A Wildlife Trust conference at the Centre for Alternative Technology Centre in Machynlleth gave me the chance to try out some of this iconic route. I live on the North Wales coast, and happily Route 8 takes me right to the door of CAT. Stunning views, challenging hills (particularly between Dolgellau and Aberlefenni), and a freaky cycle cattle grid on the section between the A470 crossing and Dolgellau. A sharp downhill bend, and confronted with a choice of the grid or going straight into a gate, I took the grid, but it was a tight turn, and my wheel slipped on the grid (see gate photo). This resulted in bruising and a badly bent wheel, which I had to suffer with the brake partially locked on until I foudn an open bike shop. Early closing on a Wednesday meant the Dolgellau and Llanbedr shops weren't open, but the excellent KK Cycles in Porthmadog straightened my wheel, getting me home. No idea why the image is upside down!