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2013 - Club Ride Reports and News

Pacers - 3rd November 2013 -  Report by Andy Harries, Vice Captain

Set off for Brackla with some trepidation this morning.

Almost a week off the bike with the 'lurgy', rubbish weather forecast and 60+ hilly miles to look forward to!

However the weather behaved itself as 5 pacers set off via Llantrisant for the Rhondda fach. Stayed on main roads to Ferndale and first climb of the day up to Llanwonno. With a tail wind Mark Rosser set the early pace, despite feeling unwell. Rob soon took off at the front leaving the rest of us to grovel to the top. A careful descent through the forest as autumnal leaves and pine needles made for a slippery surface.

Sharp kick up to Perthcelyn, where Mark headed home, before dropping into Mountain Ash then Aberdare, where the Baguette express had excellent value cappuccino and welsh cakes.

The section from Aberdare up to Rhigos was a slog into a headwind which in turn became a slog up the Rhigos, at least until the switchbacks where the lee of the mountain offered some protection. Jason and Rob set the pace with Wayne and myself bringing up the rear. Joined by a cyclist who was on his way back to Pontardulais, (rather him than me as he had the Bwlch and about 30 miles of headwind to go).

Descent of the Rhigos was interesting in a crosswind and left the final climb of the day up the Bwlch. By now I was starting to flag, so the headwind climbing the Bwlch was most unwelcome. Fortunately the sun was shining and we quickly descended to Nantymoel to get the first and only soaking of the day. Short sharp shower with a hint of hailstones, to provide the sting. Grovelled over the common and got back to Brackla with that usual tired but happy feeling!  :D

Garmin show 63 miles and 5800 ft of elevation gain, so not a bad mornings effort

thanks for the company, see you next week

Report by Rob Jones

We did Andy's long hilly route today as planned. Andy H, me, Wayne and Jason. Mark R also for about half the ride - took the flat route back from Mountain Ash as not feeling good.

It was steady pace and quite pleasant weather (if a bit chilly) as far as Aberdare where we stopped for a very good value coffee in the High St. Then it was over the Rhigos and Bwlch mostly into the wind, making for a really tough last 30 miles.

Just as we were enjoying the sunshine, out of nowhere we took a drenching (including some painful hailstones). Good route, good company - cheers


Amblers - 11th November 2013 -  Report by Paul Longthorn, Captain

14 people took part in the club run but a max of 13 at any time. This did prove to be unlucky, Nigel, Wayne Eveans, Lee Stoneham, Tom Beach, John Hewett, Terry,Tony, Bowen, Steve Landeg, Andrew Story, Andrew Foster,  Jonathan Spink, Richard Bowmer, and Myself.

It was good to have Wayne Evans back this week after his loan spell with the pacers. Wayne seemed to be stronger for it.

Nigel got a puncture after about 5 miles. At this point we discovered Bowen was missing which is not unusual. Then we were joined by Steve Landeg. After a 15 min stop we pushed on.

We had a stop for remembrance Sunday at the top of Cimla. Then onto the Brynn climb only to discover we were one person down. John Hewett's hub had disintegrated. After some mechanical magic from Steve Landeg John was able to limp home.

By this time we had lost some time due to all the stops only to discover Andrew story had a puncture he waved us on. We agreed to abandon the cafe stop and press on home.

Everyone seemed the go different ways from Aberkenfig. Tom after you complaining about your crank my money was on you to have a mechanical. Hope everyone made it home OK.

43.5 miles for me and 2465 feet of climbing. I'm not here next week but I'm sure someone will arrange a route.

Pacers - 11th November 2013 -  Report by Andy Harries, Vice Captain

Eight set off on the pacers ride this morninig, Mark Nott, Mark Rosser, Allan, Chris G, Steven, Jason, Bowen (he was with us Pau,l until Pontyclun) and myself.

In contrast to the last few days the sun was shining bright and slight chill in the air. We headed east at a steady via Llanharan to LLantrisant Rd  before the first short climb of the day up to Pentyrch, the two Marks looking strong and leading the way. Fast descent down Heol Goch before crossing the Taff to Tongwynlais and the climb up Heol Y Forest, as usual very wet up here, sharp kick at the top before turning down Rhiwbina Hill, through Llanishen to Lisvane and out into the country and wonderful scenery through Cefn Mably and Rudry. A couple of steep pitches along this section but ridden at a steady pace allowing the group to stay together. Decided to head for the coffee stop in Machen and sat outside in glorious sunshine. Excellent coffee and chocolate brownies!

Set off home via Caerphilly, Radyr and P.S.E. through Hensol to Welsh St Donats, the days exertions were starting to have an effect and Steven wisely took to the front to control the pace. Home via City and Treos ( fair amount of debris in the lanes but not too muddy)

66 miles almost exactly 4 hours (moving time)

Excellent morning, great ride!

Garmin has 4800 ft of elevation, not bad for a flattish ride

Amblers - 3rd November 2013 -  Report by Paul Longthorn, Captain

Bowen, Jeff Hocking, Jonathan, Andrew Story, Andrew Foster, Richard Bowmer, Terry, Myself, and newbie Nigel.

We did a version of the mid week route as planned and a cuppa in the Cafe Velo. We did take a wrong turn down a dead end but managed to navigate back on route. Nigel was going well hope the see you next week.

We stayed dry most of the way round we must be due a sunny winter morning soon. Estimated 35 mile Brackla to Brackla. Same time next week.

Amblers - 17th November 2013 -  Report by Tom Beech

Another well supported ride,12 out some of whom were Tony,Terry,Wayne,Carrie Andy S John ,Will,Jonathan and myself.Many apologies to those I've missed-in the absence of our Club Captain and his encyclopaedic recollection of who's out that's the best I can do(I imagine the ubiquitous Bowen M would be one mind,having achieved the unprecedented feat of being on both rides at once last week!)

We set off in the sane direction as the other group,giving them a couple of minutes start and catching them easily(because they'd stopped!).Llantrisant,Power Station Hill,Taff's Well Radyr,Fairwater,lanes to Aberthin then Costa in Cowbridge which seems to be becoming a regular for cyclists 2 other groups there.

I wasn't surprised that most people didn't take up my offer of an interesting route back for those of an adventurous nature I was surprised that one of those who did was Andy though-he's been around long enough to know better!Penlline Estate was muddier than I've ever seen it and the hill into Craig Penlline seemed steeper than ever but the other 3 were gracious in their comments.Hope everyone else got home without incident.I'm away next week but I expect normal service will be resumed with the return of the ever reliable Paul.

Pacers - 17th November 2013 -  Report by Steven Madeley - Chairman

So it was a bit like last week but minus the hills!

Rob J, Mark R, Mark N, Chris G, Jason T, R& J Beech and I.  Into Cardiff via Llantrisant and puncture repair for Jason. To Newport via the flats and up to Risca when Jason took a tumble uphill ( not his day!).  Damage to new Castelli tights observed.  Richard then started to bonk ( one bowl of Cheerios, only planning to be out for 90 mins!).  Thankfully we were in sight of the cafe, so 6 spoons of sugar in the coffee was the remedy.  Caerphilly, Treforest, where Joe and Richard turned off. Back to Bridgend.

64.5miles at 18.5mph average - not hanging around.....

Amblers - 24th November 2013 -  Report by Paul Longthorn - Club Captain

11 Started from Brackla today

Paul Longthorn, Wanye Evans, Andrew Story, Andrew Foster, Terry, Tony, Jonathan Spinks, Richard Bowmer, Bowen, Neil Bartlett, Kristian James

We headed out following the posted route. We had stopped for a quick rest after to climb up to top top of Llantrisant forrest, Jeff Hocking joined us the there was 12.

Terry left us at Tondu. Back down to 11 .Then Bowen, Andrew Story, and Jeff peeled off at Bridgend.

So 8 of us continued on until Tony peeled off at Ewenny. We then picked up a possible new club member Aiden. So back to 8 once until to Velo Cafe.

6 stopped for a nice cuppa then rode back through the lanes.

Well done to Andrew Foster who's climbing has really improved, and thanks for the loan of the gel bar.

55 miles for me door to door. Sorry unable to make next week. See you all at the club dinner.

Check out activity on Strava


Pacers - 24th November 2013 -  Report by Allan Wardaugh

Steven M, Andy H, Mark Nott, Rob and I on the pacers route today. Sensibly we decided to leave the hilly route for a less icy day, and we headed out to Swansea via Porthcawl and the new road at Aberavon. Good coffee stop in Swansea Marina, but that meant it took a while to get going again when we had to return. We did find a very good route out of Swansea via Bonymaen and Skewen - that's as good as any I've found. Steven said he'd left his legs in the cafe  :P

Climbed Cimla - Mark Nott climbing really well. Rob and I then headed up the Bwlch gambling that the ice had thawed a bit (it had) and then headed back via Heol-y-Cyw.

Over 80 miles clocked up for me, with 1500m climbing. Good solid miles, and always good to get a bit of climbing in. It was cold though.

Report by Andy Harries, Vice Captain

As reported 5 out on the Pacers ride today, leaving the hills for less  icy days.

Left Brackla keeping a healthy pace, via Laleston, Porthcawl and Aberavon, where a quick blast from Steven and Allan saw us reel in a group from PTW. Headed down Fabian Way where an even faster blast from Rob, saw him and Allan heading off into the distance. three of 'chainganged'  in an attempt to catch them that was doomed to fail, until they got  caught up in the road works and some judicial lane changing  ;D saw the three take the lead to the Marina cafe.  Mark recounted his previous visit, when he was soooo tired he considered selling his bike to get the train back. However he was in good shape today!

Excellent coffee and cake revitalized to a certain extent and we climbed out of Swansea to Bonymaen and Crumlin, taking a new route back to Skewen.

Allan led the way over Cimla in his usual effortless style with Mark and Rob close behind. Steven brought up the rear, suffering from the previous night's indulgences!

Not sure if the Peroni or whole Camembert was the offender.

Split at the Afan Valley junction and Steven, Mark and myself rode a decent tempo back to Brackla . 58 miles

Once again blessed with great weather, once it had warmed up, look forward to next week.

Amblers - 1st December 2013 -  Report by Tom Beech

There's never a dull moment on an Amblers ride!9 of us managed to remember it was a 9.30 start this week and set off on Bowen's proposed ride.Good turnout considering several regulars including Paul,Andy S ,John and Carrie all had other things on.Jonathan confirmed he has booked for Mallorca and one or 2 others may well still do so.

I was going at about my worst(no excuses except 2 weeks of hedonism and no cycling!)when half way up the Bwllch I got a bit of dirt in my eye,blinked and my contact lens fell out.Unfortunately it was my better eye so I could only see clearly about 10 feet ahead.We were almost exactly half way so after some debate I carried on but now with a good excuse for my snails pace.Everyone was very solicitous and I obviously got back safely but will definitely make a spare set of lenses part of my cycling essentials in future.(I've never lost a lens like that in 40 years!)

I didn't join the others for a café stop so I hope everyone else got back ok and I didn't ruin the day for everyone else.

Thanks to Bowen for the route,to Terry for searching for the lens  and to everyone else for putting up with me!

Pacers - 1st December 2013 -  Report by Andy Harries, Vice Captain

Six on the pacers ride today, Rob, Steven, Will, Mark R, Mark N and myself. Weather cool, grey but dry as we headed east at a fast tempo (soon discovered Steven had a lunch appointment at the pub) towards Llantrisant.  Hoping that the early pace wouldn't 'fry' the legs before the climbs ahead we pushed on via the new road to Tonteg and down into Pontypridd.

The first climb of the day was over Whitehall Golf Club and I'd like to say how easy it was to stay ahead of Rob on this climb, unfortunately its not true because after a nature stop Rob had missed the turn and not made the climb!   :(

We realised at the top that Rob wasn't with and guessed (correctly) he'd gone around to Nelson. The five then continued up Shingrig Rd toward Bedlinog and the climb up to Gelligaer, at 14% a real challenge. I led the way at steady pace, chuckling to myself as Mark Nott blasted past after about 500 metres little did he know what was to come. To be fair he pushed on hard up the steepest section but was to suffer as we headed out of the village.

After giving us head start Mark Rosser was closing fast with Steven struggling to get any grip on his sleek back tyre bringing up the rear.

Mark R hit the front as we got up to the common followed by myself, Will, Mark N and Steven.

Great descent via Deri and Groesfaen to Bargoed then we all sat in Mark R's slipstream as he towed us virtually all the way back to Bridgend, we passed Caerphilly in a blur so no coffee stop!!

62 miles in 3:30 ave 17.7mph

Steven has requested that this route be a once a year ride, I didn't establish whether that is a calendar year or cycling season 'year'

Just about to make start on replenishing the 4488 calories Garmin says I used up!  :)

Amblers - 8th December 2013 -  Report by Paul Longthorn - Club Captain

9 Amblers Started from Brackla today. Aiden, Andrew Foster, Andrew Story, Tom, Jon Spink, Terry, Ron, Wayne and Myself.

We rolled out with the Pacers until Ewenny then everyone was denutralized. We pressed on following the planned route. Ron decided to peel off at Llantwit Major, after spaying us all with a coat of mud. Nice cupper at Dyffryn Gardens. After discussing at length the route home I must have been confused on what was finally agreed as I took a wrong turn and split the group. So apologies to Terry, Aiden, and Andrew Story. Hope you didn't wait for us.

Should have been around 45 miles Brackla to Brackla. Same time next week

Pacers - 8th December 2013 -  Report by Andy Harries, Vice Captain

5 Pacers headed out together with the Amblers this morning. Rob J, Mark R, Jason T, Joe beech and myself.

The two groups split at Ewenny with the Pacers heading out into the headwind to Ogmore. Rob decided the best way to overcome the headwind was to go hard and get to Ogmore and the change of direction, as quickly as possible. At least that's what it felt like!

Rob and Mark set the pace around the coast road until Mark headed off early and Joe took up the pace making, making light of the fact he was riding single speed.

Turned at Llantwit, through  Cowbridge and  up Primrose Hill, where Rob had the first of his punctures. Flatted again at the Aubrey Arms turn off and called it a day on the road to Llancadle. The three remaining then followed the Fontygary Road to Rhoose and the airport before shortening the ride and going straight to Duffryn gardens and the cafe stop. Amblers had already left but Rob caught up with us here after finally sorting out his tyre.

Headed home back into the headwind with Joe leading us home via the lanes through Llanmaes and Siginstone, quite a drag along these lanes and I was very glad to be riding a geared bike but Joe still looking strong.

57 miles @ 18 mph average.

Thanks for the company and reminder to Mark that club runs  are starting at 9.30 until February when they revert back to 9.00 ;D

Amblers - 15th  December 2013 -  Report by Tom Beech

As can be seen from Paul's post above we started shedding Amblers before we even set off today as Paul sensibly looked at the weather forecast(no sorry Paul,I know you weren't feeling well really).Nevertheless 12 set off-Terry,Wayne Andy S ,Andy F,Jonathan,Lee S,Gareth(Steve M's nephew),John,Carrie,,Bowen,PeteP and myself.John had warned us he would turn short but I didn't expect that to be at Brynna-sorry I didn't realise you'd turned off John,hope you're ok!

Next drama Lee came off on the railway line at Talbot Green.He carried on but turned back after another 5 miles or so-likewise hope you're feeling ok Lee.

Pete and Bowen turned off at Ponty-presumably hoping to escape the jinx on the ride.We carried on the suggested route but the heavens opened and we turned at Church Village for Creigau and Efail Isaf-none of us could remember going on that road before,it cut out all the traffic in Taffs Well etc ,all the hills and about 7or8 miles so what's not to like?

We headed down to St Fagans then back through Pendoylan,Peterston where Wayne punctured while eating a banana.Andrew F then confided in us that he'd never had a puncture so we were waiting for it to happen from then on.

The plan had been to go to Costa Cowbridge but we were all so wet we decided to give it a miss and the remainder of us headed back thru City,Craig Penlline except for Wayne who set off looking for more Hills,Miles &Rain-hopefully you found all but the rain Wayne.

We only did about 37 or 38 today but in the circumstances it wasn't a bad effort and I hope everyone enjoyed the ride and the company as much as I did.

Pacers - 15th December 2013 -  Report by Andy Harries, Vice Captain

Maerdy mountain was only a place for mad men and 'die hards'  today and in expectation of a tough day, six set off on the pacers ride.

Steven, Rob, Chris, Jason, Mark Nott and myself. Steady pace out through Brynna to Llantrisant with Steven instilling some discipline to the group riding.

Heavens opened in Church Village and rain capes were donned by some, with other waiting until Pontypridd when it got really heavy!

This was to continue for the rest of the ride so no 'jacket on - jacket off'  issues, that's for sure.

Through Ponty and up the Rhondda Fach using the old roads as the bypss is no fun for cyclist, via Porth, Wattstown and Ferndale to Maerdy and the main climb of the day. Mist was descending but was assured that the sun was shining at the top of the mountain NOT!

Rob led the way up this short but tough climb the rest of us getting together by the bottom of the wet, hazardous descent. Baguette Express in Aberdare was a welcome sight and coffee and cakes equally welcome.

Rob then led the charge down the Cynon valley into the building headwind, negating any chance of a rest before the climb up Penycoedcae.

On many club runs in the past we have got to this climb and chosen the easy option of going around past the Uni but no dissenters today. Although Jason did question the fact we were going up the steep way, he may or may not of used foul language!!!

Once again Rob was in his element climbing and waited patiently at the summit for Steven, Mark, Chris and myself who had tapped out a sensible pace up what is another tough climb. Jayson at some point after Penycoedcae headed for home and Rob peeled off at Llantrisant. Four of us shared the work back to Bridgend with the drag up to Llanharan a challenge as always.

59 miles banked and an enjoyable ride despite the weather.