The Bwlch (SW #99)
Steepest Gradient (%)
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#99 . . . Almost there. One more to go and we will have gotten our GCC 100 in 35 days - quite the experience we must say!
The Bwlch (Welsch for “Gap”) is a fairly mild climb at 5.7 kilometers and 5.3% average grade. The climb begins in Nantymoel, a village just north of Price Town (population 2,348, 2011) by riding north on Bwlch-y-Clawdd Road. While the climb begins in a mundane setting at the northern edge of Nantymoel, it soon becomes quite scenic, first bordered by thick forest, then opening after the second and final hairpin of the climb to green steep hillsides as we ride towards a wind turbine field just past the finish. The most difficult section of the climb is the first 1.5 kilometers that averages 8.5%.
View to the south at Nantymoel from km 3.5
Ride near and through forest at bottom section of climb.
Travel through mini canyons at times.
Wind turbine fields just past the finish.
Radio tower at Mont Ventoux summit.
Cycling.Weekly.com’s excellent article written by Simon Warren of his triple ascent of The Bwlch:
“Britain’s Mont Ventoux: climbing the Bwlch the hard way. Just like the ‘Giant of Provence’, the Bwlch in South Wales can be tackled three ways. Simon Warren joined two local pros to see if he could complete the trio in a single, epic day. . . . . The three bases of the Bwlch lie in Treorchy to the north, Pontrhydyfen to the west and to avoid the chaos of Bridgend, Sarn to the south. And like the Ventoux challenge, you can start your ride on whichever side you desire, so long as you ride all three. . . .” More
Steepest kilometer begins at 500 meters (8.4%)