Introduction

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.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

VOLUME 02 ISSUE 03 
Firewood


As I sit here on this dark Friday evening on the last day of February; my eyes shift from the computer screen to the window and back. It's currently -4c c (24° f) outside and it's snowing, again. I can hear the wind blasting the sides of our house and I've built a roaring fire in the hearth. I've not been on my bike for a week straight and it doesn't look as if I will be any time soon.

Here in the UK they're calling it the "Beast from the East". The Portuguese weather stations however took a less "Hollywood" approach and simply named the storm; "Emma". Whichever you choose, it's going down in the record books. Headlines in the paper say this could be the worst snowfall in 30 years. Some say this could be the worst winter in 30 years.

Looking down Central Avenue in Oakdale just before the Blizzard of 2018

Thursday, 01 March 2018 - St. David's Day; When my wife came downstairs this morning, I immediately told her that the BBC had modified the weather report yet again. Now we have a red warning (a first under the new colour system). They are actually calling for blizzard conditions over the next two days. Without missing a beat, she responded; "I want to got out in it." And that my friends is why I love the girl.



Never-ending Winter

We've been to the Coop. We sat in the coffee shop and watched the wind blow our neighbours about the village square, nursing lattes and joking about how bad weather gets people out of doors. I'm thinking; "today would be a good day to have a fat bike." But actually, it's a very good day to write.

I've got five short features for your online reading entertainment this month. I'm starting off with an important event that needs revisiting and a charity dear to my heart. I follow that with four more bits including: details on the inner workings of Bike Wales, a glorious ride I made during a brief respite from the Siberian blast, a small gallery of new images, and a missing report from 2017.

I finish this issue with a bit of cycling related news to send you flying off in other wild directions. I hope you enjoy.
Remembering 55 for 55


I want to go back to 2016 and reflect a moment. In March of that year, I began one of my biggest ride challenges and a personal milestone. Join me as I look back on the ride and most importantly - the people that made this event so unique. Read: "Remembering 55 for 55".

Nantymoel & Bassaleg


I've been out on 21 rides so far this year; however, I've only written about one. Well, not every outing merits a complete write up, but my ride over the Bwlch is a classic route amoungst the Welsh cycling community and was a wonderful ride over a scenic icon. Check out: "Nantymoel & Bassaleg".

Jan & Feb: Asst. Images


Just like every ride may not be worthy of a report, I may only take one or two photographs during a ride. This leads to random photos floating about without much of a story. You can see a quick round up of these images in my lastest gallery: "Jan & Feb: Asst. Images".

Brecon & Beyond


I promised to keep working on the ride reports which I failed to write up during 2017. Here's a favourite of mine from February of last year. The weather has certainly been different this year! Check out: "Brecon & Beyond".

Never-ending Redesign


I've got a short piece about my blog redesign. It's visually subtle, but requires a great deal of detail work on the backend. You may have noticed that I dig that kinda thing. You can read about all the mundane details of my efforts in; "Never-ending Redesign".



In The News

Path Less Pedaled
Ya gotta love this guy... His approach to cycling is nothing short of charming, plus his reviews are spot on. He's got a great YouTube channel as well. Go on. Check it out and get lost in the World of Russ for a few hours. You'll be glad you did and with 20,000 subscribers, he's clearly doing something right! Path Less Pedaled / YouTube Channel & Pathless Pedaled website
Bicycle Times Magazine
Okay, I admit that I found this site from reading Path Less Pedaled, but it's a blatent indorsement of them both. There's so much exuberance on the Internet about cycling these days, it's nice to find a site that seems down-to-earth and rational. It's a well thought out read. And they seem damn friendly too.

Pannier
First off, this website is a visual delight. The overall design and photography are simply stunning. Plus, this month they've got a video on a trip through Wales! That's reason enough to check'em out. Give your lust for cycling a good visual rub. Then come to Wales!

Bike Scheme for Cardiff
Cardiff tried having a bike rental scheme a few years back and it failed miserably. We'll see how it flys this go'round. It's a trend I'm not so sure of, but if it can lead to improved cycle lanes in town then I'm all for it. I hope it's a flying success.

Sexy Bike Alert: 2018 Fuji Touring
Most people wouldn't describe a touring bike as sexy, but I'm that kinda dude. Bar-end shifters, rim brakes, and triple-cranks rock my world. I'll not make any apologies. 40 years ago a Fuji America was hands-down my dream touring bike. Just go check it out. (and see: an original Fuji America)

UPDATE: Part Two on my Taff Trail Project: ON HOLD DUE TO WEATHER



Coming next Issue
  • Will I get to ride my bike this month?
  • Will I write Part Two on my Taff Trail Project?
  • Will I have a new Ride with GPS Report?
  • Will I be forced into another month of reviewing my archive?
  • Will Wales ever see Spring again?



Bike Wales is published once a month - on or about the 15th. I generally write on personal topics - on or about cycling, as well as outside features I've discovered during my wanders across the Interweb. Drop me a note and tell me know what you think.

Thanks for stopping by... Seeya down the road. Cheers! cm