Ok so we’re not in Rome we’re in Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid Wales but you could be forgiven today for being a little confused. Romans, charioteers, Saturnalia feast, togas…. just another of the weird and wonderful festivals and events we like to enjoy her in our little town in the Welsh heartlands. A good way to cheer up a dreary Saturday in January
Is this the 9th or 10th, or 11th World Mountain Bike Chariot Racing, I forget, but that’s not important. Green Events, who run this, also run a multitude of other ‘alternative’ sporting events. They began 35 years ago with the creation of the Man v Horse v Bike Marathon (now only Man v Horse due to bridleway legislation). Annually this attracts both media and participants from around the globe.
Then came World Bog Snorkelling, often televised on channels such as Transworld Sport and Eurosport. Add to these Real Ale Wobbling, Bog Triathlon, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling and, more recently the bi-annual fortnight of World Alternative Games and you have yourself one pretty special place. You’d probably be surprised then to discover its nestled in the middle of Wales at the bottom of the most rural county and in the UK’s smallest town, Llanwrtyd Wells, population c700, except on event weekends when it might double in size.
So, following Mari Llwyd and the torch lit processions that saw in our New Year, we have just energised 2017 with a spot of charioteering with a difference. Two mountain bikes joined on a fixed metal T-bar, pulling an oil drum chariot around the grounds of a rural holiday centre.
And, tonight, once the mud is washed off and the tootsies de-thawed, we shall enjoy a Saturnalia feast and toga party in our favourite watering hole, The Neuadd Arms Hotel