24th January

Because of the current road conditions and the uncertainty of the weather over the weekend the decision has been made to postpone the 50 mile Reliability Ride scheduled for Sunday. It seems there may be an additional problem, with road works and lights on a railway bridge on the Flats and the possibility of road closure. Jeff has e-mailed as many members as possible and everyone will be informed of the new date when a decision is made.

Although a snow scene is always attractive, it is frustrating not being able to cycle for such a long period but it is not so unusual.

Some of you will remember 1983 ( I think ) when the Rhondda was totally shut down for almost a fortnight. The army was drafted in to help clear the roads and snow drifts were up to roof level.

Older members can think back to early 1963 with its deep snow. On that occasion, riding was almost impossible from the beginning of January with a mixture of snow, ice and freezing rain which continued on and off throughout the month.

On the 6th January, a small, intrepid group rode down to Llantwit Major and St Athan. Going toward Cowbridge only the triangle at the top of a roadside sign was visible because of the deep snow. Near Llandow there was no sign of the road and although it was clear after St Athan, it was impossible to see over the snow on either side of the road.

More snow followed in the first three weeks of February and then on 3rd March the clubrun went via Talbot Green to Swansea and back over the Rhigos.

The road was officially closed but we rode up past Tower Colliery with the track narrowing to car width and the snow at shoulder height on both sides. A small number of sightseers had driven up to the hairpin by the lake, which had frozen over and we rode past to come to an abrupt stop.

In those days the final part of the climb from the lake and round the top bend went through a deep cutting which was full of snow and we were faced with a ten foot wall of it. We hacked footholds in the snow, some of the boys climbed up and then reached down and grabbed the bikes as they were handed up.

There was no sign of the road from there, just pristine snow, so we walked across the top, passing a bulldozer and other equipment which had been snowed in. The army were apparently sent in to blast the snow away but failed. We had to walk all the way down to the watchman’s hut before it was possible to ride again.

We were tough in those days !

Posted in 2013 News, January.