The ride report: 17–01-2021
As with all group rides since September 2020 once again we used zwift to virtually assemble, this time in their version of France for the Petite Boucle. 66 Km and 484 metres so not too strenuous.
A fine turnout with 8 on Zwift with 6 of us on the discord app meant it was as social a ride as we could do. Zwifts clever ‘group ride’ algorithms meant all we had to do is keep pedaling to stay together, regardless of the terrain. Two or three mentions of a Greggs stop meant Nic could keep his Jaffa cake intake at the appropriate level and all was well with the world, despite an actual stop not being necessary, it’s not that long a ride.
Said Zwift algorithm had a bit of a moment with @20km to go and 6 of us went up a 5-6% incline for a few hundred metres at a rate that would have left Ineos Grenadiers floundering in our wake, however it corrected itself and we went down the other side slower than we went up. Still for a heavyweight like me going upfill at 46kph felt good, even if it wasn’t real.
The discord then came into its own as we were able to work out where the other 2 riders were and with soft pedaling and the group algorithm reasserting proper control we were fully reassembled before the finishing line.
We should keep discord going for the real rides, if any separation occurs it could be useful, and allow separate groups to keep in touch. Thanks to Nathan we know it works out in the real world.
Thanks to Nic for organizing it again. Hopefully back next week for another one.
The ride report 27-09-2020
A last club run before lockdown brings things to a temporary close, so it was decided it should be a good one with Llynne Brianne as the destination. 8 set out, though some of us were not intending to go quite that far and turn at Sennybridge. The headwind up the Swansea valley was the only thing spoiling perfect riding conditions; the BBC had forecast a gentle breeze – they were wrong.
A change of heart and an agreement to keep a suitably gentle pace so we could stay together convinced me to carry on, so left at Trecastle and up over the military range to Llanwrtyd for a well-earned breakfast bap. Everybody should ride that road at least once; it’s a cracker.
The extra height and distance from Llanwrtyd to the reservoir was only for the ultra-keen, so I gently rode back down over the sugar loaf through Llandovery, Llangadog and Llandeilo and home.
A bonus at Llangadog was riding back with a gentleman called Glyn. As we chatted about our respective days rides he offered me a cuppa on the way; he lives at Llandybie so it was on the way. His good lady had made a fresh lemon drizzle cake, so a slice of that with a cup of tea was just the necessary fuel for the last leg home.
A brilliant day, shame we can’t repeat it for a while.
Next weeks run is likely to be on Zwift, keep your eye on the whatsapp group for details
The ride report 02-02-2020
With dubious weather and strong wind a turnout of 8 was a good effort. Trevor, 2 Marks, Jeremy, Rob, Steve, Nic and myself set out for Sennybridge. A nice tailwind helped with a steady pace on the way out; didn’t bode well for coming back.
A split at Dan-Yr-Ogof with the ever enthusiastic A group Mark, Trevor and Nic taking the published route via Trecastle; the ever pragmatic B group taking the more direct straight there route. The hard labour of getting up the hill was rewarded with a wind assisted dash down to the café. A little smile of satisfaction from the B team as we were at the café, seated and eating as the A team pulled in.
The split continued as Rob wanted to get home for dinner, so we set off for home leaving them still eating. A good team effort got yours truly to the top of Crai in the bunch, against that wind being in a bunch was easily the best place.
A good solid ride down the valley, with the shelter of the bike path for the latter stages most appreciated. Next week is Crosshands, note to self, use the greasy spoon at Cefneithin for a change
The part-ride report 01-12-2019
The great debate about starting time was finally resolved so 7 hardy souls at the start, plus an arranged pick-up for Steve P at Gowerton; turns out Mark W was there as well. 9 riders is the best turnout of the points year to date, not bad for the coldest Sunday in a while
A warm welcome to Louise who is no longer guesting, she’s now our newest member, and scored her first points this week; talking of points Nic is one ahead of Bob at the moment, but it’s early days yet.
The usual Gower Sunday Drivers were out in force with some real gems going towards Porthcawl. I thought crossing the double white lines so you’re heading towards a blind bend on the wrong side of the road was a bad idea, I expect the driver of the red car that came round that bend agreed. Eventually the driver of the black pick up did as well, so he slammed on his brakes and re-crossed the lines. Fortunately, there was enough room for him to get away with it: This time!
First ride back so I peeled off at Scurlage and headed home whilst those made of sterner stuff went on to Rhossilli.
Next week its Col de Caerau, you’ve got to hope the sun shines for that one
The part-ride report 24-11–2019
A grey and overcast start again, Bob, Rob, Simon, Jem, Nick and myself all ready for the off, with Louise making another guest appearance. The usual photo was taken, and as we are starting a rider in black flashes towards the roundabout. Trevor late again we thought, but eagle eyed Bob saying no; he’s going too fast for Trevor! The consensus in the camp is that he’s taking his kitchen back out again, he needs the practice.
Simon said he’s turning for home at Pontrardawe. Obviously, a case of Ponyconfusion as we were going to Pontardulais. I wasn’t going that far as I’m still not well and headed straight through Gorseinon at the Penllergaer roundabout, hopefully all made it round ok.
Gower next week, forecast unsure about the rain, but confident it will be colder
The non-ride report 17-11–2019
A grey and overcast start, the usual suspects lining up for the photo. Simon displaying his new /replacement bike, and praising the build quality; Jeremy, (who built it) humbly saying it was nothing. Some enthusiastic ribbing for Robbie about the absence of mudguards. He claims they are unfixable on his bikes. He went through a pair a week last winter and still ended up without any. He didn’t seem to appreciate the suggestion he try and fix a set and film it, so we can see where he is going wrong: There’s just no pleasing some people. Yours truly not riding, I can’t shift this damn cold, so after taking the picture I’m back in the car about to head for home as they set off and who comes round the roundabout, late again, you’ve guessed it Trevor. I think he’s camera shy and hangs around waiting until the pictures taken.
Crosshands next week, lets hope for a dry warm day and they invent a cure for the common cold in time.
The ride report 03-11–2019
The weather gods smiled benignly and gave us a window of sunshine for the club run, not a bad start. The topic of conversation at the start was the post story this week that in 80 years time our starting point will be under water. As we went out along Jersey Marine it seems that it was starting early with some truly stupendous puddles and the whole cycle track under water at some points; anybody would think we’ve had rain. My plan, as I’ve still got that cold was to avoid the hilly bit to Bryn and stop at the Afan Lodge for a coffee; clearly the deluded thoughts of someone who has never ridden through Goetre. A horrible hill, steep, slippery and on the winter bike. At ¾ of the way up I was breathing through a cheese grater and walked the last bit. JemW missed the ride, something about muddy trails; he should have come with us. I’ve been down smoother cleaner farmtracks than the Goetre to Bryn road. I then peeled off for home as enough was enough. Hopefully all the rest made it without further incident.
Carreg Cennen next week, more hills.
The ride report 27-10-2019
The clocks going back and beautiful sunshine promised a good turn-out; though the police marshalling at the start seemed a little excessive. Undaunted the intrepid 7 set off; yours truly not amongst them due to a nasty cold; I’d only turned up to get the points scores and take a few photo’s. Followed the route for enough time to get an action shot of Trevor re-adjusting his newly adjusted front shift and one of Steve P lying in ambush for the group on the Loughor bridge. Hopefully back in action next week
Ride of Hope for Rhys
The ride report 13-10-2019
The weather forecast was appalling, it would have frightened Noah. Nevertheless, at the liberty at 8:30 were 3 hardy souls suitably attired ready for a trip to Porthcawl. There was also a guest appearance from Eduardo who was riding a bike that appeared to have all his worldly goods attached. Turns out he is riding for Rhys; a cause we can all support. He did hand out a flyer with the details, but in my case it didn’t survive the ride and washing machine treatment. He is crowdfunding on just giving with a target of over £8,000.00 so any contribution would be gratefully received, the link below should give you a good place to start.
The forecast for next week is sunny intervals and a moderate breeze, let us hope.
The ride report 20-10-2019
A beautiful day for it, even if a little chilly, and 6 hardy souls ready for the ride. Jeremy claiming to be exhausted and spent by the ride to the liberty, and me struggling with the effect of having double gins in both hands for too much of the weekend suggested we were going to have a tough day, despite the sunshine. Turns out you can use the ‘the sun is too low in the sky and reflecting of the wet road surface’ as another excuse as well.
Despite the moans we set off, Simon bravely showing no ill effects of his recent losses. I hope we’re all keeping an eye out. It was clearly an amateur job so they may just be stupid enough to try and dispose of their ill-gotten gains locally.
As planned Simon peeled off at Neath and headed for Pontardawe; he thought Ystradfelte a bit too far at the moment. As it turned out I was agreeing with him. It was clear it would take me all day to get to Heol Senni, or at least an hour longer than everybody else so I announced I was stopping at PNV for coffee and to consider my options, that was the clincher for Jeremy, he decided to join me. The domino effect then kicked in fully and we all stopped for coffee.
It was a case of excellent timing, we trooped into the coffee shop moments before Wales scored the winning try so we celebrated with coffee and bacon sandwiches.
Trevor confirmed the spin situation and has put an update on facebook, it looks like Penlan Leisure centre (I never knew they had one?); please let him know your intentions ASAP.
A unanimous change of route was then agreed with the IVR and Swansea valley option picked for the route home. The climb up the IVR was confirmation for some of us that the right decision had been made. The run down valley enjoyed by all, despite a tractor and trailer getting in the way for the Ystradgynlais by-pass.
Next week the clocks go back, so winter timing and the mudguard rule will be applied
January 20 th
I revved so much that I began to notice a dull red glow from my chain as it heated up after Pembrey. The cafe at Kidwelly was full of members who had sworn to go on to Ferryside or be damned! The matron of the cafe was baffled by the question “when does a bacon roll become a bacon buttie”? ” When it’s a Rhubarb flan”, was not the answer she was expecting. The damned decided not to go to Ferryside, but instead to chase down Cycle cafe back to Swansea. I am told by a reliable source that there was road race on the Pembrey circuit that had a slower average speed than the club run!!. I am told to consult Strava for details. See you next week, Bob.H.
January 13 th
I ran out of fingers to count on when I saw the number of members at the Liberty this morning. This amount of members has not been surpassed since the summer of 2017. The number was increased by 3 at Crofty, where innocent bystanders, minding their own business, were pressed ganged into the club photo! Nic C. was swift in handing out membership forms with threats of”you’ll never see your bikes or your family again” if you don’t sign. With Tim Needham glaring they were only too happy to oblige.
Poor Jeremy D left the King Arthur only to find he had a rear wheel puncture. Thanks to my excellent tutelage I showed him the time honoured “belly flip” method of getting the last part of the tyre on the rim. (Please don’t try this at home.) After Mark W. Joined us,we battled over the “big sky” common of Fairwood and the cycle path to Blackpill. There were whispered hints of an AGM!!
January 6th 2019
Whilst everyone stood around admiring Trev’s new winter special, John C; Paul W. And I made our getaway and threw everything into getting to Carreg Cennen first. Paul W’s lack of training began to show on the steep slopes, but crowds of people lined the steep climb to the castle in awe and admiration at John C. Who at his first attempt at the gradient scorched his way up with grim determination.
Do you know the difference between “clockwise and anticlockwise” Bob? Asked Ian T. In desperation? I said “Its my mothers sister studying her wristwatch” He was not amused. “We are in Banwen when we should be in Crynant” However, after losing each other on the cycle path we all made it to the cafe in PNV. The members had to wait so long for their bacon butties that Mark(tart) williams decided to organise a “pig hunt” and cook their own! Trevor disclosed that we may have to wait until Dec 2019 or Brexit, which ever was the sooner, for the AGM. Jeremy D. said we could take it turns to drive his Jag or pigs might fly before we have an AGM.! Bob H. sometime club captain.
“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.
May 6th 2018
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
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
December 3rd 2017
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.