A record of my cycling trips in Britain and abroad



Two days travelling along the banks of the Tweed: first westwards (loosely), and second back east to the coast. There was a fierce westerly wind blowing the whole time - guess which day felt easier! Despite being a cycle along the Tweed valley, I felt like we didn’t see a huge amount of the river. No matter though, it was lovely and rural, with some very quiet stretches; and on Saturday the downhill and comparatively sheltered stretch to the night’s stop made a welcome contrast to the uphill, into the wind climb immediately before.

This was also my first time staying in a ‘camping pod’; essentially a hut. The one we stayed in on Friday and Sunday had beds; Saturday night’s didn’t, but it did have a carpeted floor (and we had sleeping mats too). Strangely perhaps, Saturday’s felt much cosier than the other.
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Lon Las Cymru (3)

I decided to split this trip up into three chunks, as one would be too long, but as the half days at either end (we took from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon for the trip) wouldn’t quite warrant a full page on their own.

So the story resumes at a campsite just short of Hay on Wye…
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Lon Las Cymru (2)

We overslept on Sunday; (I blame the cheeseboard the night before!). Our late start was plagued by midges and a slow puncture - that reminds me of a particular morning in Scotland - but the early drizzle lifted, along with our spirits and our altitude as we settled into one of the biggest climbs of the trip. In contrast to the up/down nature of Saturday, this first climb was a long, steady, climb, and as it was above the tree line it was far more open, and the road ahead could be seen for several hundred yards. Early on a Sunday it was fairly clear of traffic, too, until we neared the summit of the climb. We were rewarded with a long glide down the other side, and the open scenery and sweeping bends (and good road surface) meant we clocked up a speedy descent. Much of the rest of the morning was spent following small roads through a country park and surroundings, with the sunshine casting glorious shadows through the pine trees. We found the perfect spot to stop, in a sunny secluded field of soft grass; and by this point lunch (pasta salad, a pasty and Eccles cakes) was well overdue.
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Lon Las Cymru (1)

Well, I like Wales, and I like cycling; why not put the two together? In fact, thinking about it, it seems strange that I haven’t really done it before. I’ve been walking a few times in Wales, but except for two days at the start of my Three Peaks trip (a long time ago now!) I hadn’t done any serious cycling in Wales. That was about to change.
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Feeling Peaky

But Peaky in a good way - in the Peak District! Two rides last weekend: one really nice ride on Saturday, around Hathersage and up through Edale, with Mam Tor as the biggest climb. It was lovely weather for it, if anything verging on too hot. Some good route planning saw us on very quiet roads for the majority of the way, with only a mile or two on busier roads. There were a fair number of other cyclists about, and also lots of climbers up on Stannage Edge taking advantage of the sunshine and the long summer days.[Read More…]