A record of my cycling trips in Britain and abroad


Welsh Wanderings

From a little while ago, in a country not very far away…

Just a brief writeup of a lovely little ride I had in Snowdonia. Despite the location, this ride isn’t as hilly as you may expect; although it certainly isn’t flat. The route, which was similar to the one shown, took us down the west side of the Conwy valley. I say down, as we travelled south, but really it should be up. We started pretty much at sea level, and ended up… higher. Actually, I didn’t know how much higher until I checked on a map, just now; and it turns out that Betws y Coed is only about 50 m or so above sea level. And I suppose as we started in the town centre in Conwy rather than on the seafront, and as it’s a hilly town, we were possibly at 20 m to start with. Anyway, it felt like we were going up. Significantly so, and I suppose we just descended a fair bit too! It was a crisp, clear autumn day, with not at all as much wind as forecast, and the snow on the peaks gave an impressive backdrop to the scenery. The conditions were almost perfect, and the ride reminded me I really like Wales; perhaps after all I can feel my ancestors’ blood running in my veins!



So, I ordered some new gloves the other day. I’ve been after some new gloves for a while; ones that I can use for spring and autumn, really. My hands get cold quickly it seems! I have a pair of windproof, somewhat water-resistant gloves that I’ve used for a long time now; I bought them back before I did my Alpine cycling holiday, from Ben Hayward on Trinity Street, and they’ve served very well. However, after several years of spring/autumn riding, and winter running, they’re starting to stretch around the cuff and let in the draughts. I’ve heard mixed things about neoprene gloves (basically, they keep your hands warm enough, but fairly obviously don’t let out any sweat; whether or not you like them seems to be entirely down to personal preference). Well, Sealskinz are a popular brand amongst rowers, at least for socks, so I when I saw a pair of Sealskinz neoprene gloves on sale at Tredz I thought I’d give them a try.


Unfortunately, the quality of the gloves really lets them down: the stitching on the inside is unbearably uncomfortable, even just wearing the gloves without riding in them. I can feel it digging into the ends of my fingers even just clenching my fists with the gloves on - honestly, it’s so bad it feels like I’d get blisters on my fingers if I tried riding in them. That took all of five minutes to decide, but after giving them another couple of goes over the next couple of days my opinion didn’t change, and it’s back in the post they go!


New gear

No, not that sort of gear.

A quick thanks to Tredz bike shop. I ordered a whole load of things from them last Thursday. I actually only meant to order some new lights and gloves… but then saw something else I wanted… and something else. Oh dear. Still, apart from new chainrings I don’t think I’ve bought any new bike stuff this year, so I guess it isn’t so bad. Anyway, I ordered the things last Thursday, and they arrived yesterday evening. That’s pretty good for international post! And from a company based in Swansea, no less.

Testing of new items to follow - watch for the next post for a review.


Saturday Sprint (ish)

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain outside my window. My room felt fairly chilly too (though my bedside thermometer was reading 15.7 C), and it was snug and warm under the covers, so I wasn’t feeling that inclined to get up! However, parkrun was calling; and by the time I’d cogitated on the world for a while, and actually risen and dressed, the rain had stopped anyway. It was still chilly on the way though, and I was almost regretting not wearing gloves.[Read More…]


Hadrian’s Wall

dscf0527.jpg Here’s a writeup of a ride I did a while ago. It feels appropriate to write it up now, since it was about the same time of year. It was a couple of weeks later, and though it felt rather warmer, the trip definitely had a fin de saison feel about it. In the end, that proved to be true, as it was the last chance for a proper bike trip that year before the winter winds set in.
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