Welcome friends. This humble blog is about the simple observations I discover whilst cycling through lovely Wales.
I hope to offer you dear reader, cheerful reflections upon the days and miles I pedal, along with encouragement to get out and explore by bicycle yourself! Perhaps too, if I attempt a bit of amusing anecdotes along the way, I may invoke your readership as well. Thanks for stopping by... cheers, muse

Monday, 20 February 2017

Post-Ride Exultations

I have little interest in the cyclist who boasts of distances or average speeds, heart rates, cadences, watts, or any of the other empty and useless details compiled by their various high-tech gadgetry. Tell me where you've been. What did you see... who did you meet? Take some photos by god. Bragging on your latest century ride at 17 mph means nothing to anyone but you. Tell me a story.

It was a questionable decision. I would need lights for both leaving and upon my return. I could spend the entire day in the rain. Traffic may be an issue. I had only been on the planned route once before. But the itch was not going away. The desire had been pestering me for weeks.
I was going.

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
- Martin Buber

And so I set out at 7:30 on Saturday morning. The fog was thick... the sky dark. I was wet from a heavy mist by the time I started up the Sirhowy Valley. I had yet over 70 miles and 10 hours on my journey. I was excited and worried both and this is what I live for.

Now I'm not riding some carbon fibre "toy" bike. I haven't fancy disc brakes or tricky STi shifters... don't even get me started on electronics and hydraulic shit. I ride a REAL bicycle. It's steel with rim brakes and bar-end shifters. The same setup the bike Gods created for intelligent cyclists way back before most of the "Johnny-come-lately's" ever thought about internally routed cabling. There. I said it.

So if you're still reading this, good for you. You get it. I carry a butt-load of shit in my Carradice bag too. I've everything from spare spokes, chain links, assorted nuts and bolts, to duck tape, zip ties, and shoestrings even. If you ask why... you don't get it.

I can't make an emergency backup phone call; "come pick me up, my bike broke down". When my shit goes down, I'm on my own. I gotta fix it. And I like it that way. Ain't nuthin' more satisfyin' than fixin' yer bike after it's broke down while on the road. Cuz, it's gonna break. It's always just a matter of time. So ya gotta be prepared, that's what I say. Don't know how to how to patch a puncture? Stay home.

So enough of my ranting diatribe... this is about the adventure. And what a grand adventure I had. I could have never expected the weather to have given me such drama... but then, that's what it does. You just gotta get out there to really appreciate it. With that I'll leave you to hop over to the gallery section of my blog to view the photos I took while out:

(and just cuz' I never said I wasn't a hypocrite... my average speed was 10.3 mph!)

I hope you enjoy. Thanks for stopping by...

cheers! - muse

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