Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Llandudno and the Ormes

Work brought me to the North of Wales so I brought a bike.
After a pleasant stroll along the beach last night in the clear blue skies
 it was a shock to wake this morning to a rather wetter and windier day.
Being positive about it, by the time I had got back after work to my guesthouse the rain had kept itself to further inland and the wind didn't seem too bad. On with the lycra then, and making the most of the warmth it was short sleeves for the jersey. You are spared the pictures.
The plan was for a short ride to blow the cobwebs and the buffet lunch away.
Out to the Great Orme, up to the summit then back down and around before shower and tea.
Riding along the East shore the conditions were pleasant enough and I had nowt but diving and soaring crows for company.

It even felt rather warm indeed, despite the rain in the distance. Pressing on I took the left turn for the summit and dropped onto the granny halfway up as rounding a bend the wind made itself known. Bit fresh I thought as I passed St. Tudno's church.

If there's a better view to be buried with then I've not seen it yet. By the time I came to the tram crossing it was all I could do to keep upright.
Would be a lovely shot if it weren't for the tipper. Onwards to the summit then.
The wind was really fierce now and I did wonder if I were going to get dashed onto the road. It comes to something when you put your gloves back on despite the warmth in case you come a cropper. Finally there I was, looking out over the West shore and onto the hills beyond.
Trust me it was really, really windy.
Back around then and head back down the way I'd come up.
A lovely little bit of road.
Carrying on and it wasn't until I rounded the prominence that the wind was back with a BLAM!
The sort of wind that hits you hard from one side blowing you left, then bounces back off the rock face to your left and blows you right. 'It's easier if you go faster' I kept telling myself as I rode close the rocks on the left. Far better to be blown into them than over the low wall on the right and into the sea. If you think I was exaggerating then as I came down this descent at 30mph
the wind would hit and knock my speed down to 20mph. It was like having the brakes put firmly on by an unseen co-pilot.
The white horses were in full canter on the sea and once back to the guesthouse I had a look at the windspeeds; 28-37mph. That'll be why it felt pretty bracing then.
A good 10 mile loop.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bespoked Bristol

A good if wet day out yesterday over in Temple Meads, Bristol.
A really good turn out of bikes, frames and components. I couldn't pick one bike from the show that stood out for me, but manufacturer wise, it had to be Field Cycles from Sheffield.
I loved the truss forked 29er, not least because it was brown. Their handlebars and stems were a work of art. The paintwork was immaculate on all their bikes and parts.

Next up in my not-a-top-three was the Titchmarsh Long John cargo bike. Beautiful engineering on the hub centre steering and really nicely put together.

The final round up was outside. The Windcheetah was parked up outside and I really wanted to try it out.

So a few others that caught my eye.
Souplesse bamboo bike
14 Bike Co. x Royce
Hobo Bushwacker
Alchemy Arion carbon beast
Faggin leather bound bike

ERA in the new builder section with lovely Barry Sheene/Heron paint work.
Finally someone is having a crack at reinventing the wheel with Loopwheels
A good show, thanks to the organisers.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


My troubles weren't all so far away but it was close.
A good morning followed by an afternoon burning off calories.
Up on top of the hills over Monmouth it felt like Spring had actually come to visit.
The descent to Monmouth and then a café was swift and pleasant. Dry roads and smooth tarmac were a pleasure to feel under the wheels as the bike hummed and whirred.
Splitting off from my companion, Pete and taking the hilly route home there was one of those utterly placid moments where to have continued would have been wrong.

Contemplating the road climbing ahead, watching the farmer two fields across watching his horses and listening to the wind gently tapping at metal signs in the garage by the roadside I mulled over things in my head. I don't know as I resolved any of them but it felt a good thing to do. That cloud bank slowly drifted in and I set off up the hill.