Reading – Rhondda Tour

Tony’s Travel Diary

I left home on Sunday morning with “Shirley the Surly” and caught a train from Treherbert to Cardiff and then on to Reading. I picked up National Cycle Route 4 and followed the Kennet and Avon canal to my first stop, The Pelican at Froxley. The canal was quite pretty with lots of kingfishers, swans and hundreds of very colourful barges. 

On the second day I followed Route 4 through traffic free country lanes that climbed away from the canal and passed through a number of pretty villages with thatched cottages and pubs. I rejoined the canal about 8 miles from Devizes and struggled along the rough path into the town. After a couple of pints (and lunch) it was a much better surface on the canal path into Bradford on Avon where I was staying that night. I was joined by my mate Ty who was going to ride back into Wales with me on Tuesday. 

After breakfast we followed the canal to Bath and after riding through the city we picked up the 15 mile railway path to Bristol. This included a working steam railway section and a ride through a refurbished tunnel (similar to the proposed cycle way at Blaencwm). It absolutely poured down while we were having a pub lunch on the wharf in Bristol and a second downpour nearly caught us out as we started cycling again. Luckily we took shelter under some trees until it stopped. It was a considerable climb out of the city and over the downs before a decent to Severn Beach. The ride over the old bridge was a bit wild with a really strong side wind. This turned into a very strong headwind all the way to Ty’s house near Magor. The undulating last few miles went past Geraint Thomas’s house (very nice too). 

On Wednesday morning, Ty guided me into Newport where I picked up National Cycle Route 47. This followed the canal to Cross Keys before climbing the Sirhowy Valley along the lovely, wooded cycle track through the country park. I dropped down to Ystrad Mynach where unbelievably I lost the track and after adding a couple of miles trying to get back on course I took the main road across to Quakers Yard. Here I took the Taff Trail to Pontypridd before a final push up the valley and home. 

In all I covered 178 miles (all into a headwind) along a fantastic varied route that took me through some lovely countryside.

More Photos From Tony Tour :- http://acme-wheelers.co.uk/index.php/gallery/tony-rees-reading-rhondda-tour-2019

Some Late Starts for Dave Singleton

Sportzmad organised the first 10m TT of June on the R10/17 Course on the A40 east of Abergavenny.  This out and back course starts and ends on either side of the dual carriageway.  On a fine Saturday morning Dave Singleton’s target was to improve further on his 10m time the previous month. A large field of 72 riders hit the start line for this very popular event.  As it was a Saturday morning event riders had travelled from all over south Wales and the Midlands and south of England.

Dave would have been grateful for the lie-in on the Saturday morning after a hard working week, 9:42am was probably his first coffee break on site.  It must have suited him as his time of 22:57 was a half minute up on his Virtual CC 10m time.

Bynea CC organised a 25m TT on the R25/3H Course, we have been here before.  The Start Sheet listed 120 riders for the Sunday morning start at 10:01 am, yet another lie-in for Dave Singleton with a start time of 10:53.  The weather was quite reasonable though there was a little bit of wind.  The Acme Committee member was hoping for a PB in this event even though it was quite early in the season. In the end Dave posted 56.19, around 2 minutes over his PB this time.

Dave has a departure from his normal event schedule for July and we wish him well for that.