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.

July 31, 2018

VOLUME 02 ISSUE 07 
Wonderful, Beautiful...


January is but a distant memory. Summer is here in its full glory and it is nothing short of fabulous. I honestly don't think I've seen a better summer since moving to Wales. I've had some great rides, so I've lots to share this issue. Let's get to it!

 
It's a slow climb up to Shirenewton, but the views are exceptional...


Basking in a glorious summer...

I've been cycling like I've never seen the sun and taking time to write about it has been surprisingly difficult. However, I needed a few days off so I scrawled out some notes about a ride I made over not one, but two popular mountain passes in my attempt to do what the big boys do: "Twin Peaks; The Bwlch and Rhigos".

I've been slowly chipping away at a few goals that I set myself last year. I achieved one of those BIG goals last week by completing my longest ride to date; 250k in a single day. Woohoo! Read about the details of my really long day; "A Record Ride".

While I'm talking about "epics", I finally completed editing the third and final part to my "Grosmont & Skinfrith Epic pt.3". It's been a long and tedious process which has taught me a lot about riding, writing, and maybe doing too much? You can also catch up with the previous posts here: Grosmont & Skenfrith Epic Part 1 and Part 2.

But not all of my rides this past month have been about big climbs, setting records, or being "epic" (which I'm beginning to over-use, btw...). I made a very special trip that captures the essence of why I love cycling through the Welsh landscape in: Llangorse Lake. Closing out my features this month I have two new sets of images in my Gallery to share; Man Engine and Shirenewton to Usk.

Big things are happening for cyclists in cities across the globe. So I've chosen to focus a bit on urban cycling in this issue's In the News section. Firstly, I've a link to a fellow blogger and cyclist from Cardiff who writes great stuff and just happens to be very active in the local planning scene. Then I present an article in Wired that covers a broader aspect of urban cycling with its massive analysis of riding bicycles in very big cities.

I end this issue with a re-post of an archived report from 2015 when I first discovered the Newport Wetlands. And lastly of course, I've another sexy bicycle for you to gaze upon.

I hope you enjoy this issue. Thanks as always for stopping by. Cheers! - cm

Twin Peaks:
The Bwlch & Rhigos



MY RIDES - Not just one mountain pass, but two in a row! I've climbed each of these routes seperately, so I thought it would be interesting to give 'em a go back-to-back. Check out my adventure: Twin Peaks: The Bwlch & Rhigos

A Record Ride


MY RIDES - At the beginning of the year I set myself a number of goals for 2018. I don't like to place a lot of importance on distances, but I've had an odd notion floating around my head of cycling 150 miles in a single day. I achieved that milestone on July 5th this year. Check out: A Record Ride.

Grosmont & Skenfrith Epic pt.3


MY RIDES - It's been a long hard slog behind the computer, but I finally finished writing, editing, re-editing, and writing some more about the last stage of my epic ride from April. Check out: Grosmont & Skenfrith Epic pt.3.

Llangorse Lake


MY RIDES - People have occupied Llangorse Lake for thousands of years. There aren't many natural lakes, so as Wales largest; it has a unique character that you can feel. I just love going there. Check out my ride: Llangorse Lake.

Man Engine


GALLERY - Ocassionally I volunteer as an Ambassador to Wales which often offers access to some unique and very engaging events. Man Engine was more than just an entertaining experience... it was friggin' brilliant! Check out: Man Engine.

Shirenewton to Usk


GALLERY - I've got a selection of images from this "new-to-me" route I discovered whilst training for my "Record Ride". I love this short route and now I've officially added it to my local favourites. Check out: Shirenewton to Usk.

In the News

Cities: Cardiff by Bike
It's interesting to watch how different cities address the ever-growing concerns with cycling differently. From New York to Seatle, from London to Amsterdam, they've all got unique infrastructures to manage. This fella is quite active with those efforts in Cardiff and his blog reflects those efforts with great writing and photography.

 
Wired: The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities
on the Planet

Having lived in New York City during the 1990's, I know the full extent of how unfriendly a big city can be. Much has changed through out the world with regards to cycling since then and these twenty cites seem to be getting it right.


Out From the Archive

Gallery: Newport Wetlands
2015 - I ran across these images whilst digging through my photo archive and I had forgotten all about them. Check out my first trip to this lovely nature reserve along the Gwent Levels in Newport during the summer of 2015.


Sexy Bike Alert!

Jamis: Aurora
I'm particularly biased toward this bike because my wife just bought one. As an entry level touring bike this is a dying breed. The spec, however; is spot on with a 9-speed Shimano Sora groupset, triple crank, bar-end shifters, 700 x 32c tyres, and even metal mudguards painted to match the frame colour. Check it out the old school sexy at: Evans Cycle.



>> Coming next issue; August 31st 2018

  • My Rides: Tredegar & Bassaleg
  • My Rides: Rhymney Meadows & Michaelston
  • My Rides: Chepstow to Newport
  • Archive/My Rides: 2014 - September - Penpont Campout (Maps!)
  • Archive/Gallery: 2014 - Sepember - Lady Windsor & Route 881
  • VIDEO: The Vaga Brothers
  • Charts: How I reached my goal.