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.

May 31, 2018

The Happy Cyclist

Spring finally arrived and the weather has been glorious! Everything seemed to bloom overnight. It's fantastic. I've been out riding and taking pictures and I've had some great cycling adventures.

Spring blossoms along the Taff Trail near Nantgarw

Note: This issue is terribly late and I should have posted this two weeks ago. My apologies. Instead, I'm sitting here in front of the computer - tired to the bone, just sort of staring blankly at the screen. I've just come off three long days of riding and I need some time to recover - both physically and mentally. It feels pretty good actually.

Something to Look Forward To...

So to start this issue, my lead feature covers a trip I made up over The Bwlch in late April. It's one of my favourite longer rides "out west" and covers some amazing scenery. I follow that report with the first installment about my second big Spring excursion: Grosmont & Skenfrith Epic (pt.1). I had yet another day of fantastic weather and I cycled my longest ride year-to-date. The next three features for this month take you to my Gallery section where I've been busy editing photos. First I've got a selection of images from or my Taff Trail project; Brecon Recce. Then I've got some photos I finally edited from a trip I made last year to Caldicot Castle. And then lastly, I've got a small group of Random Finds I uncovered whilst poking through my massive collection of image folders.

Mr. Crankshaw has cast his usual dispersions toward new cycling technology with a little rant about the latest Campagnolo groupset. While I did some basic tyre & wheel work for you to gander. I found two more rides from 2014 to update in the "Out from the Archives" and of course, I found another lovely bicycle to gaze upon.

I hope you enjoy this issue! cheers - cm
The Bwlch

RIDE w/ GPS - Parts of this ride might look familiar if you read my report "Nantymoel & Bassaleg Super 8" from this past February. This time, however; I took advantage of the wonderful spring day by climbing the long way over the Blwch. Check out my full-blown report at Ride with GPS: The Bwlch.

Grosmont & Skenfrith Epic pt.1

MY RIDES - This ride kicked my butt. Not only was it the longest I've made this year, but more significantly; it had the most climbing! Take a look at part 1 of my epic ride through some of the hidden parts of Wales. Grosmont & Skenfrith Epic (pt.1).

Brecon Recce

GALLERY - Yes, it's true. I finally made a trip to Brecon for my Taff Trail project. Here are a few pics from that day. I'm pretty excited too because the project is starting to come together. Check out a small preview: Brecon Recce. Meanwhile, I plan to have the first chapter ready for the June issue!

Caldicot Castle

GALLERY - Last year I made a trip to Caldicot just to visit this exceptional castle, then proceeded to forget about posting my shots. Whilst digging through my squirell's nest of backup folders, I found 'em! It's a great find for a great day out. Check out: Caldicot Castle.

Random Finds

GALLERY - Editing phtos is a full-time job for the kidd. Despite his best efforts, he loses track sometimes. I found these amoungst the "squirels nest" of folders he has piled about. Let me know what you think: Random Finds.

In the News & Gear Updates

Campagnolo 12-Speed Group Set
Okay. I admit that I'm a "retro-grouch". And I concede that I really don't give a shit about racing or racing bikes. But Jeezus! Is there really any need for a 12-speed groupset or more importantly, is there any real value at £3,000? Check out this review from Cyclist Magazine and tell me what you think?!?!

New Tyres & Old Rim
After nearly 8k, I finally put a new set of tyres on my trusty steed. The Schwalbe Duranos were excellent and I rode a full year on them (almost 8k miles). Yet, I am excited and curious to see how these new Continental Gatorskins compare. Plus, I had a little incident with a split rim... see photos!

Out From the Archive

St. Michael's Surprise
2014 - I'm still digging up rides from my early days in Wales. Check out this lovely little ride I made with the Kingfishers back in August of 2014.

Gelligaer Adventure
2014 - And I've got another one from August of 2014. This time I was out with the "Green Ladies"; a local cycling group back when Sustrans had a hub in Caerphilly.

Sexy Bike Alert!

Breadwinner: Continental
Steel lugged frame? Check. Down-tube shifters? Check. Rim brakes? Check. Non-aero brake cabling? Check. Steel fork with rake? Double-check! What kind of freaky bike is this? It can't be new. Oh but it is, my friend.

>> Coming next issue; June 15th 2018

  • My Rides: Grosmont & Skenfrith Epic (pt.2)
  • My Rides: Ogmore-by-the-Sea Odyssey
  • Charts: Goals; How am I doing?
  • Charts: Getting to the Core?
  • Gear: New/Old Camera