Isn’t life strange? Little did we know that Gary W. is a cycling gymnast and dancer! Despite regulation 36B (second paragraph) in the club rule book stating “No dancing allowed at the Liberty” (or anywhere else) Gary insisted on dancing the fandango on his top tube. Sadly it all caught on with John C. trying to loop the loop on the ramp when setting off. fortunately, all these acrobatics didn’t end in tears and we all set off for the challenge of Marsh road. The split came at Port Talbot, the faster riders setting off up the Afan valley on the road whilst the slower members went via the cycle path dodging dog poo and pushchairs.
“The coffee machine isn’t working” (now where have i heard that before?) said the waitress at the Valley cafe in Maesteg. We stood there wet and bedraggled in disbelief. We’ve just been over the col de Cearau luv” we said “We need sustenance” Oh! alright ,if you wait 10 mins I’ll brew up. True to her word, we emerged refreshed, with weather improved we flew down the valley to Tondu. Ian T. did a sterling job helping John C. limp home with broken spokes in his back wheel, whilst I shepherded Nick the beard back to Swansea as he didn’t know where he was.(This is not unusual with certain club members) I am told to remind you all that we are meeting at the Liberty at 9.00 a.m. next Sunday and every Sunday until it gets really dark in the mornings. So 9.0 a.m. then for the Hill climb championship and the club run points presentation. Bob H. P.S. New season club runs begin on Oct. 14th. Those interested in going on the Aberystwyth weekend please contact Trevor. There are 6 club run points for that weekends ride. Bob.H club captain.
July 22nd 2018
I love my bike(s) and I am very attached to them, but after spilling my gooey energy gel over my hands I found I was stuck fast to the handlebars. It took several members using tyre levers etc. to prise me off my bike and unsuper glue me from the bars. Members kept well away from me until I washed my hands outside the New Inn pub ,but were reluctant to shake hands! The ghostly image of John Franklyn appeared at the Liberty. There was a lot of poking and prodding to see if it was flesh. We were further alarmed to see the spectre of Marc Noall appear from nowhere on a pink bike, which also turned out to be real. (Mark and the bike) Simon H. John F. and Dave the Gough headed back to the city at 7 sisters whilst the rest pressed on towards Penderyn .After we were joined by Phil Graham the fast group decided the cafe stop was to be the Brecon mountain centre,whilst Bob plunged down the hairpins to Ysdradfellte. I was towed down the Neath valley by 8 riders from Ogmore valley Wheelers who seemed to be having a team time trial. I think they were hinting at something when one said”Would I like to take a turn at the front”? Bob H.
July 15th 2018
Coffee 1 in Brecon seemed a good idea for some but others with a typical cyclists acumen for seeking out the best coffee deal went to Greggs around the corner! Leaving the town the fast group decided to return by way of the reservoirs, whilst Ian T, John C and me headed for Mynydd Illtyd and another cafe stop at The “Old School” in Defynnog. After sitting lazily for far too long we began the long trek back down the Swansea valley, only to stop when John C discovered he had left his helmet behind at the cafe!
July 1st 2018
“I know a fabulous B road to Carreg Cennen” said Mark W. in one of his more frivolous moments. Eagerly he led us to our doom and a succession of steep hills and cattle grids. The strange phenomenon was that the further we cycled the further we appeared to get from Carreg Cennen. After spiralling around the castle several times we achieved touchdown at the cafe,much to the relief of the “fast” group, who thought we had totally disappeared, probably abducted by aliens etc.
Congratulations to our two” French” Bulgarians who did well to get round the challenging endless course and who hopefully missed the thunder showers on the way back. Bob H.
June 24 th 2018
Question, what’s the difference between a red plastic bottle of tomato sauce In Mr. Carpanini,s cafe and Bobs bidon? Answer…ones got tomato sauce inside,Bobs bottle hasn’t! Please could someone tell Nathan the difference before the next time he squirts electrolyte drinks onto his cheese buttie. This was one of the big tests of the year for the club captain. Failure to get round the course would result in immediate banishment from the club and a severe beating. I narrowly missed both! We approached Penrhys monument and Maerdy mountain with the greatest respect and the judicious use of a 30 tooth sprocket.. The weather and the breeze was with the 5 Swansea wheelers .A great ride.Hope my legs recover by next Sunday. Bob H.
Sunday 17th June 2018
Forgetting it was Fathers day, three ,less than wise members set off up the Swansea valley and decided it was not a good idea to go any further than Ystradgynlais…..which we didn’t! Not everybody has a valley you know. People who live on coastal areas and flat bits of the country don’t have a valley to call their own. If you live in South Wales and don’t have a valley, you are regarded as nobodies and despised. Everybody should have a valley to their name. Jeremy D. has TWO valleys as he lives in Rhos which he is always bragging about. Simon H. tried in vain to persuade us that there is a valley in Langland….no way. Goytre and Dulais valleys are less desirable than say Neath valley which has it’s own road and was nominated “valley of the year 1066”, cost us a fortune at Sotheby’s. All valleys have to be naturally formed as it is illegal to create your own valley, Dare valley is very suspect. Rob M, David Gutierrez and Bob H. got wet going down the Dulais valley and decided to go home to, hell with valleys. Bob H.
Sunday 13th May 2018
Trevor Thor Lloyd (That’s right, Thor is the god with the hammer) hammered his way up the Swansea valley towing us mere mortals in his wake. The command to turn LEFT at Tafern yr Garreg sent a bolt of fear down my spine . The climb took me 24 mins and 9 secs of agony to reach the summit. Surprise!.. despite setting off 5 mins later than the rest of us, Mark W. thanks to Tele –transportation, Salbutamol and choosing the right worm hole in the space/time continuum arrived at the cafe in Sennybridge BEFORE us. It is rumoured that he rematerialized amongst a group of motor cyclists having a quiet coffee causing them to run for their bikes and rev wildly. Nathan T. gave detailed instructions on how to butcher a pig and make enough sausages for 10 years and rambled on about putting pepper on a pig or something crazy. It put Trev off his sausages and bacon. Thanks to Nic Cleave for formulating a 25 year training plan of marginal gains for me, although I need to speak to him urgently as I was 13 secs slower up the Devil’s elbow than last year. God, if that was the devil’s elbow I wouldn’t like to go up his spine. Rob M., Ian T. and I, won’t be out next week as we are riding a sportive in Bristol. Bob H.
May 6th 2018
I felt quite pleased with myself when I thought i had achieved the impossible, I discovered I had taken Marc W. down a lane he had NEVER been down before! For someone who in his previous incarnation as club captain had been down every road, lane and byway in existence ( he his reputed to be able to find his way to Timbuktu blind folded) didn’t know the lane to Laleston. Phew!
The queue at the cafe in Ogmore grew longer, we failed to beat the fast group to the counter, we lined up for hours waiting for our coffee fix. Rob M. gave up the will to live and fix punctures(which ever came first) Brian D. stared willingly at the table hoping his coffee would rematerialize in front of his eyes, Andy D. phoned his wife to say that he wouldn’t get home until later that night. John C. who had been favoured by the waitress said he would like to swop his coffee for a club jersey. Trev.L said he would think about it as coffees were more scarce than club jerseys. I had dreamt all winter of being sun burnt and now I am finally pink. However Ian T. said I looked whiter that Dulux premium emulsion paint on a January morning. Fabulous weather, great company that’s what club runs are made of. Bob H.
April 22 2018
On a disappointingly wet morning a three way split happened at Glynneath. Not feeling “up to the mark” I joined Simon H. and Mark re-joined W. and trudged up Heartbreak Hill and over to the Swansea valley. Meanwhile, for a lark Ian T. decided to escort John C. to the top of the Rhigos and down into Treorchy, neglecting to tell him there was now no way back! Meanwhile the others Rob.M Nic C. Trev L,Jeremy D. pressed on towards Brecon? Meanwhile Simon, Mark and I had our feet up in the cafe in Ystradgynlais, meanwhile Ian T thought it would be an even better idea to take John C. over the Bwlch and down the Afan valley. Meanwhile Simon, Mark and I decided to pay Gerald W. a visit in near by Cwmtwrch,but hard luck he was out on his bike! Meanwhile, Ian T. having half killed John decided he must have a final dose of medicine by teasing him up Skewen Hill. Meanwhile, I had teased myself over the hill to Neath, whilst the four hard riders were slogging it down the Swansea valley. Mercifully The Maerdy Mountain ride will have to be left for another day. Bob H.
April 8th 2018
Isn’t it strange that members who when faced with incontrovertible evidence swear blind they have more club run points than appears on the result sheet. To avoid fighting and the kicking over of bikes outside the King Arthur some members had to be physically restrained. Some claimed more points than there were club runs,others wanted extra points for having a pump and lights! some others wanted the points back dated to the year 2000!! others wanted points for Sunday’s when there was no club run!!! New member Andy Jones looked terrified and said he didn’t want any points anyway. Ian T. who wanted no part in the fighting dashed off to Majorca for 2 weeks,whilst Trev.L and Steve P disappeared off to the Cotswold, claiming they were taking part in some weird race called the”hell of the Cotswolds” It was hell here let me tell you! There were only six of us but it was a lovely ride around the Gower,and welcome back to Mark Williams. See you next week. Bob H.
March 25th 2018
Mary Berry would have been pleased to see the Wheelers tackle the great County cycles cake fest. A sponge lovingly and laboriously prepared by the lady from the Builth Wells sportive,vanished in seconds. Meanwhile Dave G. and myself quaffed coffee in the Subway in Ammanford, yes the coffee machine after endless repairs is now working. The ascent of Mynydd –y-Gwair was relatively benign this year with favourable weather conditions, but suddenly there was an almighty gust of wind. Rob M and I were blown sideways as Steve P. stormed past leaving us wide eyed in astonishment. Seems he wanted to be in the front for the new web site photo! See you all for the Rhys Williams charity ride next Sat. Bob H.
March 11th 2018
Led by the “Red Devils” (Specialised bike team) we ploughed our way up the Swansea valley into a headwind. Ian T. had that worrying feeling that “something is missing” only to discover that he had left his helmet at home! Jeremy D. lost the sprint for the Crai sign when his chain derailed, but was cheered up when he tasted his “Stout marinated cheese rarebit” at the Old School in Defynnog. “Chappeau” he cried to the Dutch proprietress who said he was “naughty” We splashed through the banks of snow on the climb through the Glas Fyrydd forest and over the top to Taffern –y-Garreg. on the fast wind assisted descent Jeremy D. punctured on a stone and called for the team car. Hopefully we all got home before the rain. Bob H.
February 18th 2018
Just how many Swansea wheelers does it take to repair a puncture standing in cow muck on a windy Stormy Down? Answer…just Trev. Plus half a dozen ineffective pumps of all sizes and shapes and a selection of inner tubes of miniscule dimensions! Thanks to Steve P. we would still be standing there. We eventually reached Sidoli’s where we were ushered to the far corner to be kept away from decent people who were likely to catch something nasty from us like leprosy, syphilis or chilblains. After we untangled the bikes from maze of bike lock cables we had a pleasant ride home with the wind behind us floating down the Margam by-pass bemused at riders struggling in the opposite direction. It’s not so flat next week! Bob H.
Feb 11 2018
“Did you hear about that”? What? “The fire brigade had to be called out last Sunday after Trevor Lloyds cycling shorts caught fire after over revving down the Swansea valley” He generated so much heat on a dinner plate gear of 34 x –54 that smoke came from his backside. Jeremy D. said “I’m not riding behind him in case the flames spread” Lessons have been learnt. He was seen this Sunday on a “normal winter bike” (and new shorts) Talking about new, John Cundy turns up on a state of the art new Cube carbon fibre super de lux! I think he must be getting serious. I am still taking the sea sickness tablets after the disturbing motions of the infamous Pantyffynon bridge. Great news for all you time triallists….they are resurfacing large sections of the Neath valley.Next club run in that area, Feb.25th. All for now, see you next week, Bob H.
February 4th 2018
Who’s that? Who’s that coming round the roundabout? It can’t be…it’s …..John Franklyn! So he hadn’t run away to join the circus after all. The rumours people make up , honestly. What next? they’ll be saying wild exaggerations like “ Trevor Lloyd was EARLY this morning. The 12 of us tried to ride behind Simon H into a freezing wind up the Swansea valley. Regrettably four of had had enough by the time we got to Tavern-y-Garreg and decided to retreat to the cafe in Ystradgynlais to discuss ATM machines and Netflix. I hope the rest of you had some nourishing bacon butties at Sennybridge and got home safely. Bob H.
January 14th 2018
7 started from Liberty, picked up 3 in Gowerton off down to Port Eynon,the only problem cafes closed. Back up the hill to Archery centre for coffee , lost Rob in orange jacket. punched on way out of Port Eynon. We all got back, Trev with a Dinner plate on his back wheel went up and down Swansea valley, to but 1 or 2 miles in.
January 7th 2018
“C’mon” said Rob M. we have to meet Steve P. at Penllergaer and Trevor has a painful ankle.. Let’s get going it’s freezing here! “ Watch the ice” said Simon H. as we headed for Chemical road. When we reached Steve we decided to split into two groups, the faster heading for Carreg Cennen and the slower to Subway Cafe in Ammanford. We tucked into our Balaclavas and slogged our way through Pontardulais and Fforest and Ammanford. We discussed what was going on the agenda for the forthcoming A.G.M. over the worst hot chocolate I have ever experienced. “At least it is piping hot” said Ian T. Hope everyone survived the freezing wind on the way home.
December 31st 2017
“Do you think he’s using Salbutamol”? I asked Ian. T as we surfed down the North Gower road. “Do you mean Froome” he queried? No!, I said, I mean Rob.M. “He’s going like a bat out of hell” “He’s probably on Fairwood common by now” I was trying to ward off the sleepiness that had overcome me by staying too long by the log fire in the King Arthur. Jeremy D.(I’ve just discovered Fausto Coppi) rode like a “good’un” despite having a bad cold, Trev can now stand on the pedals,(he’s quite strong enough sitting down,thanks) and newcomer John got round the course with encouragement from club run points leader Ian T. Happy new year, see you next week. Hope your cold gets better Andy and I hope your cat recovers Simon! Bob H.
Guess what?…a siren went off as we past the Tata steel company, Rob. M said he would be first through the door if there was a gas leak, never mind “Women and children first” maxim. Talking about gas, it was full gas through the lanes to Tondu and onto Maesteg,despite the fact that the Col de Caereau lay between us and the Afan valley. Such was our fear of the brute that we forego a stop at the “Valley cafe” and pressed on to grovel up it’s slopes in the cold wet drizzle. There are various phases ones legs go through when taking a hammering. It starts with a sudden feeling of “unresponsiveness” before the “wooden”phase begins. This soon degenerates into the “Leaden” phase before somewhere near the top one loses any residual feeling altogether and cannot stand without assistance!. Sustenance (and a quick check to see if the afore mention legs were still attached) was had at the Lodge halfway down the Afan valley. Yours truly pressed on just in case the “can’t bend them” phase set in”
(Must end now as my wife is about to unbend my legs with a crow bar) P.S sorry Steve, It’s Ferryside next week!!
November 26th 2017
“It sets your teeth on edge”, doesn’t it? Jeremy D’s disc brakes I mean. Ian T handed out the ear plugs before we left the Liberty. We rendezvoused with Steve P at Gowerton, he claimed he could hear Jeremy’s brakes in Waunarlwydd! The roads were dry and the traffic was light and we reached Rhossili in sunshine, that put us in a good mood until we saw the price of the coffee. The seven of us sped back to Swansea with a nice little tailwind, a good morning’s riding. Bob H.
November 19th 2017
As I gazed avariciously at Jeremy D’s mushroom omelette,(we are in County cycles having coffee) when I spied four senior cyclists who said they were from five roads cycling club! “Which five roads do you mean” I queried? THE “five roads” they said indignantly,” look at our jerseys” We said we were from Cardiff! Andy D & Rob M. physically restrained me from getting out my credit card and buying a beautiful red Trek racer for £480. “Stop you idiot” said Simon H. It’s not £480……….it’s £4800. Ouch! The 8 of us then set off in pleasant sunshine for Ammanford and GCG with Jeremy D. disappearing into the distance never to be seen again (must have been the omelette) We split at Pontardawe and I reminded Chris R. to watch Alice Roberts on T.V. this week as we are “Alice addicts” I asked him what would he prefer to have, Alice or the red Trek? Yes! you’ve guessed it……….the red Trek!! See you next week. Bob H.
November 12th 2017
I can’t change gear” I said to Ian T. as we splashed, surfed and aquaplaned down the Neath valley. “Why not?”asked Simon H. My fingers were completely frozen,I could hardly move them from the ‘bars. Simon H. advised us not to take a hot bath or shower when we arrived home or we could develop chilblains….. Hair loss, impotence, madness and eventual death. I was worried about the hair loss! Chris R. Said “we should have stopped at the Little Chef for that coffee , …..as we approached Cadoxton, maybe we should turn around and go back!!” The cold and wet can have strange effects on some people! Must end now as .I am busy ordering waterproof gloves. Bob H.
November 5th 2017
We had barely reached Clydach when Simon H. Suffered a broken spoke in his front wheel.He headed back home muttering something about visiting Jeremy Rees. My speedometer showed 2 m.p.h, as I crawled up the hill out of Pontardawe.(we really ought to give that hill a name).If that wasn’t soul destroying enough it came to rain again.Ian T. seeing my poor state decided to abandon Carreg Cennen and head for cafe in Ystadgynlais instead.Chris R. Rob M. Ian T. Sat down for a warming coffee and bacon butty. Three other cyclists entered, one wearing a club jersey! They claimed they were ex members from 20 years ago! I don’t know what woodwork they came out of. Annoyingly the rain stopped when we reached Neath. Happy cycling! Bob H.