to different parts of the Rhoscolyn area occurred throughout the day, resulting in the misper (missing person) being found needing medical assistance, close to the trig point on the coast. This required the search team to then administer first aid, arrange for a stretcher to be brought forward, and for the casualty to be carried back to the control vehicle including overcoming an obstacle (the farm gate):
John Mossman who also took the photograph below.
Also, many thanks to the White Eagle, Rhoscolyn for hosting us afterwards, for a post-exercise meal …. sorry, debrief!
You can learn more about Môn-SAR, the first Lowland Rescue Search team in Wales, by following the links below.
For those not already familiar with the National Coastwatch Institution, please have a look at their website to learn more about these dedicated volunteers who assists in the protection and preservation of life at sea and around the UK coastline.