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
Monday, 30 April 2012
So to compensate with the cabin fever that has set in (day 4 not riding my bike and I can only clean so much...), I've decided to redesign the website. I had been contemplating this issue for quite a while, but following the urging from several users and the suggestions from the talented MJC Designs, here we go!
This will be an ongoing process for the next several weeks as we restructure the site to include several new features as well as better showcase some of the existing such as maps and charts.
If things seem a bit chaotic or disjointed, bare with us. We'll be back; bigger and better than ever. Cheers, muse.
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
But I guess I can take this "opportunity" to do some other bike related tasks. Like... reparing my bike shoes! Now I've had these shoes for for many-a-mile ... far longer than you would guess. And I have taken great strides to care for them cuz they's super awesome. So get ready... I have had these shoes for 20 years.
|UHU glue not shown...|
That's right. I bought these shoes in 1992 while living in Manhattan at a little cycle shop on 14th street in the Lower East Village. Now I must admit that I haven't used them consistently. There were long periods of time when I didn't cycle, years even. But still...
|Why did Nike stop making these shoes?...|
I also want to address toe clips for a moment. Americans seem to have lost the notion of bike shoes with toe clips. All you see are either flat pedals or clipless pedals. And that's completely mind boggling to me, because toe clips RULE! With toe clips you get the best of both worlds; you can wear street shoes or cycle shoes... and you can move your foot around if your foot is feeling a bit tired or cramped while still benefiting from the additional torque of being "clipped in".
So kids... get yerself some toe clip pedals. Stop that clacking around in yer clipless shoes (ya ain't gonna win no Tour de France and ya bug the hell outa folks too...). Relax... enjoy your ride. Walk like a normal person when ya stop for a burrito and beer at that wacky pub ya found outside of town.
Now I'm a goin' outside and do a sun dance! cheers... muse
Sunday, 22 April 2012
|Along the Taff River during a brief respite from the rain...|
I set myself a goal to get 15 days of riding in for the month of April. I wasn't going to focus on the overall mileage, however I did cross a milestone last week with 1,019.34 so far this year. Regardless... it is the 22nd of April and I've only ridden 10 days. Now I'm facing the fact that I need to ride my ass off this week.
|and I've yet to tire of Caerphilly Castle...|
So I'm going to clean my bike today and ride tomorrow, then Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and the following Monday. With that I'll make the 15 days and should have well over 500 miles for the month.
♥ Route Details: Secondary roads for 2 miles from Oakdale to Pontllanfraith. NCN 47 from Pontllanfraith to Quakers Yard. NCN 8 from Quakers Yard to Nantgarw. NCN 4 from Nantgarw to Bassaleg. Local bike route from Bassaleg to Rogerstone. NCN 47 from Rogerstone to Pontllanfraith. Secondary roads for 2 miles back from Pontllanfraith to Oakdale.
Totals: 51.68 miles. Time: 7.5 hours (including stops) Avg. Speed: 6.89 mph
I have ridden in the hail... I got soaking wet and froze my skinny ass off... Did I have a good time? Hell yes! I even had the time to take some photos... so here ya go until next time. Cheers, cm
|Nice looking road signs way out in the country...|
|Nice looking flowers way out in the country...|
|Nice looking country way out in the country...|
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
|Photo Credit: John Wilson|
|The view up toward Hollybush...|
Now it's an easy-peasy coast of 4 miles down through the spectacular Sirhowy Country Park. The paths have been widened, the trees and underbrush have been cut back... essentially they have completely re-groomed the park.
|Entering the park from the north...|
|Friendly observers along the way...|
|and more friends...|
At the southern end of Sirhowy Park the trail veers off toward the village of Cross Keys with a short hop through Waunfawr Park and into Risca. You have to get on the road for a short bit, cross the railroad tracks and then climb up onto the Monmouth & Brecon Canal path (around 3 miles...). But now it's now smoothe sailing all the way down to 14 Locks (another 4 miles).
|Joining the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal at Risca...|
|Looking back up the Sirhowy Valley from the canal path...|
Now take I a break. There's a quaint little information facility (with clean restrooms)... benches to sit upon and relax...a pond with ducks. Time for lunch... (I've ridden 24 miles so far.)
|Arriving at 14 Locks...|
So... to get back home I turn around and repeat the same ride I just made but in reverse. Overall, I'm on the road with cars for two miles through Blackwood and Pontllanfraith (twice), a mile from Waunfawr Park to the M&B Canal (twice)... and a couple of miles between Oakdale and Blackwood. That works out to around eight miles of roadway and 40 miles of cycling paths. Not too shabby I would say.
For the stats; the 48 mile round trip ride took me 5 hours (including stops)... for an average of 9.6 mph. Using the MapMyRide website to follow my course (see above map), it measured the elevation gain at 1,949 feet. Again... that ain't too bad.
The question looms; am I prepared for a ride with the boys? Find out on my next post...
Friday, 13 April 2012
Wednesday, 11 April 2012
Sunday, 8 April 2012
That is if we ever get a summer. We were teased with a week of fabulous warm spring weather at the end of March only to be hit with this nonsense the first week of April (see image right). Yeah... look at it. It's friggin' SNOW!... IN APRIL!, which I can say I had never seen at this time of year. And I'm not happy. Easter has certainly proven to be quite different in Wales.
So it's Sunday and the Met Office is calling for heavy rain (again) for the remainder of the week. I kinda doubt it will be that extreme (since they are like most forecasters... wrong!). But we shall see. I want to get at least a 50 mile ride in before Thursday when I will again be riding into Cardiff. My goal is to get at least three rides in this week.
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
(Brian, John, Graham, and Ivor)
They call themselves the "Kingfishers". And a smarter man might have chosen to merely hear the story... yesterday however, I naively took the bait to join these fine gentlemen on a leisurely ride through the country.
With Easter coming next week I get some time to recover, train, and prepare, so in a fortnight my friends... I shall see you again... and we will ride The Valleys of Wales.