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Thursday, December 31, 2015

The last ride of 2015

The weather forecast was fine up to about 1, so it was a 10 o'clock start which meant me leaving at 9.30 to meet up.  Like many others I've had the dreaded cold /chest infection over Christmas and this was a test to see how things were. The group went on much further but I left them when we got to the Bay area and made my way home along the Taf Trail.  It was really good to be out but my chest was still tight, so I didnt push it, and made it home before the rain.

The sun was out and so were the daffodils in full flower, this is about the earliest I've seen them.  This puts them about 2 months ahead of schedule.

Crossing the Bay bridge.

The Cardiff Bay Barrage which has helped to prevent flooding in Cardiff. 

Passing the Millenium Stadium.

The trail back to Taffs Well.

Llandaf Weir

The route although a mainly urban ride of 21 miles,  the bits on the Taf Trail break it up.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Cardiff Arcades and a Merry Christmas

A good use for old library books.

 The Victorians and Edwardians loved their arcades and Cardiff is blessed with quite a few.  Its a tried and tested theme thats carried on into the newer shopping developments, putting Cardiff high on list of shopping areas in the UK.
With all the rain we've had recently at least you can shop/browse in the dry.

Have a happy Christmas and enjoy the festive break.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

North Wales - a mini adventure

We travelled up to Betws y Coed on Sunday and the forecast was rain, heavy at times but some clear days.  Sunday was full of heavy rainfall and the campsite was already holding some water.  Luckily the rain stopped for the night, so it was fingers crossed for the next few days.  But on Monday the rain was epic, so bad that even with waterproof coats and trousers walking around was no fun so we caught the train to Llandudno.  Halfway through the journey I had a phone call saying the there was a flood warning and the campsite had to be evacuated.  So we caught the train straight back, but could only get so far as the tracks were flooded and the trains were stopped.  This meant a bus for the rest of the journey back to the campsite.

The run off from the mountains was the cause  of the river flooding in Betws.

 This was as far as the train could get through.

By the time we got back to the campsite the water was coming up through the drains and as you can see we were one of the last to get off the site.  

We managed to transfer our  booked dates to a sister site in Shrewsbury 50 miles east and one we have been to before.  Once out of the hills the weather was much better, so we could enjoy walking around Shrewsbury in the dry.

This is St Chads church and was where Charles Darwin was baptised.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Forest of Dean

The Forest is just over an hours journey away, so we had a few days away to catch the colourful shades whilst they are still around.  The campsite was at Parkend, a lovely village that we have visited before and also one the cycle club has used for weekends.

The next two shots were taken on the cycle trail to Coleford.

Right next to the campsite is the RSPB Nags Head nature reserve.

Parkend church and cemetery. 

 It was interesting to see that the graves of people who had been dead for well over 70 years had fresh flowers on them, so someone in the family still remembers.

The Fountains is the pub and this caters for us when the cycle club stay.  They have a bunkhouse accommodation at the back.

Wild boar were reintroduced into the Forest a few years ago but their numbers have now got out of hand as they now number over 1000.  They do an enormous amount of damage to anywhere that is left unfenced, and every morning you can see fresh signs of their previous nights work.  Gardens and playing fields have been completely destroyed.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hay on Wye cycle ride

Ray and I  rode up to Hay, the town of books, on the Friday morning, taking a mixture of trails, lanes, and B and A roads, 52 miles and about 3500 feet of climb.  

The Autumn colours are coming in and leaves are beginning to fall.
These were on the trail to Tredegar and built on the reclaimed land of the Markham colliery.

Others arrived by car and 15 cyclists set out on Saturday morning for a 58 mile ride to Hereford and back. 

The best photo opportunities are usually when we stop to regroup or have a snack.

The present day success of Hay lies mainly with Richard Booth, the owner Hay castle below.  He started bookshops in the town about 40 years ago and at one time declared himself the King of Hay, but eccentric as he may have been he was the catalyst that has helped Hay become what it is today.  The bookshops grew and eventually developed into the now world famous Hay Literary Festival, where many famous people have made an appearance.

Hay Castle

Whilst the rest of the group did another ride, we took our time and a different route , enjoying a teastop on the way and ending up in Abergavenny to catch a train back to Cardiff.  As Ireland were playing France in the World Cup at the Millenium Stadium the train was full of supporters and we were lucky to get ourselves and the bikes on.  Getting the bikes on trains can sometimes be fraught and often its down to the train conductor, who was pleasant and helpful.

Arriving in Cardiff it was as if Ireland were playing home, green shirts everywhere, and watching the game later on TV the atmosphere sounded fantastic.

All in all a good weekend, and about 150 miles cycled.