For many the Welsh Ride Thing requires no introduction. Those that have taken part in the past will already be aware of the unique format, the panic inducing grid reference email sent a month before the start and the laid-back, no pressure atmosphere at the sign-in. Since its conception six years ago, the WRT has retained its non-elitist grass-roots feel. It doesn't matter whether you've never bikepacked before or are a Tour Divide veteran, the format encourages everyone to take part … you just need a sense of adventure.
If the WRT's new to you, here's a rundown to give you an idea of how it works and what to expect.
1. Enter on-line and wait … entries close on April 1st.
2. On April 2nd you'll receive an email containing a number of grid references and map details.
3. Use the supplied references to devise your route. There's no correct way to do this, you're free to use as few or as many of the reference points as you like, which means you're also free to make your route as easy or as hard as you choose - just try to plan a route you'll enjoy riding.
4. Turn up at the start on May 3rd maybe feeling a little nervous, sign on and collect your T shirt, sort your bike out, take part in the infamous WRT weigh in and any other stuff that's happening, have a chat and generally relax.
5. Sometime around 1.00pm (don't hold us to that) grab your bike and set off … hoping that all the hours you spent route planning are going to pay-off.
6. Ride and enjoy yourself, depending on whether you entered the WRT or WRT-Lite you'll have one or two nights out in the hills, valleys and forests.
7. Return to the start (WRT on Monday afternoon and Lite on Sunday afternoon), feast on tea and cake, exchange stories and start planning for next year!
Entry for the WRT is £20 per rider. In exchange for this measly sum, not only will you get to take part, you'll also receive your very own WRT T shirt, entry into the prize draw and when you finish, more tea and cake than's good for you. All profits are donated to the Wales Air Ambulance.
If you are interested to know the WRT's roots, read this pdf.