Thursday, 30 August 2012


We have been having some crazy weather in the last week, but all has not been lost.

Bank Holiday Sunday the sun shone and we had a family day on the beach at Llansteffan.  It then poured down on Bank Holiday Monday. We had another family day in Brecon on Tuesday with the ladies shopping and the chaps canoeing, including my grandson's first trip in a canoe. Wednesday biblical rain!

So here we are on Thursday with a dry day and one for the bike.

I decided to pedal from my home and take in some of the lanes lying south and west.

You will see from the route (click) that there was a lot of need of the granny gear but it's all good practice!

I had two interesting bird experiences; the first with a blue tit flying alongside me for a few seconds and then a buzzard which flew directly in front of me for a short time.

On the return leg I came across a short section of flooded road but with feet up, managed to get through unscathed.

The trip was about 12 miles

Thursday, 23 August 2012


The forecast for today, Thursday, was looking reasonable with any rain later in the day. I decided on a trip around the Usk reservoir and perhaps an extension in the near vicinity.

Here is the route (click) and a picture below

The journey by car, when I turned off the main road from Llangadog to Ammanford, leads into some beautiful country with mountains and moors soon coming into sight.

This area introduced me to hill walking when two friends (one of whom I refer to now as "The Navigator" in my other blog (click) decided to show me what it is all about. It was a wet, turning to snow day and my dear wife suggesting they surely wouldn't go in this weather? So innocent.  A long story told short is that I finished wet, cold and in awe of Cyril, my other friend who had about 30 years on me who just strolled up the snout of one of the Carmarthen Fans as if it was flat.  He apparently said to the "Navigator" that's the last we will see of him.  WRONG.

I still get cold and wet but enjoy every hill and valley and now I also have the bike.

Back to the present. From the car park I took the road which leads down to the dam of the reservoir and where a number of people were fishing, some from the bank and some from boats. 

  I stopped for a while but no fish were seen. I carried on and the tarmac turned into a track which was  reasonably firm with some puddles - the bike's first mud.

I stopped on a few occasions to look at the views which took in the Carmarthen Fans and further away Corn Ddu and Pen - y - Fan of the central Beacons.

Before long I was back near the car and decided to extend the ride on the lanes which led away and then back to the reservoir and eventually my car.  Downhills are great but inevitably there is the equivalent up to contend with and although theses ups meant a stop for a breather , no dismounting was had.

I came across two farms who reared lambs, but not just any lambs.

One assumes that in by-gone days there were plenty of locals to warrant building a chapel in the middle of farming country.

A good few hours cycling in splendid countryside and the sighting of a number of red kites on the way home.

Tomorrow's main task will be to clean my bike.

Sunday, 19 August 2012


Whilst Andy was having his car fixed we went for a cycle ride from Tumble to North Dock, Llanelli and back.


No photos as again as I  forgot my camera.  However I was given a gift of a new phone later that day and it has an inbuilt camera so providing I remember the phone there should be pictures in future!

This was the first time I had cycled the whole of the Tumble cycle way and with the extension to North Dock AND back! We met a fair number of other cyclists, walkers and joggers.

We had a quick look around the Discovery centre which includes a bike shop with some fancy machines and some dodgy lycra apparel. Lunch was had overlooking Sandy Water Park where the caldera cone came in useful again.

The new bike performed well but it has wider handlebars than the borrowed bike I had been using and will not go straight through the special  gates to restrict motor bikes and I had to wiggle it through.

We reached my car just in time to miss the rain.


I have always liked the saying "Man plans and God laughs"  He certainly had a good guffaw today!

Andy, my brother -in-law was on holiday in Newgale Pembs and it seemed a good idea to meet in Haverfordwest as his wife would be passing though to visit a friend in Narberth and we would cycle the Brunel Trail to Neyland and back.

I had no idea it was the start of the Pembrokeshire show which is held on the outskirts of Haverfordwest.  The heavy traffic started some ten miles outside of the town for both me and Andy.

I had a text that Andy had taken his bike off the car and was cycling to our meeting point.  Then I get a call from Frances that the car had broken down just after she had left the town!  Luckily I was not far away and soon spotted her on the verge (off the road and a nervous breakdown).  I assumed the car had over heated but she said the gears had felt odd and she was barely able to move forward.

In a manly way I opened the bonnet and looked in, yes the engine was in place.  Andy then turned up and the breakdown company phoned.  In the meantime I made us coffee on the caldera cone. The breakdown guy arrived and soon found that a gear selector had come loose, a common fault apparently as they wear.  With a cable tie he made a temporary fix and we all went back to Newgale. Lunch was had and Andy and I set off to have a shorter bike ride as I was keen to try out my new bike.

Our route can be seen here Route (click).  Apart from the steep climb out of Newgale the route was reasonably flat and quiet.. 

We had hoped to use a green lane near Lochmeyler but it had also been used by cows with loose bowels so we turned back to tarmac and continued.  It was very hot to start but the temperature did reduce and it became more comfortable.  Near the south side of Brawdy airport we wheeled the bikes across a footpath to rejoin the main road and a steep down hill ride to Newgale.

  The beaches were busy with surfers and people enjoying the sunshine.  I am writing this on the day after and it is pouring down and blowing a hooley.