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.

Monday, 15 January 2018

New Year & New Plan

I'm hoping for a bigger & better year of cycling in 2018. In my first issue this year I've laid out a number of distinct goals, so sit back and hang on!

You may have read that I failed to reach any of my goals for last year and despite having some pretty significant numbers (see: 2017 Yearly Totals), I'm upping the ante with a new set of goals which are bigger and bolder!

I've also got this new blog structure to support. You may have noticed that I've taken on the role of publisher as well as author and this is going to be a tricky devil to maintain. Hopefully, you'll enjoy reading some of the articles I uncover.

The BIG Issue

A New Hope
With respects to Star Wars, I too have taken on a new approach to my blog. Back in the day when websites were just beginning, everyone was trying to be a "portal". Well, here I am 20 years later and trying to do the same thing. See what you think of my ideas in "A New Hope".

Goals for 2018
It's a challenge to keep yourself challenged. Fortunately, I love cycling in this lovely little country and there's plenty to explore. Read about some of the interesting places I want to visit as well as some of the numbers I'll be chasing throughout the year in "Goals for 2018".

Grwyne Fawr Reservoir
I made a pledge to write up all the great rides for which I failed to report in 2017. And now it's happening. You can read my first "catch up" instalment about a great little adventure I shared with my pal Deano back in October of 2017 in : "Grwyne Fawr Reservoir".

Rhymney Meadows
Sometime in 2013/14 the online photo editing website I was using "lost" a number of my photos. I've been wanting to restore/rebuild many of these older blog posts dating from that era. Digging through thousands of images across multiple systems has been tough! But, I'm getting there slowly. Here's a little peek: "Rhymney Meadows".

Cajamarca to Guamo
I've been catching up with Curtis & Jenny Shaw as they continue their cycle journey through Central & South America. Two crazy kids having crazy, wonderful adventures. Warning! It's addictive reading! Check out their latest exploits: "Cajamarca to Guamo".

Thanks for stopping by. I'll see ya down the road.

Cheers! ~ cm

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Platitudes and Altitudes

2017 was an outstanding year for me and cycling in Wales. In my last issue for 2017 I'll be highlighting a selection of events outside the obvious that characterised and helped shape this unique year.

I cycled on 122 individual days and covered almost 8,000 miles, so it's pretty easy to simply highlight some of the wonderful rides I made. Yet, little things like writing for a different website, or breaking my camera, and even trying out new tyres had surprising effects on my year and shaped the way I rode.

Some of the contributing factors were planned and some were shockingly unplanned. Sometimes just getting off the bike and walking made the ride unique. So I hope you enjoy reading about these little details which had a big impact on my year in 2017.

Featured Platitudes

A Camera for a Cyclist
In November I fell off my bike and broke my "good" camera. Now I've resorted to using a smartphone for documenting my rides. Read about the features I'm interested in along with some of the cameras I'm considering for a replacement in my ridiculously detailed article; "A Camera for a Cyclist".
Bike & Hike
Despite my love for seeing the world by cycle, there are many interesting places to see that one can only reach on foot, ie. the top of mountains! Read about four exciting adventures I had in 2017 using this latest approach to cycling and exploring this fabulous little country in; "Bike & Hike".
Ride w/GPS - Ride Reports
Ride with GPS introduced a new feature this past spring which threw me for a loop. Suddenly they were offering a far more attractive blog component to their website - one that put this old site to shame! Take a look at some of the best cycling reports on the Internet at; "Ride w/GPS - Ride Reports".
Writing About the Past
I've no shortage of content. My main problem is taking the time to write. I ride so much and take so many photos that my material collects faster than I can properly report about it. Check out my thoughts on 2017 as well as what plans I have for the future in; "Writing About the Past".
2017 Yearly Totals
I didn't reach my goals for 2017, but a close inspection of my numbers yields some interesting and rather surprising results. You can sort through all the gory details in the "Charts" section of my blog or skip to my yearly review in; "2017 Yearly Totals".

Thanks Wales for being so lovely and thank you, dear reader, for stopping by...
seeya down the road.

Cheers! ~ cm

Thursday, 2 November 2017

A Modest Life

From the complex comes the simple. Within chaos, calm floats. It doesn't take a great mind to observe the world around us, however; cutting through the nonsense and the useless aspects of life to form a clear perspective takes plain thinking. At least that's what Einstein suggested. Good advice sells for $1.3 million.

Rain locked. Day seven.

Autumn finally hit us with a week of typical British cold rainy weather. I can't complain because overall, the weather has been spectacular this year. In fact, many places in the UK have recorded their driest summer ever. So... with that said, I have to emphasise that I've had a great year of cycling.

And I did get out of the house this week, but whilst riding down from Manmoel I slipped on some loose gravel and down I went. I didn't notice til I go home that I had broken my camera. So while I'm taking a break (pun intended) from photography, I'll use this opportunity to focus writing about some of the wonderful rides I've had this past summer and fall.

Lastly, as part of my ongoing project to retrieve reports from my archive, I've got two special rides from 2013 for your review. I hope you enjoy!

Featured Rides

Hay-on-Wye & Hereford Epic
Back in June of this year I made my longest single-day ride: 135 miles, 19 hours, with over 8,000 ft. elevation gain. It might sound presumptuous, but for me it was epic. Its' taken me a while to organize the images and process the day. It all seems like a dream now. Read about my eight part trip-of-a-lifetime to Herefordshire.
To the Top of Manmoel!
Manmoel has been on my radar as part of my "Bike & Hike" series for well over a year now. Last week I finally made the big push to climb the hill/mountain (1,489 ft.) and I couldn't have asked for a better Autumn day. The weather was spectacular and everything just fell into place (pun intended) for an "almost" perfect day. Read about my adventure and then checkout the gallery of images.
Grosmont & Garway Ramble
The rain poured down so we changed plans. We did not climb the Gospel Pass as intended, but we did have an interesting ride through Grosmont and onto Garway where we explored St. Michael's Church. It was my second trip there and you can see a collection of photos from our ride last month as well as read about our trip back in 2012.

Out From the Archives...

Lovely Day For It...
I hadn't been in Wales but a few years when I discovered Fochriw and it quickly became one of my favourite spots to visit. It's so close and yet so desolate. I think I captured it pretty well back in 2013.
Carreg Tegernacus
Sometimes ya just get lucky. No one had told me about this place... I just went exploring! Join me again as I relive one of the most wonderful discoveries I've made whilst cycling in Wales

Coming next issue...

Will I reach my 2017 goals?
Take a look with me over some of my numbers as the year nears its end.

What am I planning for 2018?
Take a peek into my noodle and see what I'm thinkin', if you dare!?!?