Day 14

Sun 11 Oct:  Criccieth to Porthdinllaen, via Pwllheli and Abersoch

A proper account of this day should really start a few days earlier, on Mon 5th. Having reached Criccieth the previous evening, I met with Peter Williams (LOM) at the ILB Station on that Monday morning.

I was already beginning to feel the need for a day off and started to question my plan to carry on westwards that day. Seeing such a weather change was now another factor.  Six days later, having spent a few days back home enjoying family catch up time and Claire’s belated birthday celebrations, here I am back in Criccieth.  Many thanks to Mary & Bryn at Bron Aber. Lovely house, great breakfast and free ‘brush up your rusty Welsh language’ lesson. Diolch yn fawr iawn Bryn.

Back on the bike. Short (9.5miles)& fast dash into Pwllheli. What a turn out! Another 5 turned up at the lovely old boat house. Greeted by Cliff (LOM), Arwel (mech), Clive (Cox’n), Jason (crew), Arfon (2nd mech) & Roy (launch tractor driver/crew, ret’d). Thank you all so very much, such a pleasure to meet you all.

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It turns out that there are a fair few keen cyclists in the RNLI fraternity, including Cox’n Clive who, on impulse arranged to join me later at the next stop, Abersoch at midday to accompany me over the next stage, via the end of the Llyn peninsula and on to Porthdinllaen.  Met Fritz, Senior Helmsman at Abersoch, who showed me his brand new Lifeboat. Another great guy.  Clive turned up on time. At last, a few miles (30+) in the company of a fellow rider. A thrilling ride, even the killer climb (a long 20% up the Rhiw). Cox’n Clive, a strong cyclist, no baggage, younger than me, beat me to the top! I just don’t get it. He must have a hidden motor in the bottom bracket of his Cannondale Team Liquigas carbon frame. Touched 40mph on the twisty descent: a bit scary with panniers!

It turns out that, when pressed about his day job, modest Clive (he won’t like me telling you all this) is also the architect who designed a number of the new Lifeboat Stations, including the big St David’s project, Moelfre (Anglesey) and the award-winning one here in Porthdinllaen, to be visited early tomorrow! Good luck C, with the next project at Douglas, Isle of Mann and thanks for the guided cycle tour of the Llyn peninsular.

Dinner at Clive’s twin brother’s Bryncyna restaurant, a good walk from tonight’s B&B. Fresh crab soup followed by beef lasagne with two beers. Just right. What a day. Goodnight.

12 Oct: Clive Moore, architect and lifeboat coxswain at Pwllheli, posted on Facebook:         It was an unexpected pleasure to have the opportunity of being able to accompany you on your journey around the Llyn Peninsua. Coxwain cover was arranged within minutes of your arrival and our rendevous at Abersoch agreed. All rides should be like this, a maneageable pace and great company, Steve you impressed in tackling the hills with little apparent effort and with a decent pace on the flat despite your considerable payload in the rear panniers. Your enthusiasm neary caught you out on some of the downhill sections, but we survived without incident and arrived in Morfa Nefyn safely and in good time. Shame you don’t live locally as you would make an ideal cycling partner. Best of luck with the remainder of your journey, I will follow your journey with interest, and envy and it would be good if another opportunity presents for a ride together before the end of the journey. Safe cycling, and enjoy, you’re a legend. Diolch yn fawr a phob lwyddiant ar y taith!

15 Oct: SMc Facebook Reply: Very kind words Clive. Definitely one of the best bits of the ride to-date. I’ve since had the pleasure of visiting two of your recent Stations (Porthdinllaen & Moelfre). You’re a genius. Have now finished all the Welsh coast & RNLI Stations. Came home yesterday for a few days to catch up with family and to service bike (1,000 miles since Penlee). Must now catch up with last two days’ reports! All the best.

Day 15