MEMORY LANE PASSES RIGHT THROUGH CAERPHILLY.
My latest ride was a simple out-and-back affair:
Out, all the way to my past, then back.
You see, my latest work trip to Helsinki allowed a weekend intermission to Wales for a family birthday (Happy 18th, H) and, thankfully, a ride this morning.
This trip’s borrowed bike, plus borrowed shoes, shorts, bottle and helmet was thankfully donated by my policeman brother-in-law. He had two options for me: his new road bike or his Smith & Wesson Police Issue Mountain Bike. Yep, that Smith & Wesson. Besides sidearms, they also make these. I plumped for the road bike and all his kit and headed off this morning, a little thick headed after last night’s frivolities.
To some degree the ride started last night, when attending THE party, with lots of family and a gaggle of old friends from a “previous life.” The conversation went like this:
OLD FRIEND: Why are you not going to church tomorrow morning?
ME: Because I am going for long a ride up into the hills.
OLD FRIEND: Oh!?
ME: More wine?
It was unbelievably not raining. With a beautifully clear and crisp morning, I headed from my parents house on a ride that stirred many memories. I could go on and on about coming across places I’d forgotten, places where I used to ride, climb trees and find gaps in the hedges where I’d connect trails together on my first mountain bike. Where I also and happily fell in love and went for long walks in the rain with my now lovely wife. But that would bore you. And memories this rich were best enjoyed alone on this morning on a borrowed bike. As I said, it was a stunning morning, I’ve attached a link to the ride here, but for the cultural education the ride carved an counter-clockwise route through the following towns:
Aside from all my memories, there was one moment of absolute Welshness. If you are ever at the roundabout just outside Nelson, on the road to Abercycnon, stop at the Speedy Snacks for breakfast bap. It’s a close to this as you’ll ever get. They also have special chilli sauce from Barry Island. Which will mean nothing if you’re not from South Wales. If you are from Wales, you’ll understand the profundity of it all. And you’ll understand how some rides end up training the emotions as well as the heart.
Diolch yn fawr.