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!