WELCOME! I've been cycling through the Southeast Valleys of Wales since 2010 and I can't say (or show) enough about the place. I just love it. So if you've got the interest and would like to spend some time... sit back and let me show you some of the fabulous places I've discovered.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Wentwood Massacre

Ride Report
Ride Date: January 30, 2016
Distance: 60.2 miles
Elevation: + 3685 / - 3686 ft
Ride Time: 07:39:45
Weather: Sun, Sun, Sun
Temperature: 7℃ / 44℉
Yesterday I rode out into beautiful sunshine with temperatures hovering around 6℃ to 7℃... an ideal day to have a trial run of the course I've outlined for my big event (read about it here...). And it was ideal for the first 22 miles. But after leaving the sleepy little village of Llantrisant I came over a slight rise then turned and headed toward the river... WOW! was I hit with a big surprise. The River Usk had flooded far beyond its banks and was about 3 feet deep across the road as far as I could see. It was like a massive lake stretching all the way to Newbridge on Usk.

Now I've been cycling this route regularly for four years and I've never seen the Usk flood to this extent. This section of the route is commonly called "the Straight Mile" by locals and is completely flat, so it's understandable considering the amount of rain we've had over the past several months. But geez! I was completely caught off guard... as were several other cyclists and motorists.

Elevation of "proposed" route...

So after a bit of debate, a couple of us decided to head back as we came and turn east to follow NCN 42 up over Wentwood Forest. At the time, I thought this a reasonable alternative. I knew there was a significant hill to climb, but had I known then what I know now... I would not call the hill I climbed "significant". It was massive. It was brutal. It was gorgeous and I thought my lungs were going to come out of my mouth.

Elevation of "Wentwood Massacre".

Looking at these two elevations, the top one actually appears more varied and "hilly". But this is one of the problems with most all cycle routing programs; they use the same "image" height for the graphic regardless of its scale. So to fully understand the difference I need to show you the two imposed over each other with correct scaling. Here ya go.

Elevations merged and scaled.

That's a bit clearer depiction of the differences in the routes over five miles. The route I had planned is rather undulating to cycle, whilst the Wentwood route was simply a long-ass climb. Of course too, now I realize that the horizontal (x-axis) scale is out of whack with the vertical (y-axis) so I should really replot them both again. But for now here is the entire route as I finished out yesterday. Note: the spike along about 22 miles!

Click here to view an enlarged map. ]

So that's it for now. A big day to close out the month. I set a five year record for the month of January with a total of 520 miles. You can check out the monthly details here. Cheers ~ muse

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