Welcome friends. This humble blog is about the simple observations I discover whilst cycling through lovely Wales.
I hope to offer you dear reader, cheerful reflections upon the days and miles I pedal, along with encouragement to get out and explore by bicycle yourself! Perhaps too, if I attempt a bit of amusing anecdotes along the way, I may invoke your readership as well. Thanks for stopping by... cheers, muse

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Wales Ambassador Program

I have "borrowed" this image. But because I've just returned from an ambassador event, I thought I would take the liberty to "share" my enthusiasm as well as direct you to fabulous website.
Visit Wales

The site contains an enormous amount of useful travel information in a clean and attractive presentation and quite honestly, you can spend hours just noodling about. The photos alone are stunning. If you've not been to Wales or if you've lived here all your life, I'm sure you will find something new and worthy of your time. Go there.

Bike Wales in 2017
Now I've come back from the meeting in Blaenavon super-charged. Ruth Taylor-Davies hosted the event for approximately 50 ambassadors from across the Southeast Valleys. It was a first for me to see so many. We had a great brain-storming session with loads of thought-provoking ideas. So it inspired me to continue on my own unending diatribe singing the praises of this lovely little country... AND riding your bicycle!

I've three events lined up for this year:
  1. Alexander Cordell Heritage Ride (date: tbd)
  2. Crossing the Brecon Beacons (date: tbd)
  3. Newport Family Cycling Festival (date: September 23 & 24)

Each of these will have it's own page as the projects develop ,but for now you can view a sample of some work I've put together for the Cordell Country Heritage Tour here.

I have a tremendous amount of logistics to work out, as well as some technical issues behind the screen, so stay with me over the next few months as I try to sort the details. I will do my best, dear reader... to keep you updated.

Cheers, for now - cm

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

2016 Rides & Events

Rides Overview
Listed below is a basic break down of how 2016 went down. I kinda went nuts with spreadsheets, which you can witness in their full glory in the "Charts" section. But essentially, 2016 was a record year for both the overall distance and the number of days I was on the saddle.

  ☞  In 2016 I rode 9,609.3 miles over 164 Days.

I divided my rides into six basic types; however, some rides could be classified in more than one category. (ex: most all of the 100 mile rides were also "Solitaires"...) You may select the ride type to view additional details.

Ride Type Days Hours Distance Elevation
General Rides 40 184:18 1,619.3 96,413
Rides for Sustrans * 41 215:21 1,591.3 82,219
55 for 55 Event for Parkinson's UK 55 299:08 3,124.4 170,152
The Kingfishers 17 116:39 1,261.9 60,305
"Solitaires" 22 181:13 1,995.2 115,067
100 Mile Club 11 112:16 1,190.7 69,329

* These numbers include both going to and from events as well as the ride events themselves.

Events Overview
Many of the rides I made during 2016 were for specific events. The outlines of those events are shown below. Any additional planning and/or organising is in the following table.

Main Events Date Days Hours Distance
Sustrans Group Coordinator Day 02-12 1 6:30 61.4
55 for 55 for Parkinson's UK * 03-01 55 450:17 3,124.4
Sustrans Ride Leader Training 05-12 2 16:00 111.2
"Tidal Lagoon Ride" for Sustrans 06-17 1 2:00 66.2
"Bedwas ROCKS!" for Sustrans 06-25 1 6:00 26.6
"Share the Path" for Sustrans 06-26 1 4:00 28.8
Sustrans Volunteer Conference 07-02 1 6:00 50.7
"Road to Rio" for Sustrans 08-02 1 6:30 43.8
Cordell Heritage Ride ** 08-29 2 7:00 126.7
"Rhondda Tunnel Society Ride" for Sustrans 09-12 1 3:00 74.7
"Newport Family Cycling Festival" † 09-24 2 14:00 54.2
"Cardiff Council Bay Tour" for Sustrans 10-14 1 2:00 63.6
Volunteer Presentation for Sustrans 11-16 1 2:00 38.8
TOTALS: 70 525:17 3,871.1

* I created this event myself to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson's Research.
** This was a joint event between Sustrans and The Welsh Tourist Board.
† This event was co-sponsored by Sustrans, The National Trust, RSPB, and Newport City Homes.

Other Volunteering
Additionally, I also spent time planning events and volunteering at the Sustrans office. I've briefly outlined those efforts below:

Additional Activities Days Hours Distance
Newport Family Cycling Festival Planning 13 35:30 126.5
Dr. Bike Services at the Sustrans Office 2 10:00 73.2
Sustrans November Newsletter 3 10:30 51.2
Other Assorted Sustrans Activities 5 8:00 215.4
TOTALS: 23 64:00 466.3

In Summary
Separating my Sustrans and Parkinson's UK volunteering:

Sustrans Events Days Hours Distance
Main Events 15 75:00 746.7
Additional Activities 23 64:00 466.3
TOTALS: 48 139:00 1,213

Other Events Days Hours Distance
Parkinson's UK 55 450:17 3,124.4
TOTALS: 55 450:17 3,124.4

Friday, 28 October 2016

55 for 55 
Beginning, again...

“First you have nothing, and then, astonishingly, after ripping out your brain and your heart and betraying your friends and ex-lovers and dreaming like a zombie over the page till you can't see or hear or smell or taste, you have something.”
T. Corragasen Boyle

He walked down the stairs, turned at the coatrack and then headed down the hall, glancing briefly in the glass case as he passed, he briskly walked into the living room and flopped into the big chair.

Sonny looked down at his feet propped on the ratty footstool.... books of all sorts sprawled out across the floor before him.

There were two volumes of Encyclopaedia Britannica; JK - L and Ts- To...

Gombrich's "History of Art"...

a collection of inexpensive nondescript history books produced for television during the 1960's and inherited from his father that provided only a small surface of information, yet contained beautiful large colour plates...

then two very expensive geography books purchased for grad school having no other purpose than showing where places used to be...

a few other printed things that simply caught his fancy, including a short history of Roman culture and a brief overview on 17th Century French philosophers...

and a towering cup of coffee.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

55 for 55 
Rabbit, Walk

“… he is unlike the other customers. They sense it too, and look at him with hard eyes, eyes like little metal studs pinned into the white faces of young men [...] In the hush his entrance creates, the excessive courtesy the weary woman behind the counter shows him amplifies his strangeness. He orders coffee quietly and studies the rim of the cup to steady the sliding in his stomach. He had thought, he had read, that from shore to shore all America was the same. He wonders, Is it just these people I’m outside or is it all America?”
― John Updike, Rabbit, Run

Sonny stood on the back porch looking through the screen door across the vacant yard.

A wide dirty stump sat in the middle of the small lot where the old oak had been.

Bits of broken flower pots and an old tin jar lid lay strewn about its base.

Once there had been a rickety table made from an disused picket fence nailed up against the tree where his grandmother had potted plants.

The hinges were pulling away from the sides of the tool shed making the door creak slowly as the wind blew.

The grass out in the field beyond was tall and brown and needed to be cut.


Everything smelled precisely as it always had.

Monday, 24 October 2016

55 for 55 
Tom Sawyer's Gang

"But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can't stand it. I been there before."
— Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Some folks just don't care nuthin' 'bout the past.

Those forgotten stories don't seem to matter much...

What happened here and why?

So many lives lost to time...

Like sagebrush left behind to show us they were here.

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