Tuesday, 11 June 2013


is a picture is worth a thousand words ?

70 miles door to door, 1000 metres of climbing, 6000 calories.

day 1 - 40 miles, 12inch subway sandwich, chicken jalfrezi, chocolate pudding, tea, whisky, cold and windy, 5 hours saddle time.

day 2 - 30 miles, no food, little drink, downhill pretty much all the way, 2 and 1/2 hours saddle time.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Sunburn on Anglesey

Early start on Monday saw me at Conway RSPB for a stroll around the reserve, nothing of note to report but the salty air, soon enough I was back on the island and parked up at Beaumaris, the plan was to head north and explore around the Penmon headland then uphill stepply to drop down to Fedw Fawr for more bird watching, however....

3 miles in and I stopped at a car park to take in the view over the Menai Straits, propped the bike up and retreated to a bench, bang, over goes the bike, blown by the wind, rear mech hanger bent !

Being a good boy scout I had a spare hanger in my saddle bag, annoyed with myself for letting this happen I set about exhanging it, well, I got as far as unwrapping the multi tool to realise that there isn't a 1.5mm allen key on the tool, I had no choice now other to bend it back straight and hope it would last until I could find a suitable allen key. I knew that there wouldn't be any chance of getting one where I'd planned to go so headed back to Beaumaris, none to be found here but I was told that there was a hardware store in Menai.

5 miles in blistering sun later and I had the right size allen key in my possesion, but as the gears were now shiftng better than before I decided to leave well alone, if the worst should happen I now had the means to change the hanger out.

By now it was dinner time so I had a bag of chips (and half of the most disgusting cheese and onion pie ever) and headed over to llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch for a cold drink, and then back to plan A.


Along the way I stopped for a while to watch a Buzzard toying with a couple of crows, or was it the other way round ? and then on to the priory at Penmon for a scratch around, I've no religous beliefs at all but find old churches, well all churches, interesting places

Heading back to the car and another stop for a drink and cool down to be greeted with this wonderful view across to the hills of Snowdonia

And then a final explore, I'd spotted a well defined track just off the road last time I was here so decided to check it out, it was obviously a footpath but with no "no bikes" signs and no one around I headed up it, about a half mile in and the trail headed upwards into a thickly tree lined woods, then some wood work over a stream leading to a clearing and a middle ages castle that I never knew existed, nothing spectacular but an exciting find for me. On the way back down I could smell wild garlic so followed the trail (and my nose) to see where else this trail went, eventually coming to a stile and a "no bikes" sign, looking over the stile I could see the source of the smell.

30 hot and dusty miles today and I was toast.

Tuesday came soon enough and I decided to head west along the coast, once again to Cemlyn for an hour to start a new book, The Lands Wild Music by Mark Tredinnick, essays about the land, engrossing stuff but also requires a lot of concentration, I think this will take some reading :-)

Again, big blue skies, a light breeze, and no people !, moving onto Carmel Head and again no people, lots of Fulmars on the nest and a single solitary porpoise.

Lunch at the windmill and more churches and chapels to explore, another 30 miles, this time at a leisurely pace so not so done in at the end of the day.

Wednesday and Thursday I'd planned as walking days, and thats what I did, Newbourough Beach on Wednesday and then local to the hotel on Thursday.

I saw this old chap struggling along the beach on a standard mountainbike, he was enjoying his day out regardless and I thought it churlish to tell him about fat bikes on sand so we just chatted about the weather and the tides.

I called into South Stack on the way back, stonechats, wheatears, skylarks and more in attendance as well as the usuall Guillimots and Razorbills.

And then an hour at Cemlyn watching and photographing the Terns

more Terns here http://www.flickr.com/photos/45689323@N00/sets/72157633953635421/

Thursday was a good 10 miles walking, headed to Cemlyn via the Wylfa nuclear power station, was atonished just how close I could get to the facility, presumabley I was being closely watched on the CCTV, more Tern watching, they didnt seem to be as successful at fishing this time, many coming back to land with nothing.

Then back to Caemeas for a sandwhich and then out the other way south to Llanbadrig church and Porth When.

2 pair of Choughs, numerous Fulmars and Gannets far out at sea.

Friday and time to head home, but of course the sun was shining brightly so more riding required, a quick spin out to the far side of Cemlyn, back to town and out around some new to me lanes on the other side, just seeing where they go and how I can link these up with others for a coastal back lane ride I'm starting the think about.

Bike packed in the car, and I'm away home, but then I'm thinking about the cream tea I had a Penmon on Monday, and I'm thinking that I'm not in a rush to get home....

Before I know it, the bike is out of the car, reassembled and I'm pedaling along the coast again, savouring this wonderful weather, by now I'm fed up of taking photographs, content to just spin along and again find a few more links for the coastal back lanes ride.

A quiet 100 bike miles and 18 miles of walking, many pints of beer, good food, lots of reading and  sunburn to be proud of, another week of retirement ticked off :-).

Sunday, 2 June 2013

working again .....

Post Angelsey and I had a few days of work, photographing stuff for the CTC, it wasn't really work although I will get paid for it, best part though was spending time with my 2 favourite birds (well 2nd favourite after my wife obviously), getting time to catch up with their lives and time to ride bikes.

2nd best part was catching up with Biff and Ruth, albeit briefly.... 3rd best part was seeing Sam, again very briefly

No photos to share from this, but they will appear at some time, and I'll be back at the end of June to do more of the same.

Coming home early due to poor weather forecasts, of course they were correct and the right decision made, this allowed for riding from home.

Saturday saw a sharpish 35 miler, Salsa Vaya out to Pickmere and back

Tuesday a wet 15 miles exporing, change of bike to the old faithful Karate Monkey, along the canal into the city centre

Thursday a long and hard 63 miles, didnt eat breakfast, bonked like a schoolboy, stupid lesson learnt (I hope)

Friday a slow easy 47 miles, along the Cheshire lanes, to the fab cafe at Jodrell Bank

Sunday a fantastic 23 miles with Nick, nothing spectacular just riding along and chatting and enjoying each others company, hatching plans for more summer rides

and then Boom, I'm back on Anglesey, another week of touring my favourite place, exploring back roads and coastal paths, expect lots of pictures :-)