October 31, 2008 by welshcyclist
Got out early again this morning, cycling down the valley by 05.45, it was dark and the stars were out, but a little bit milder than yesterday, still nice and crisp. I made it to Aberdulais by 06.30, and turned back. I’m moving much faster on the Subway 1, I know it’s lighter but I think also, the fact, that I’m wearing cycle specific shoes, has improved things too. Perhaps that helped me on the Rhigos bank yesterday as well.
Cycling back up the valley towards Resolven, the wind blew up and of course it was a headwind, and quite stiff, had to drop a couple of gears to maintain 13-14 mph. Not good news though, as my new Shimano shoes seem to allow my toes to get really cold. After yesterday’s ride they were numb, and so too today numbness was setting in, well before I got back to Glynneath. So much so, I stopped at McDonalds by Cwmgwrach, to have a coffee to warm up. Yesterday, I thought the problem had been caused by the tight fit of the shoes over my hiking socks, which until now, have never left my feet/toes numb. So today I wore football socks, old ones of Conor’s, they are thinner, but still my toes ended up numb. Therefore, I believe the shoes are just too tight across the toe area, somehow I’m going to have to stretch those parts of the shoes.
After my coffee, I did my usual circuit of Cwmgwrach, headed back through Glynneath, then on up to Pontneathvaughan. When I got to Pontneathvaughan, I decided to try the hill that climbs out of the valley towards Ystalyfera, much steeper than the Rhigos Bank of yesterday. It zig-zags up the side of the valley, and I made it only about 200 yards up before turning back down. Then I took my usual route, up the river valley floor, alongside the Neath river, towards Dinas Rock.