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.

August 31, 2018

@ the moment...

It's the middle of August - blackberry season, time to bale hay. Rain has reappeared with typical British frequency, the temperature has dropped, and I'm sat inside. Our brilliant long-hot summer is suddenly moving behind us.

Summer oats under a late afternoon sky...

Heavy thinking...

August always puts me in a contemplative mood. Perhaps this stems from my "back to school days" of youth and the combined feelings of starting something new mixed with the melancholy of something else coming to an end. So this is where I am today; excited about fall, yet looking back over an outstanding summer of bicycle adventures.

I start off this issue recounting my wonderful summer with a short(ish) ride through several valleys both near and dear to my heart in; "Rhymney Meadows & Michaelston". I follow this with two further afield by exploring the rich diversity of the Brecon Beacons National Park in; "Gospel Pass Epic pt.1", and then I ventured east to England for my "Forest of Dean Epic".

Sometimes I just stumble across a great shot, but mostly I just shoot like a madman. Often too, I find that I have a large number of images from a single area that wouldn't make for a full ride report. And that, dear readers; is what I've got for you in three new galleries this month: "Chepstow to Caldicot", "Llantony Priory", and "Taff Trail to Brecon Recce, pt. 2".

In the News this month I've found some entertaining video of the Vaga Brothers exploring Wales followed by some rather sobering personal revelations about my goals. Plus, I've restored two great ride reports from 2014 and lastly of course, I've found another sexy bike for you to ponder.

So sit back and join me with a series of images and stories from the summer of 2018.

Seeya down the road. Cheers! - cm

Rhymney Meadows
& Michaelston

MY RIDES - I don't have to cycle far to experience the beauty of Wales. Check out my modest little ride through the Rhymney, Ebbw, and Sirhowy valleys that surround where we live: Rhymney Meadows & Michaelston

Gospel Pass Epic pt.1

MY RIDES - What started as a simple ride to Hay-on-Wye grew into something much, much bigger. Take a look at the first entry of my three-part feature on cycling the highest road in Wales. Check out my: Gospel Pass Epic pt.1.

Forest of Dean Epic

MY RIDES - I wish I had shot more photos from this trip, but the images I have only whets my appetite to return. It was a wonderful day and a pretty amazing ride which relects the fabulous summer we had during 2018. So why not check out my ride: Forest of Dean Epic.

Chepstow to Caldicot

GALLERY - NCN Route 4 from Chepstow to Caldicot is just a nine mile section out of the massive 432 mile route that crosses all of the UK. I finally compiled a few images to showcase why I like this one. Check out: Chepstow to Caldicot.

Llantony Priory

GALLERY - It's terribly easy to miss because you can't see it from the road, but if you're climbing the Gospel Pass - you simply must take the time to visit Llantony Priory. Check out my full gallery of images from: Llantony Priory.

Taff Trail to Brecon Recce pt.2

GALLERY - Whilst doing some preliminry research for my Taff Trail Project, I happened to capture a few images I thought worthy a small gallery. Check out: Taff Trail to Brecon Recce pt.2.

In the News

The Vaga Brothers: What is Wales?
YOU TUBE - It's light-hearted, yet in-depth. These fellas do a great job exploring our little part of the world. Plus, they take the time to produce seven episodes giving time to castles, coal, and culture. It's loads of fun, so check 'em out!

About Goals
CHARTS - My goals for 2018 have been quite a learning experience. This year I set out to achieve some pretty big goals and whilst I've still a few months left, I'm taking the time to reflect on what I've learned so far.

Out From the Archive

Penpont Campout
MY RIDES / 2014: Somehow I had lost this post, but I came across a collection of the images whilst digging around through my archive. Now I've rebuilt the report (with additional photos added from a later ride) to recount one of my all-time favourite campouts and a truely magical place to visit.

Lady Windsor & Route 881
MY RIDES / 2014: I discovered this route just by chance and it holds a special charm for it was my very first ride across this isolated section of NCN Route 47. It's not the easiest ride, but it's incredibly rewarding as it takes you high above the Cynon and Rhnodda Fach valleys.

Sexy Bike Alert!

Kona Sutra
The 2019 Kona Sutra has most everything a cycle tourist could want with a touring bike - right off the peg. Disc brakes and through-axles are here to stay, so if I'm going to continue looking at bikes, I've got to get with the program... but damn, I miss the curved front fork. Check out this sexy new bike. What are your thoughts?

>> Coming next issue; September 30th 2018

  • MY RIDES - Hirwaun & Brecon
  • MY RIDES - Castle Nos & More
  • GALLERY - M&B Canal
  • GALLERY - Usk Castle