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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Magor ride

Yesterday was a really sunny day and four of us rode out to Magor.  Its an old village situated between Newport and Chepstow.  Nowadays its known because of the service station off the M4 motorway.  But its origins are Roman and in that period there may have been a small port here before the estuary silted up.  Roman coins and other artifacts have been found here.

On the route there we were lucky to find that the Transporter Bridge was up and running again after a long period of being out of action.  Its one of 6 working ones remaining in the world, so well worth the £1 to ride it.

In medieval times Magor was an administration centre for Tintern Abbey and the Procurators house remains.  He would have been responsible for collecting the tithes due to the Abbey

 Magor has the village square with its War memorial taking centre place

and the inevitable cups of tea.

Here's the route.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

RHS in Cardiff

In the previous post I showed you a couple of pictures of the setting up and so here's a few of the actual show.

Not much commentary needed as the flowers speak for themselves, and Roald Dahl's Big friendly Giant welcomed everyone arriving.

With  the crowds  and the jostling for position it was often difficult to take the pictures of the plants.

This was a great idea for attracting bees and insects.

A bubbling mud pool

I never realised there were so many types of daffodils.

Some which caught my eye.

Its always nice to end with a classic old van.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Street Art and more

As the sun was out I thought I'd better be out too, so I wandered towards the City on the bike.  
I stopped off at where we used to have an allotment about 30 years ago and went back to the plot to see if the apple tree my daughter grew from a pip was still there.  No, but the plot and the adjacent plot is now a Community Garden for Riverside.  Its looking in good shape too.

This street art is on the side of the Parks changing  rooms and relects the scene below it.  It certainly brightens up a blank brick wall.

If you want to camp in  Cardiff  the Council run a campsite within a mile of the city centre. 

These magnolias have always been a favourite but the blooms wont last much longer.

Every Spring the City hosts the Royal Horticultural Show event and the site is nearly ready. 

Next to the site is the canal walk to the City Centre going past Cardiff castle.

On the cycle track going out of the City are these paintings on the telephone exchange boxes.  I've often passed them but never had a close look.  The artwork doesn't impress me a lot.

But this beautifully restored MGB did.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Barnstaple to Taunton

Day 1  was an early start, 5.45 am, so we were at Cardiff Central station by 6.30 ready for the train, first to Bristol, change there for Exeter and then the Barnstaple train.  Changing trains at the best of times can be a hassle but with bikes and panniers it's more so, especially as trains will only wait at stations for a specific time, in some cases 40seconds.!!.  Not only that, despite having booked your bike onto a train there's no guarantee of a place, because the system doesn't inform the train guards that bikes are booked on.  Its a crazy system.  But basically the train companies regard bikes on trains as a pain and only pay lip service to it.  Not like years ago when there was a goods van on the train.  If you have a moment take a look at this clip.  

Much of the ride was on Route 51,  its a very hilly and if  you decide to cycle it you may want to look for alternatives.  The main roads are relatively quiet but are wide enough to cycle with care.

Views from Coombe Martin

Some of the lanes are in a bad state so  you need good tread on your tyres

Some of the hills, double chevron jobs, were just too much for us, age, and carrying panniers were against us.

But as with all rides there are good bits and riding on this stretch was rewarding, especially as there was a nice pub selling teas.

This is Lorna  Doone  country with Exmoor looking good.

Its downhill all the way to Porlock via this tollroad.....£1 for cyclists, but well worth it just for the joyride with sweeping bends.

No Pictures of Day 2 but it was another hard day with lots of climbing for the first 20 miles and then then for the last 17 miles or so on great cycling roads into Taunton.

This trip was the forerunner to an event we are running in late June, cycling from Plymouth to Cardiff, but after cycling this bit we will alter the route to cater for everyone going.   Whilst there are better cyclists than us going, there are some who wont be up to all the hills.

Here's the routes,
   Day 1  

 Day 2