THE GOSPEL PASS

14/09/02

It was a Saturday afternoon when we met at Croes Llanfair, we had made our separate journeys there, battling against a strong head wind. However the wind died down a bit and it was like a Summer’s day as we cycled to Abergavenny. From here we rode out to Maerdy and then had a pleasant saunter up the Llanthony valley .We stopped and joked at the scene of my crash the year before, it all looked different now and I was a bit happier ! The ascent up to the highest road in Wales is deceiving, in that it takes long flat bits and in between a series of steep ‘hops’ up the valley. Near Capel y Ffin we talked to a young farmer about all manner of things. We seemed to be their for a while. I also had a puncture, strangely it had turned dark quickly in this steep valley. It was now 800pm as we started to burn our lamps up the mountain. After the main steep climb from Capel y Ffin, we were on the open mountainside, as the half moon shone in the sky. The earlier traffic of day trippers had now stopped and we had the mountain all to our selves. Although it was dark, the Black Mountains were still there to be seen in all their splendour. Their eerie silhouettes stood calmly in the night. As we climbed over the top at 544 metres, the air was still, giving a mysterious feel to these rugged uplands. We quickly descended down the from the hills, we were glad to leave them for the night, we said that it would have been good to camp there, as we were starting to feel a bit tired. But we only had our light weight bikes, so all we could do was to cycle home! The road to Talgarth is quiet and flat, by now I was very hungry. As we arrived in Talgarth my prayers were answered, there was a Chinese Takeaway. Here we ate some much needed food, after this we felt a bit better although we had turned cold. We were soon to warm up, climbing on the quiet lane over the big hill that would take us down to the main road to Crickhowell. We cycled along the principal road to Abergavenny and then back to Croes Llanfair, from here the route was:- Goytre and then home via the New Inn by-pass. I arrived home at 1.30am with 75 miles to my credit , while Nick had to cycle to Newport City, completing 90 miles.

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