Last weekend saw the start of training in February, wet on Saturday so a good indoor session on the Tacx Neo – Zwift on the iPad helps the time pass quickly, although I really must get a fan to try and keep cool. At least training in the kitchen makes cleaning the floor afterwards quite easy!
Sunday was bright and sunny although pretty cold. Once I got going I warmed up quickly going through the lanes from Dinas Powys to Wenvoe. After climbing the “Tumble” out from Cardiff on the A48 (not the “proper” Tumble near Abergavenny) I decided to head towards the climb up into Pentyrch. I’d seen the route from rides on Strava and it was a reasonably challenging 10 minute climb for 3 km (about 1.5 miles) and a bit closer than going up the Valleys to the Bwlch (nearly 2 hours to get to the bottom of the hill before an 18 minute climb, and thats on a good day !).
I decided to stop off in Cowbridge for a well earned coffee and cake stop at Waitrose (free coffee with my loyalty card so why not). It was then a ride to Llantwit Major and the return via the coast road into a north easterly wind. I decided to drop off the main road into Porthkerry Country Park. For those of you unfamiliar with South Wales, it is a bit of a haven for dog walkers with lots of open grassland and walking trails in the woods. There is even access to a pebbly beach and a popular cafe. The highlight is the railway viaduct which is still used by the Valley Lines trains to Rhoose and Bridgend and freight trains to the Aberthaw power station.
The only blot on the ride was the colourful suggestion from a young passenger in a car that I should take advantage of a cycle path on the road near Barry docks. Once he learns to drive I’m sure he will realise that the Highway Code (Rule 63) says that use of cycle paths by cyclists is not compulsory – I wasn’t a winning member of the Buckinghamshire Schools Road Safety Quiz Team for 1983/84 for nothing! There are a number of reasons why I don’t always use cycle paths – pedestrians don’t appreciate having a cyclist on a shared foot/cycle path, they think I’m breaking Rule 64 – you cannot ride on the pavement. Also there can be quite a bit of debris on the cycle path (broken glass etc) which can cause punctures. There is usually enough space on the road for cars to overtake cyclists without too much of a delay.
It is now 7 months to go until the ride starts. I received an email from the organisers to book bike transport and travel to and from the start and finish which makes even more immediate!
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