May 12, 2014 by welshcyclist
This scene above was almost at the end of my ride today, but I considered it to be the best, of the few pictures, I took with my phone camera. No doubting it was the best ride I’ve been fortunate to have this year, so far, though it has to be said, 2014 is flying by fast. It’s the middle of May already!! Can you believe it?
The sun shone all through the 15 or so miles I pedalled, never further than 3 miles ( I reckon ) from my home. Far from a perfect circular loop, more of an ellipse, with home on the flattest side. Down through the village, up and around Cwmgwrach twice, tried a really steep incline behind Unity mine ( now in receivership ). It was the first time on my Jamis Sputnik single speed, and I had to get off and walk half way up, hoping that no one was about to see me fail. Fortunately, I didn’t see a soul thereabouts, as I trudged up the final 20 metres, and I was back on my bike, standing in the pedals, making a fast getaway. Then it was onto the cycle path and a circle around the field of flowers, where I’ve seen the green woodpecker quite a few times now. By this time, I was feeling kind of thirstyish, so decided to call into Mac Donald’s for a black coffee, I thought an acquaintance of mine might be there, he’s the odd job man, Ninian’s his name, and guess what? He rides a bike.
Sure enough, when I walked in, he was there, cleaning the windows. I got my coffee and sat down, next to a window, to keep an eye on my Sputnik, and Ninian came over. He’s got a problem with his bike, his triple crank needs replacing, now I’m not much of a mechanic, but that’s what it sounded like when he described what was happening while he pedalled. Unfortunately, he didn’t know the make of his bike. and he’s going to ring me, so that I can check it out on this computer of mine.
Well Ninian had to get back to work, and I had to get on with my ride, but as I was leaving I saw another acquaintance of mine, cycling up the dual carriageway of the A465, turning off in towards Mac Donald’s. We ‘ve regularly said hello to each other, as we pass, either him walking or on his bike, me always on mine. He enjoys a walk or a cycle, then a coffee before he gets home. I waited for him to come in, and my opening words to him were, ” You’re a much braver man than me, cycling on that stretch of road!”. He laughed out loud, and told me that he regularly rides from Cwmgwrach down to Resolven, and back again, for his coffee, on the A465. I’ve only ventured on it a couple of times, and both times I was scared, very scared. The last time, some idiot lobbed a bottle at me as he passed!
By this time Ninian had come over, Gwyn and himself have known each other all their lives. He joined in to say, ” no doubt about it Gwyn is nuts!” To which Gwyn related that Ninian had had a fall on that road a few years back. He was found unconscious, next to his bike, at the side of the road. I asked him if he had been hit by a car, he said he doesn’t remember anything about it, the police tried to find out, to no avail, but he had remained unconscious for 15, yes 15, days and nights. Wow, and he’s never cycled on that road again!
Yes Gwyn, you are definitely a braver man than myself and Ninian!
Gwyn continued in to get his coffee, Ninian back to his windows, and I back out onto the B4242, up through the village, around Morfa Glas then up towards Ponneddfechan, and into waterfall country. Sadly the forestry commission don’t allow cyclists onto the forest paths, so I can only get to the edge of the real waterfall country. But, with the sun shining as it was, the greenery of the trees made a fine spectacle, I only wish I had the talent of a Tootlepedal to make my shots as attractive as they should appear, I simply don’t give this truely magnificent scenery the justice it deserves. But here’s another attempt, anyway. God loves a trier!
Well, that’s all I’ve time for now.