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Pacers - 12th October 2014- Report by Andy Harries

Fantastic turnout this morning, counted 27 may have been one or two more by the time we set off.

An upward trickle from the Amblers meant that FIFTEEN pacers set off on out 'lumpy' route.

Steven, Steve C, Toestrap Steve, Terry A, Neil, Mark, Chris G, Allan,  Haydn, Haydn's mate 'Towser'? Wayne, Chris R, Jayson,Ben and me. We met up with Rob at LLantrisant for a total of SIXTEEN pacers, I think the most I've seen on a club run. After the warm up of  Heol Las and Ynsymaerdy we headed on to Tonypandy and the climb up to Trebanog, I could see we were in for a tough day as the climbers headed off into the distance Allan leading the way but Ben, Neil and Jayson also making it look easy. Quick decent into Penygraig (lost Chris Reed with a broken spoke-hope you made it home ok) then down towards Pontypridd and the toughest climb of the day Penycoedcae.

Rob and Ben setting the pace, with Allan and Haydn making an effort to catch them. The grupetto had formed by this time with Steven, Wayne and myself keeping our own pace at the rear.

Fast section to Church Village, Treforest and Taffs Well and the grind up Heol Goch to Pentyrch. No idea of the order up here as the gap from the front riders to the rear of the group was growing by each pedal revolution, rear guard was joined by 'Towser' who had been going really well until this point. (Badly in need of an energy bar, it turned out as found his form again for the rest of the ride).

Powered through the lanes tO P.S.E. and the Gwern - Y - Steeple climb. At this point the 'promoted' Amblers tried to put the boot in, with 'turbo' Terry and Neil (who looked like he was on EPO sandwiches) stormed to the front, the majority of the Pacers sitting at the rear and wondering whether to revoke their invite to ride with us!!   :-[ ;D

Steven and myself then led a gallop over the moor to Llancadle and Steven hitched a ride to Llantwit behind a tractor while the rest of the group got caught by the traffic light at East Aberthaw.

Cafe stop at Velo in Llantwit, well deserved and badly needed in my case, legs were shot by this time. Bravely attempted to set the pace after the cafe stop but was soon hanging off the back.

Talk on nutrition on Friday, quickly forgotten as I've just eaten my body weight in Dark chocolate and Doritos but feeling great, so think I'll wash them down with a beer!

Excellent ride, at a good pace, with pretty good discipline in the group today.

Good to see some Amblers move up (I think!) and welcome to possible new members. Andy H

Great turn out today and a really good write up there Andy. Jason T

Amazing to have 27 of us and all be roughly the same pace. Don't recall any waiting around...could have done with some mind! It was a long lonely ride back from Llantwit to Cardiff after coffee, into an increasingly stiff breeze. The only savour was being able to go at my own, slower, pace! Rob J

Good ride by all. I hate that Penycoedcae climb, but I know it's good for me. Notice from Strava that Jason T and Neil took no prisoners on the descent though. Allan W

25’ers - 26th October  2014 -  Report by Ron Boast

Andrew, Roy(otr), John and Ron out today, dry but windy, headed toward Laleston, Roy and John went via Porthcawl to Pen y Bryn, Andrew and I went a slightly shorter route. We all ended up at Parc Slip for a coffee. Armistice day is in two weeks time so we need to find a route to avoid the parades by then. Ron B

Amblers  - 26th October 2014 - Report by Paul Longthorn

9 out on today's Amblers Ride. - Paul L, Tom, Pete, Roy, Terry, Tony, Daf, Richard Bowmer, Chris Mogg

We managed to stay dry but we had a small crash Daf collided with another wheel and ended up on the Tarmac. But no injuries. Hope this didn't put you off. Newbie Daf did really well and I expect he will make the move upto the pacers soon. The cafe was closed at St Fagans. So we gave the cafe stop a miss. The pace was very good this week. Not to fast.

I clocked up 50 miles but I know Terry was tagging some extra miles on to get his October Grand Fondo. Same time next week. Paul L

Thanks Paul-nice ride and a reasonable pace for an old old man(me).Roy was taking us to a café he knew but we called him back!

Apologies to 'Eagle-Eye' Terry for disputing that something had fallen off my bike yesterday.I think everyone on the ride knew that the 4 nuts which retain the mudguard stays had mysteriously disappeared overnight leaving the stays flapping.

What I now know is that the drilled bolts which fit over the stays and are held in place by the missing nuts can slide off the stays and fall off!They had appeared  secure!

I now need 4 drilled bolts and the nuts to avoid buying a new mudguard.Haven't yet been able to find these online,any suggestions welcome.

Alternatively of course since Terry saw at least one fall off perhaps he'd like to ride the route again to retrieve them? Tom B

Pacers - 26th October 2014 - Report by Andy Harries

Home safe and sound after an eventful Pacers run.

Knew I should have stayed at home, when the first words I heard in the group, were Mark Rosser asking me if I was getting fat! Of course he was more polite than that mentioning something about 'winter padding' but I knew EXACTLY what he meant!!

12 riders and we decided to do the route clockwise to get benefit of wind over the Bwlch and Rhigos and kept to a decent winter pace to the Bwlch, where the usual division occurred, separating into 3 small groups. Reassembled in Treorchy and after a quick gel/banana fix, set off up the Rhigos. Rob hit the front early and soloed up while a group of 5 or 6 kept a steady pace. Myself, Haydn and Neal about 50 metres behind, I couldn't close the gap but Haydn and Neal both climbing well joined the main group.  Rapid decent, regroup and a cafe stop in Aberdare, where disaster struck! The cafe wasn't open! Fortunately it was just about to do so and we helped set out table and chairs. Unfortunately my chain had jammed in the 'cafe sprint' and sheared the outer plate of my rear mech. Shortened chain to set up a single speed but problem with the chainring meant  needed to call in international rescue, in the form of my wife. Thanks for hanging back to check things were OK

Hope you had a good ride home.

After Mark's comments had to rethink post ride recovery again and had already decided that the Mcflurry ice-cream and cornish pastie were short of protein and had too much sugar, so trying out double cornish pasty and a pint of milk. Perfect! Andy H

That was a pretty disastrous failure of components today, hope the crank is salvageable. Jason T

Enjoyable ride today  - glad you made it home OK Andy. Really good to be out in such a big group again, and a sensible pace too. Definitely rode the route the correct way given today's wind though - would not have fancied the Rhigos from the North side.

Good cafe stop - nice espresso and home made Welsh Cakes (for my Winter padding) - will go there again. The owner complemented me on my choice of colours - I may change my Strava name from Fat Boab to the Celeste Chopper.   See you all next week hopefully. Allan W

25’ers - 19th October 2014 -  Report by  Ron Boast

For a change we turned right at the first round about and headed to Coity. Over the top to Heol y Cyw, left and onward to Llangeinor, Roy 1 and John went up the lane to the Llangeinor arms. Andrew and I went the easy way. Then over Betws, Shwt and Parc Slip for T. Then back to Base. Perhaps last of the dry Sunday rides. Ron B

The ladies in the Parc Slip passed on your message to us Ron.I didn't have any cake but I can't speak for anyone else! Tom B

With your ten stone bike we don't need any more excuses, or you will have to borrow some of mine. First time at the Slip nice coffee and cake, nice place full stop. Ron B

Amblers  - 19th October - Report by Paul Longthorn

10 Amblers out today: Paul Longthorn, Pete Philips ( 4th Tester Ride ), Tom, Mark Pope, Neil Bartlett, Tony, Terry, Andrew S, Carrie, Lee Stoneham

Ride all went to plan at a rapid pace and a few fell off the back while others when chasing Strava segments, although they did kindly wait for the stragglers. Very windy around the two coastal loops. A nice cuppa at Parc Slip just missed Ron's crew and we got the message you left with the girl at Parc Slip. Some plans been hatched to get out on Tuesday. Just short of 50 miles. Same time next week. Paul L

Thanks Paul-it was a good route.You'll be missed as CC!

I'm sorry I was sooooo slow-I'd like to say it's my heavier Winter bike bit it's me!Don't know why I'm suddenly so duff-only glad there were no small children out today or they'd have had to wait for me too!

Hope to be out Tuesday but I'll understand if you'd all rather do something else!Tom B

Pacers  - 19th October 2014 - Report by Andy Harries

Will + mate, (sorry didn't get your name, I was too breathless to converse for most of the ride) Steve C, Toestrap Steve, Chris Reed, Haydn, Chris G, Jason, Wayne, Roy, Rob and Keith and myself on the tandem, made up today's Pacers ride.

Headed east with benefit of the tailwind, tandem setting much of the pace, under no illusions of how much we were going to suffer in the headwind home! Made good progress until Groesfaen where Jason punctured, soon mended headed into Cardiff, where we seemed to catch most of the lights on red, which was frustrating. Soon onto the flats where pace increased with tandem again doing much of the work joined by TS Steve. Only real climb of the day at Gaer separated the field, with the tandem starting to struggle, most of the others climbing well.

Short sharp kick in Basseleg saw the tandem once again being dropped and also saw Roy off the back. As we had now turned into the wind it became a struggle, but we managed to work together with the rest waiting for us at proposed cafe stop in Machen. Unfortunately the cafe has closed for the winter, much to our collective disappointment, so Costa in Caerphilly it was!

Well earned but expensive coffee and cake before the last leg home. Keith and I both agreed the cake had made us feel better but had done nothing for the legs. Managed to hang in, with some judicious pushing from TS Steve on the climbs, on the way home until the drag up to Llanaharan and despite some pacing from Steve C couldn't rejoin the group. Soft pedalled back to Ewenny from Pencoed, with Keith and I both running on empty.

Good workout and the weather stayed dry, if a tad windy!

Will look to the hills for next week's route.

After last week's debacle with post race nutrition, refined it this week and a cornish pasty and a McFlurry ice-cream seems to have hit the spot!! Andy H

Andy and Keith - surely its easier riding into a headwind than it would be solo?

Well done for getting up that gaer road climb today, looks a bit steep for a tandem! Rob J

It is Rob but it was hard once a gap opened, after any climb, to get 'back on'.

Suppose that the benefits of riding in a group and quality of the riders prevailed!  Andy H

Mid week ride 17th  October 2014 - Report by Tom Beech

6 of us out for an impromptu ride today-it's not so lomg ago we might only have had that number on a Sunday!Mark p,Ron,Terry Carrie and I met up for an espresso dopio in Costa Cowbridge then rode through Welsh St D. to Peterston where we met up with Kate.Ron&Terry having time restrictions turned off at St Fagans whilst the rest of us carried on through Fairwater to pick up the Taff Trail at Llandaff North then down to the Bay and over the Barrage.As a slight route variation we tackled Cardiff City Council's answer to the Ventoux where in true hell of the South manner Mark picked up a puncture(rear obviously)which it took the combined efforts of 4 of us half an hour to fix!Luckily Kate has good enough eyesight to detect very small but lethal thorns embedded in a tyre(unlike Mark&myself)We carried on to Dinas P where Mark bought us all coffee as recompense for the delay-don't hope to establish a club tradition there Mark! We then made our way to St Lythans ,Duffryn and back through the lanes.

No idea of distance but after a couple of weeks off the bike and a first outing for my 10 stone(or feels like it)Winter bike it felt a lot!Feeling a bit ill now which I'd like to think was the cause of my less than inspiring performance but I fear it's actually the consequence!(and we all got back before the rain!) Tom B

Nice ride out yesterday, one correction only Tom had a coffee before the ride, we don't do that on the 25er's rides. Riding back with Terry gave me a gauge on my fitness, a lot of work to do. More mid week ride for me. Ron B

Mid week ride 21st  October 2014 - Report by Tom Beech

4 left B&Q-Paul,myself,Terry &Richard B.Normal route to Café Velo where we met Mark P(on bike)and Carrie(in car having been to the Gym).Paul punctured on the way back which decided us in view of the delay to definitely come back via Death Valley rather than round the Coast in this wind.A bit of a bonus ride given the weather forecast. Tom B

Mid week ride 27th October 2014 - Report by Tom Beech

Despite several regulars being away due to half term we still had 5 of us meet up at 9.30-Roy(2),Terry,Ron,Richard(sorry Rich,don't recall your surmane!)and myself.Set off on the usual route-as I'd expected a low turn-out I'd taken on a few other chores so was a bit short of time,Ron and I turned right in Aberthin and took a short-cut to Llantwit through the lanes,the other 3 pressed on via the normal route and hopefully met up with you Carrie.I left Ron in St Brides and after going round the coast called at Halfords to collect the bolts-now to see if they fit and if they do if I can fit them without losing them!

I'm hoping to get out again on Friday morning if the weather is ok in case anyone is about! Tom B

Passed you all at B&Q this morning - sorry I didn't stop, trying to maintain a schedule as usual. I had a good celeb-spotting round - Nicole Cooke, Rhys Lloyd and Dan Pearson all spotted - it's a change from the birdwatching I normally combine with my ride. Allan W

Ah-ha-Ron said wasn't that Allan?We all said no,he'd have stopped to say hello Tom B

Well, not long after Tom & Ron split off from us, we saw Geraint Thomas (for certain) with Luke Rowe (probably) going the other way. They were going quite fast !!!! Terry A

Bank Holiday Ride 26th May 2014 -  Report by Various

Considering I only mentioned it as an afterthought yesterday afternoon I was quite surprised to find 6 other Oggies waiting at the Triangle for a shorter Bank Hol ride.Andy S,Steve C Wayne,Jonathan,Roy Andrew F and I set off on the planned route.Andrew F wasn't feeling 100% and decided to turn back at the bottom of the Bwllch.The rest of us pressed on,amused to see the sheep on the top clustering in the lay-by awaiting the arrival of the ice cream van.They're not so stupid as sure enough he rolled in a few minutes later and threw them a load of cones(no ice cream though).

Steve had a high speed blow-out going down the Bwllch but thanks to what appeared good bike handling skills from my vantage point half a mile or so behind remained upright.

Roy fell off at v low speed turning left up toward Maesteg not having ridden that hill under-estimated the steepness and couldn't get down the gears in time-no injuries except perhaps tp pride.

Wayne peeled off in Maesteg to go and visit his Mum(brownie points to him).All of us except Jonathan turned left to climb Shwt(very nicely re-surfaced btw).Jonathan was probably heading direct to McDonalds as he was on a diet which meant he can't eat before mid-day and did the ride without breakfast!

Finally Steve paid for dropping us all on all the hills as he got hunger knock a few miles from home and had to go foraging for food.

Even with the puncture we were home in under 3 hours-can't tell you distance or metres climbed etc as I haven't had a computer for 7 years! Tom Beech

4 out for the slightly shortened Bank Holiday epic, Allan, Rob, Jason T and myself.

Set off in cool conditions but at least able to get short sleeve shirt and arm-warmers out, sun trying to make an appearance.

Steady pace out via Groesfaen to the first climb of the day, Church Road, up to Pentyrch. Gentle warm up to prepare the legs for what was to come later.

Rapid descent to Taffs Well, then Tongwynlais and Caerphilly Mountain via Heol-Y-Forest and Pen-Y-Bryn. Pace still pretty steady at this point, climber(s) still holding back and 'measuring the effort'.

Slight detour from Rob's part of the route, led us to ask directions of a local in an estate off Van Rd in Caerphilly. Classic answer, "don't know why you'd want to go up there for, (about Rudry) there's nothing up there 'mun'!!

Rob starting to get the bit between his teeth, shot off up the climb to Rudry, leaving the rest of us to wonder.......

Great views from the top but weren't there for long as we headed down to Lower Machen, sharp left turn after the church and onto the climb to Ochrwyth, toughest of the day so far, only just over a mile long but with several sharp inclines reaching 15%, even tougher was going down the other side, steeper, wet, twisting and poor road surface, meaning great care needed.

Followed  the  B road through Risca, Cwmcarn and Abercarn to climb up to Hafodyrynys, only a mile at 8% but the climbing was now starting to tell. Quick blast along the A472 and A4042 took us to the Old Abergavenny Road rejoining the A4042 at LLanover before turning off again at Oak Lane for the highlight of the day, 4 miles of climbing, 1500+ ft of ascent, gradients of 15%+. Throw in water, mud, potholes and generally bad surface and this makes it a very tough climb. Rob hit the climb hard from the off whilst I stayed on Allan's wheel for as long as I could, trying to warn in advance about the various sections, Jason bringing up the rear. Lost Allan's wheel after about 1/3 of the climb and was glad to make it up the climb with having to stop as conditions were v. slippery. This is a tough climb, views from the top almost worth it!!

Waited at the top for Jason but realized he must have missed a turn, so I descended while Allan and Rob carried on (mutual agreement). Met Jason about a mile down the hill and had the joy of climbing back up. As both Jason and I had done some extra climbing we missed out the final climb and headed for home.

Coffee, ice-cream and walnut cake at Hapus in Machen provided just about enough energy to make it back to Llantrisant, very tired the merest rise in the road prompting a down shift in gears.

Good day out, thanks for the company.

91 miles 6 hours 2199 meters (enough to qualify as an epic?)  Andy Harries

I think so, even allowing for Allan and I copping out half way round your triathlon course and taking the easy way home. That was one heck of a climb up to blorenge...though I am sure it would be much easier after a swim and knowing you have a run to follow! Rob Jones

Superb effort from you today Andy. Thanks for agreeing to let Rob and I head on (allowed me to take son Number 2 out for his first road ride) and allowed Rob to avoid doghouse (just). The fact you could face going back up that hill after descending 1 mile I think is a demonstration of your Ironman credentials - I would not have been able to do it. Despite the pain it was a brilliant ride - absolutely fantastic route. For future reference, Rob and I can recommend the road from Tredegar to Blackwood - wide maim road, but very quiet, and really scenic.

As always, Rob's climbing was awe-inspiring. Allan Wardhaugh

25’er’s - 1st June 2014 -  Report by Various

Perfect morning for a ride up the Bwlch was fab, Llangeinor hill both ways too Ron hope your impressed, no shirking while your'e not around!… Sian H

Really enjoyed today's run. Thanks to everyone for waiting for me  :-[!  Claire H

Amblers - 1st  June 2014 -  Report by Various

Fortunately I think most/all club members have learned to take no notice of anything I say but I would like to apologise to anyone I misled when I said we had a choice of a flatter or a hillier route this morning.This was entirely due to my laziness in not bothering to blow up the very excellent route Jason posted last night!I should of course have said we had a choice between 2 hilly rides.

As it was 14 of us set out from Physique-sorry Paul,I need you to list everyone but included Marshall back for his 2nd club run and Mark Cooke looking svelte.We followed the route Jason posted above,going round the camp rather than straight along the main road,splitting up at Café Velo where some stopped while others pressed on.

Everyone I spoke to enjoyed the ride and I think thanks to the influence of Jason and 1 or 2 others we managed to get out of our Ambling comfort zone and push it a bit harder than normal.

Thanks Jason for excellent route! Tom B

It was a good ride today, thanks to all for the company ~ Steve, Andy & Paul certainly injected some pace into that ride as well today.

Hope people aren't feeling too tired after some of those hills and everyone enjoyed it. Jason T

Thanks for the ride today - a great route. Carrie W

25’ers - 8th June 2014 -  Report by Various

Fab bike ride today, Pencoed, Bwlch,  Treorchy back to Pencoed :) Sian H

I did the 26.5 mike Dragon Cycletta. Great day for it & I'm pleased with my 2 hours 12 minutes time. Back with you next week  ;D Claire H

Amblers Medio Fondo - 8th June 2014 -  Report by Various

OVW Hi Jacked the Dragon Ride. Most rode together up the top of the Bwlch. Some Turned off back down the Ogmore Valley then home. The rest pressed on until the top of the Rhigos. Where some shamefull club members took full advantage of the free feed station.  After doing more than 40miles to the top of the Rhigos I decided to turn back and so did everyone else. Hard to name everyone this week as so many options taken for different routes, and I wouldn't want to miss anyone.

Really enjoyed this morning and thanks for the good company. 62 miles for me. Paul L

Thanks Paul,I stuck with Lucy on her first Amblers ride after a few outings with the 25 ers.Although slightly slower(just for the time being)on the flat I was impressed to see Lucy ride over the Bwllch with very little discernible reduction in speed.No-one passed us on the climb itself-it felt like being on one of the busy climbs in Mallorca.

We turned right at the top-a relief to get away from all those bl***y cyclists! Tom B

Amblers - 15th  June 2014 -  Report by Paul Longthorn - Club Captain

Good turn out today for the Amblers today  Marshall, Kevin, Bowen, Pete, Mark Pope, Chris Reed, Andrew S, Steve Chapman, Terry, Jonathan, Richard B, Wayne, Neil, Paul Longthorn, Roy

Good fast average speed today 16.7 mph. Bowen dropped out early on with a puncture. Near Treoes. We lost Kevin but hope he decided to join the 25ers as we over took them.

Some stopped at Eweeny for at cuppa and rest pressed on to complete a half century.

I had the company of Steve Chapman going home and he was trying to persuade me to get another ten miles. I was tempted but after the hellish route he suggested I declined.

41 miles for me today. How many miles did you do?

Rich B, Wayne and I pushed on past Ewenny over 3 step hill to Porthcawl for a cafe break then a spin up through the Golf Course to the A48 and back to Bridgend and home. Kept the ave pace brisk at just over 17mph and I got home for a 75 mile total. (Then shock and surprise on the Criterium de D) Chris R

25’ers - 15th  June 2014 -  Report by Ron Boast

Four suspects out today, Claire, Sian Tim and Me. 30 odd miles with a stop at the Velo Café. Passed the Amblers on the way through Troes, Bowen had a puncture, I think they just wanted a rest before the climb to Llangan, no gain without pain gents.

31.97 to be precise. I'm claiming 32. Really enjoyed! Claire H

Pacers - 15th  June 2014 -  Report by Various

Good to see over 20 people at 0900 today.

Pacers were Chris G, Mark R and newbie Paul.  Port Talbot, Neath Valley, climbed the bank on the old road, Aberdare for coffee, Ponty and back.

72miles at an average of 19.3 mph.  I have never averaged over 19mph above 70 miles before !

Pacers - 22nd June 2014 -  Report by Andy Harries - Vice Captain

Nine out for the Pacers mini-epic around the Gower.

It was noted that Lemon sorbet ice-cream has the same effect on Allan, as a double espresso normally does. As he proceeded to tow us all along Fabian Way, at a good lick and pretty much all the way back to Brackla.

Great riding today guys, 81 miles for me @17.6mph and glorious sunshine.

I'm away next weekend, hope to see you at chaingang or next weeks club '10'

Great ride today - perfect weather, great company and a good pace. Gower roads not as bad as trailed apart from the hundreds of cyclists - made us look very fast though. Worth it for the fantastic view from the top of Cefn Bryn - a favourite for me from my days of living in Reynoldston. I remember when Beth and I lived there, we would only venture out on foot at weekends - but with Cefn Bryn literally on our doorstep, Three Cliffs within an easy walk, and the King Arthur 100 yards along the road it was no hardship.

Thanks to all who rode - we made a pretty smooth peleton I thought.

I'm popping out now to stock up on lemon sorbet.  AW

A well chosen route (lol) on the less busy roads and a charity cycle ride for British Heart Foundation, meant the only hold ups today were for 'said' charity riders, ponies and cows on the common. Oh add in a brief stop for Neil, who lost a brake pad off his recently serviced bike! Luckily sorted by mobile mechanic supporting charity ride.

Riders our were Allan, Jason, Paul, Mark R., Neil, Jonathan, Steve C, Haydn and myself. Set out via Laleston and Roger's Lane to Port Talbot, Neath, Skewen and Morriston for first little climb of the day, where the natural selection occurred i.e. me and a couple of others were spat out the back. Minor detour between Gorseinon and Gowerton where we did our best to lose Allan before hitting the North Gower road toward Penclawdd. Started to see a lot of charity

Picked a good day to be with the 'Pacers' eventful for sure, enjoyed Allan's adrenaline ride coming home! many thanks to Andy and Mark making sure no amblers strayed too far off the back of the Peloton. Cheers! Neil B

riders but not much other traffic, headed on to Reynoldston and climb to the top of the Gower,  before back tracking to Kittle then the Mumbles for a well deserved ice-cream at Verdi's.

25’ers - 29th June 2014 -  Report by Ron Boast

Just three of us out this morning, Andrew, Claire(Hiett) and Ron, Carrie and Kate were drawn to the multi colour lycra of the Amblers. Down the Vale to the Velo and back along the coast. Had a wakening call at the 90 degree bend at Atlantic College, we met a bus on the bend, did not hear it because a tractor was working just inside the gates, could have been nasty if we had a big bunch. Met Kris at the café and he sends his regards, he was out cycling with his son.

Amblers - 29th June 2014 -  Report by Paul Longthorn - Club Captain

Great turnout today with the Amblers. We rode the posted route but split into two groups.

Group 1

Mark Rosser, Chris Goodwin, Bowen, Jonathan Spink, Gary Trembet, Ben North, Paul N, Roy

Group 2

Carrie, Louise, Kate, Tom, Paul L, Pete Philips, Mark Pope, Terry

Sorry I must have missed someone. Please let me know if it's you .

Worked really well with the split we all met at the Velo Cafe. 57 Miles for me.

Great ride this morning. I felt really good considering I shattered at least 6 Strava Segment records! It was my first time using Strava on my new Android phone and I forgot to stop Strava when I finished the ride. Hence my average speed back from Brackla to Barry was quite impressive. When I learn how to delete or discard the ride I will. 54.6 actual miles for me, slightly more on Strava!! ;D Mark P

Pacers 6th July 2014 -  Report by Rob Jones

Pacers today was Andy, Andy, Steven, Steve, Ben, Terry, Jonathon, Jason and me (think I've got everyone?). After coffee at the Hapus parlour we split about 50/50 flat route home versus rest of Andy'd planned route. Cracking ride with great company, mostly on rolling lanes at a decent pace - highlight for me was vista of Pen-y-fan from above Sengynnedd...wasn't expecting to be able to see that far!

Jason starting to look a bit too strong for my liking, especially on the flat and shallow climbs...can someone get him away from that dietician before he turns into another bonecrusher knott!  ;)

Pen-y-coed-cae was a bit of a slog into the wind, but its gotta be done at the of the ride!

+ Paul sorry, and possibly Haydn for a while too?Rob J

More than a while rob! ;) Haydn L

25’ers - 20th July 2014 -  Report by Ron B

Only Andy out this morning, returning after the birth of his son, so we threw out the "Plan" and went for "F". Slightly faster than normal with a stop at The Velo. Had a report from so cylists that the "Lycra" boys had passed by slowly, so we had a nice cuppa and headed home for some gardening. About 25 miles in under two hours in good conditions.

Amblers  - 20th July 2014 - Report by Paul L

Very good turn out today,

1 Kate, Carrie, Mark Pope, Jonathan Spink,  Toe Strap Steve,  Will,  Marshall,  Wayne,  Pete Philips,  Tom,  Paul Longthorn, Haydn Lewis,  Neil Bartlett. Lance,  Roy 1,  Roy 2

 Really enjoyed today great weather and company. Well done to all good pace today 58 miles for me. Sorry to those people who had to remind me of there names I wont forget next time. Hope haven't missed anyone. I won't be out next week. So someone please post a route. Paul L

Yes thanks for sorting a good ride Paul-apologies to Roy and Marshall-we got separated in the lanes on the way back.Paul,Mark and I did wait but thought you may have taken a wrong turning before we realised we weren't all together.Hope you got back ok! Tom B

I had to stop at city with cramp so ended up traveling back slower than normal though I doubt many would notice the difference, thanks all for a good ride, enjoyed that. Roy H

25’ers - 13th July 2014 -  Report by Ron Boast

Just 4 out today, Roy, taking it easy after a break, Andrew, Sian and Me. Pen y cai, S bends, Aber k, Shwt, Bettws,Llan G, Blackmill for an instant and home. Passed the "Lycra Boys" toiling up Little Bwlch then my tyre came off the rim at a cattle grid, a first for me, Andrew has a fantastic pump so we were up and orf in no time. Total distance 123 k, 2345 meters of cllmbing. all in nice weather, but we had a near miss by our club house, a driver pulled out of the castle, didn't look, too busy texting and still texting when we passed him at the six Bells, probably something important. had it been the Amblers coming down the hill, slightly different result.. Ron B

Good day out, glad we got some climbs in, thanks Ron  :) Sian H

Amblers - 13th July 2014 -  Report by Paul Longthorn - Club Captain

15 out today on a United Amblers and Pacers ride hope I can remember e very ones name

Tom, Terry, Tony, Wayne, Steve Chapman, Andy Wicks, Jason Turvy, Nick, Roy 2, Paul Longthorn, Chris Reed, Neil, Mark Rosser, Mark Pope, Pete Philips

We rode the planned route, Pete peeled off after about 20 mile which he had planned to do. At Betws we lost Andy Wicks, Jason Turvey, and Mark Rosser. Instead of turning off towards Shwt they went thundering passed and we did not see them again. Only Change of Plan was to miss out Brynn and go over Llan and a coffee stop in Parc Slip. Well done to the newbie Nick good strong rider and managed to fix a blow out with a gel bar wrapper impressive.

Hard morning in the hills shorter than usual ride but tough all the same. Paul L

Very impressed at your naming everyone Paul!Excellent ride today.Didn't realise it was Nick's first outing today-I'll be in even deeper disgrace for not stopping when he punctured!Somenoe had to ride on and let you know the problem and it gave Steve the chance to climb another hill! Tom B

Mark, Andy and myself went shooting through Bettws where we stopped for the group to catch up, after waiting for a while we realised that we should have turned off and went in search of the main pack.

After rolling into Porthcawl we came to the conclusion that someone must have had a mechanical or a different route was taken.

Andy W looking very strong as he says he's not been on the bike for a while and a nice coffee stop in Ewenny... those cakes looked awfully tempting.

Thanks for looking after Nick, seems he enjoyed it and hopefully he'll be joining the amblers for another ride.  Jason T

I knew there had to be one I missed, Jonathan Spink. Sorry Jonathan.  Paul L

Always nice rolling with the club. Great to see the numbers increasing and riders getting stronger! Love a big yellow peleton!

Nice route and weather on the day! Good job i had Mark and Jason infront, as i was doing a bit of gurning. Wheel doped for a good 15+ miles.. Winner Andy W

Pacers  - 20th July 2014 - Report to Allan W

It was a hilly one for the pacers today - excellent route from Rob.

Steve Chapman, Jason T, Rob J, Chris and yours truly set off East until Llantrisant where we headed up the hill to Penycoedcae. As soon as we hit the bottom of the descent of that it was up Graigwen - hard climb, but great road at the top to Llanwonno. Descent to Perthcelyn, then at Abercynon we headed up to Gelligaer Common, then back down Rob's favourite descent to Merthyr Garden Village. Then we headed up a nice gentle climb onto the common between Nelson and Senghennydd (tricky descent), and on to Caerphilly. At this point someone usually comes up with an excuse to not go up the mountain, but nobody could think of one, so we toiled up in the heat and stopped at the cafe. After descent to Tongwynlais we then headed up the ridiculously steep Garth Mountain climb - not helped by a generous sprinkling of sand that sat at the steep hairpin. Thereafter Rob lead us through some cyclocross trails until we emerged at Cross Inn. Rob was on his cycloX bike, the rest of us contemplated some bike cleaning this afternoon.

A lot of steep climbs - I think we all agreed this was a lot tougher than a Bwlch/Rhigos/Maerdy combo. Really enjoyable though, and some new climbs for me. Gwaelod-y-Garth was amusing, but I'll not be adding it to my commute.

Good climbing by all today - but Chris must have taken it easy on his TT yesterday judging by the way he rode away from the group up to Senghennydd common. Allan W

Nice report Allan. Sorry about the condition of some of the lanes from the garth to cross inn, but at least they avoided any further climbing! For me caerphilly mtn seemed by far the hardest though our ride profile would probably suggest a couple of others were at least as tough. Rob J

No worries Rob - overall it was a fantastic route. And my bike looks lovely and shiny now..   Good climbing up Garth - 4th overall, and you were on a cross bike and not pushing it. Allan W

I did push it up the Garth...just took a while to get going!

I reckon Steve Chapman looks a bit like Simon Yates on the bike...similar posture suggesting Steve has a good setup and climbing position.  Rob J

25’ers - 27th July 2014 -  Report by Ron B

Very warm for today's ride, lots of regulars missing at Physiques, hols or warming up the TV ready for this afternoon. Joined by Sian, Claire and three gents who turned out to be a little too quick. Ewenny up the hill at Corntown, at Colwinston the men set off on a slightly longer loop through City to get to Cowbridge. We went down the hill at Penllyn castle, through Cow/B then Claire broke a spoke. Quick fix and we were off again, good old elastic band to tie it in. Coffee at an empty Velo then back through Atlantic college to the finish. lots of out of the saddle bumps, but very scenic.

One word, challenging  8) Claire H

Amblers  - 27th July 2014 - Report by Mark P

Only 6 out with the Amblers today. However, it was a great ride in fantastic weather. We headed over to the Mumbles for tea and cake at a fair old lick, which only slowed to allow thousands of pink attired ladies to pass as they headed out of Swansea in the Race for Life. After a pleasant break by the seaside we shooshed back at a very un-Amblers like average speed of 19mph helped by a slight (very slight ;D) tailwind. Some big turns on the front by Andrew S and Neil Bartlett who has obviously been training too hard and watching too many Tony Martin stage wins in the Tour. Riding with the Amblers you don't expect to trouble the leader board on too many Strava segments but such was our speed today down the new road near Port Talbot that Jonathan Spink now sits in 4th place on that stretch, with a certain Thor Hushovd nailing first place (was he visiting his old mate Maggie Backstedt?). Impressive stuff!

On a personal note I must apologise for the state of my shorts which, unknown to me have completely worn through and were showing a less than shiny pair of buttocks!

The riders were: Pete Phillips, Jonathan Spink, Andrew Storrie, Neil Bartlett, Roy 1, Mark P

‘Extreme’ Pacers  - 27th July 2014 - Report to Steven M

Hadyn, Steve 'Kid' Curry, Jason T, Paul N and myself.

Porthcawl, Port Talbot, Neath, up the bank ( We all got Strava top 10's so worth the effort!), Penderyn to the foot of Pen y Fan, A470, Merthyr. At this point there was a touch of wheels and Paul went down.  We dispatched him off to hospital with a suspected broken collar bone and sorted his bike out and then continued.  Pontypridd to Brackla.  This was 90 miles at 19.7mph.  I then did another loop to get 102miles in.

Great riding conditions and good company, marred by the accident- get well soon Paul.… Steven M

Good pace on the ride today and not too hot, I think your 08:00 start time was a good decision. Jason T

Yeah best of luck to Paul on his recovery! Fastest pace I've ever done over a good distance, great experience, thanks to Stephen and Jason for tow home!! Haydn L

25’ers - 3rd August 2014 -  Report by Claire H

Andrew x 2, Roy, et moi aujourd hui. A very enjoyable 22 (ish) miles through the vale. Stopped for a nice cuppa in Cowbridge, saw 2 guys I went to school with, who I haven't seen since school in the early 80's! Tried to recruit them as they also cycle, watch this space...

Amblers  - 3rd August 2014 - Report by Paul L

Nine out this morning on the extended Amber's rides.

Jonathan Spink, Steve Chapman, Marshall, Andrew Storrie, Neil Bartlett, Paul Longhorn,
Terry Anthony, Ben, Chris Read

We started off at a fast pace and by the time we got passed Neath, we were at an average speed of 18mph. This soon slowed down once we hit the climbs. Stopped of in Treorchy in the Station Cafe. In was an experience. Like going back in time 40 years. We continued on climbed the Bwlch and home before 12:30 62 miles for me see you next week.

And ten if you include me as well  ;D  Richard Bowmer

Sorry Richard. Paul L

‘Extreme Pacers  - 3rd August 2014 - Report by Steven M

Mark R and I set off from Brackla, A48 to Cardiff, rolled through a few red lights to meet the 0900 meet time.  Rob and Jason were waiting and we set off via the marshes to Newport.  We got an armchair ride at 25mph from another cyclist, through Newport to Caerleon.  Breathtaking scenery to Usk and then with 50 miles in our legs we succumbed to a cafe stop.  Refuelled and having visited probably the most bizzare loo ever(!), we set off for Pontypool with Rob returning to Cardiff having filled our heads with dire warnings about the A472.  It was fine until  Newbridge but then the exposed stretches took their toll with Jason pulling us along. Back via Tonteg and Pencoed.  90 miles… Steven M

A good ride today with a challenge for the legs with the headwind in some sections.  It seems Strava is playing up at the moment and it won't accept my uploads, Garmin Connect reports 67 miles due to my late start. Jason T

Glad its not just me having problems with strava! Steve C

Well done guys. I headed on to Chepstow after the coffee on my favourite 15 mile stretch of road.  I think I probably had something similar to you from Chepstow back to Cardiff, with the A48 being proxy for your A472! I felt like G Thomas as far as Newport....refusing to let the headwind reduce my average speed...but then it inevitably took its toll the last 10 miles or so after Newport.  Rob J

Set out to join you this morning, but as I was leaving my rear derailleur cable snapped. After faffing for a bit, I went for the bike change, but thought I'd missed you rolling by. As I was solo I headed off in another direction so I could avoid a headwind slog at the end.

I've had Strava issues too - seems to be all sorted now though.  Allan W

Is it a coincidence that all club members had strava issues the day I joined?(don't bother to follow me as(luckily)I have no means of posting my rides-I just want to keep an eye on you all!) Tom B

Amblers  - 10th August 2014 - Report by Chris Reed

Amblers met as usual at 9. Route - Park Slip, A48, Loop of PT, Porthcawl, Ewenny, Wick, Llandow, Cowbridge, Llanharry.Torrential rain first and last hour (showers in between)

Riders   -   Me   -   :-) Chris R

 Chris, I recognise that fine line between madness and dedication  ::)  Teresa D

25’ers - 17th August 2014 -  Report by Claire Hiett

Once the initial confusion of Ron's absence subsided, Andrew, Lucy, me & my friend Nicola set off around the vale. A tad wet to start & blustery throughout. Was it 28 miles you said Andrew? We turned left after Treoes, through the lanes, straight ahead at the lights in Cowbridge, into Llan something, with a nice climb out. On to Llantwit for a cuppa & home along the coast. Nothing broke today & the lovely Andrew did a sterling job on my back wheel where Halfords miserably failed. Thank you again bike mechanic extraordinaire. It's who you know, you know… Claire H

I am getting a good press at present but it's only a matter of time......... Also , where is our leader? Soon it will be ' do we go left, right , straight on ? No we stop and phone Ron ! Andrew W

you will have to do without me again next week, but Tom taught me one of his old skills, dropping bread crumbs around the course, I will call in Greg's in the morning and get a few stale loaves and drop crumbs around Llan something. PS I never know where I'm going! Ron B

Amblers  - 17th August 2014 - Report by Paul Longthorn

14 Started out this morning

Craig Morgan, Neil H, Neil B, Steve C, Paul L, Hayden, Richard B, Jason T, Ben N, Jonathan S, Wayne E, Chris M, Tony M, Marshall

Nice smooth club run until I punctured, and thanks Craig for the CO2 pump really impressed, may need to invest in one of those. Two new boys  riding very well, and we hope to see them again. A few changes to the posted route but I think they improved the planned route. Nice cuppa in the Velo Cafe.

61 miles for me. Paul L

Thanks for letting me join, just as tough as I imagined it would. Will need to increase the training.

Paul - co2 pump is the way forward just remember towear gloves so you don't freeze your hands! Craig M

25’ers - 24th August 2014 -  Report by Claire H

Just me & my cycling buddy Andrew today. Coastal road to Llantwit (Ogmore by Sea, Southerndown, Marcross, St.Donats. Nice cuppa in Cafe Velo, then on to Llanmaes, Sigingstone, back into Ewenny & home. 27 miles of loveliness. We're out again Tuesday if anyone wants to join us.)

Amblers  - 24th August 2014 - Report by Tom Beech

12 of us set out for a combined Amblers/Pacers ride this morning(I'll do my best here!!)

Tony, Terry, Wayne, Chris, Ben,  Carrie, Steve C, Neil, Jonathan, Mark R(very briefly), Myself and Richard on his first club run(the shirts had caught his eye!)

I suggested either Bwllch or Cardiff Bay-I'm sure the prospect of seeing Sir Ben Ainslie was the deciding factor not the flatter route!We went in via Aberthin,Welsh St Donats,Peterston,St Fagans and wended our way to the Barrage(and saw the mega yachts there this weekend!)Back out through top end of Penarth-had intended to go through Dinas Powis but some incompetent idiot missed the turning so we ended up going back through top of Barry,round the airport and coffee in Café Velo.Someone with a computer will doubtless say the distance but I'd guess about 50

Thanks to everyone for a nice ride with a bit of everything!Well done especially to Richard-stuck the pace and distance very well-hope to see you again soon.

‘Extreme’ Pacers  - 24th August 2014 - Report by Steven M

Jason S, Mark N and me spend the weekend riding from Cardiff to Windsor.  We set off yesterday at 1pm and went via Newport and Chepstow, over the old Severn bridge to Malmsbury and then spent last night just north of Swindon.  This morning we went via Wantage, Wallingford, Henley on Thames and Twyford to Windsor.

Well done Jason on an excellent back road route (this morning's section across the Ridgeway was superb!).  We got wet on the last 5 miles yesterday but ideal weather otherwise.  160 miles at 19.5mph average and £2,000 raised for the Noah's Ark appeal...

well done! Great work. Hope you all went for the KOM over the col de Severn Bridge! Rob J

Well done all - fantastic  :) Sian H

An excellent "Factor 50" ride, was the rain and wind with you. Well done.  Ron B

25’ers - 31st August 2014 -  Report by Ron B

we did the Reliability 2 ride, Claire, Roy, Andrew, Lee, Marshall and Richard, young Tom joined us just before tea at Argoed typical. After the brief stop we headed up the Afan valley and over the top. Claire and I stayed off the back to stop attacks from behind. Lots of 5 Valleys riders passed us heading for Margam Park, first rider was Stuart PTW with a couple of bunches of PTW's following with Nicole sandwiched in between.

Claire was pleased to get over the Bwllch for the first time and has the 5 V in her sights for next year. Well done Claire, bad news we will go over again on the 14th before the bad weather sets in.

Haha! Thanks for your support Ron! Still chuffed I did all that yesterday! ;D Claire H

25’ers - 7th September 2014 -  Report by Ron Boast

Good weather for todays ride to Remos café on Aberavan Prom, 8 riders set off with the now named 25.5er's  splitting off at Kenfig lights and getting to the Café via Pyle cross, Cornelly and Waterstreet. All ended up at the café at roughly the same time. The 25.5er's came home via Bryn and we the 25er's came back past Wiggly's.

Amblers  - 7th September 2014 - Report by Paul Longthorn

Fantastic Turn out today. Around 20 Amblers and Pacers rode the RR1. The pace was very good a little fast for me and a few others we rolled into the Cafe a few mins down on the bunch after been dropped. Judging by the Stava Stats there was a massive amount of PB's and top tens. Well done all.

But I think we must remember this is the Amblers ride and although in recent years this has got faster we should still be riding at the pace of the slowest rider. Now I'm used to been dropped so it doesn't bother me, but we don't want to put off new club members.

All in all I really enjoyed a good fast Club Run in brilliant Sunshine. Thanks to all who attended.

I'm not out next Sunday so I'll see you at the Climb on the 21st Sept

Tour of Britain on the Tumble - 9th September 2014 - Report by Steve Chapman

Well what a day! Paul, Wayne, Terry, Mark and myself left at 9.30 this morning. Right from the off my garmin didn't like the fact that the route was supposed to start from Brackla and kept trying to redirect us back. Terry had a slow puncture so we decided to stop in Pencoed for Terry to fix his wheel and me to fix my garmin. All sorted and a little bit behind schedule we were off to meet Rob in Cardiff ( who was doing hill repeats while waiting for us ). Bit of a pain getting through Cardiff and Newport but we were all looking forward to getting on the better roads after Caerleon. Nice ride up to Abergavenny and time for a coffee and a sandwich while we watched the race go past for the first time. Headed into the town then for another coffee and food at Harry's Cafe. Then it was time for the Tumble! Not as many people on the lower slopes as I expected but the further up we got the crowd got bigger, as we approached the 1km to go banner we were met by a man with his arms out saying we couldn't go any further by bike, and that we had to walk behind the barriers, and we couldn't go that way after the race had past because of health and safety, as they needed to take the barriers down ( crazy ) So we took our position with about 800m to go and had a great view of the riders as they went past in small groups. Couple of naughty boys then decided to go over the barriers and ride to the top and we're quickly stopped by the police bikes. Bit of a fight to get through the crowd to get down the other side but we were soon off with Rob on the front pretty much all the way to Caerphilly.

Thanks guys for your company I really enjoyed it today.             Just seen us on TV to ( for about a second on the helicopter shot )

Nice report Steve and thanks for setting this all up. Had a great day although my legs and most other places are feeling it this morning.

We were on screen for that second or so - I shouted at the TV when Eurosport cut to a commercial break just as the riders were getting near our first vantage stop.

A day to remember for sure. Terry A

Got to be the longest ride I have done into the wind/breeze...north easterly am turned to south westerly pm. Lucky for us it was a calm day! Rob J

Lucky for us you and Steve sat on the front all day and sheltered the rest of us! A great day out. I particularly enjoyed the 30+ miles downhill from the Tumble on the way back Mark P

25’ers - 14th September 2014 -  Report by  Ron Boast

Just three intrepid riders out today Me, Roy and Neil, I decided to keep the posted ride for you and the Andy's, so we went for a wander down the Vale, left a piece of cake for you at Velo. See you all in two weeks.

Amblers  - 14th September 2014 - Report by Wayne Evans

8  Riders  this morning Roy  Chris G  Ben North , S. Chapman , Tom, J . Spink , Tony and Wayne . With Kieth  and Steven on Tandem.We had intensions of doing RR2 Route but Roy, Ben and Chris G carried on passed Taibach  lights and headed up the Neath valley. Steven and Kieth also headed on towards Neath . That left the five of us to  head up the Afan  Valley over the Bwlch  Llangeinor  and then a detour to Bryngawr  for a coffee stop. Then over Heol Y  Cyw common over to Coity and back home. 52 miles for me

Eira's cafe for Keith and I and back via Aberavon and Porthcawl.  Good learning as to how a tandem works on a club ride! Steven M

Pacers  - 14th September  2014 - Report by Chris Goodwin

Myself Roy and Ben peeled off at Margam to head up the Neath valley to Resolven Hirwaun Aberdare (carrot cake and coffee) and back through Ponty. Nasty swirling wind all day never really felt a tailwind.

Two strong riders who should be with the the pacers over the winter.

75 miles at 18 mph for me.

25’ers - 5th October 2014 -  Report by Ron Boast

Just Andrew and Ron out today, Laleston, Ewenny via the Dipping bridge, joined the gathering crowd at the bottom of Norton for the hill climb. Chatted to a few!!! competitors before it got under way, two different techniques, the spinning method and the stand up and power up the hill method. After all the competitors had finished we wandered around the Vale for an hour before returning to Ewenny for a cuppa. PTW were due to support the event at Penllyne for the second hill. Hope they don't upset the locals

Amblers  - 5th October 2014 - Report by Paul Longthorn

12 out this morning.

Kate, Carrie, Terry, Tony, Pete, Jon Spink, Roy 2, Paul, Richard Bowmer, Neil, Mark Pope, Jon Lane From bike Doctor for a little while

Great weather we managed to avoid the rain. Nice pace and we stuck to the revised route. Stopped at cafe Tony and Louise. I would recommend this place free coffee and cakes. Thanks very much Tony Louise Terry and Tina. I didn't need to eat lunch after the cafe feast.

I'm not out next week but I'm sure someone will post a route.

Nice run round the Vale today. Weather was kind. Picture from the Café stop, just to show what the pacers missed  ;) Tony M

Pacers  - 5th October  2014

Good pacers ride today. Steve C, Andrew S, Ben North, Jason T, Andy H, Harpo, Wayne and Chris R (and me). Pace reasonable, and nobody was struggling. Grotty wet and cold from Margam to Neath, but brightened up after that. Some good climbing on Rhos, Glais and Cimla, but greasy descents a bit hairy, although it was a drain cover on a flat section at Cwmavon that nearly derailed me. Ben North climbing well. Allan W

25’ers - 28th  September 2014 -  Report by Ron Boast

Three out today, Claire, Elaine and Ron, usual route through City, Cowbridge, Velo and back through the lane to St. Brides then down through Castle upon Alan ford, Ewenny and home.

Amblers  - 28th  September 2014 - Report by Paul Longthorn

10 out today to enjoy the sunshine.

Paul, Terry, Tony, Steve C, Neil B, Chris R, Mark P, Tim R, Pete P, Richard B

We stuck to the plan and rode the posted route. Apart for a small split in Bryncethin all went smooth. Nice cuppa in Velo. 57 miles for me and most getting over 50. Looking forward to see what Chris Reed did.

Talk of a free Coffee/Brandy at Tony or Terry house next week. Weather permitting. Watch this space.

Pacers - 28th  September 2014 - Report by Chris Goodwin

Myself Jason Turvey, Mark Rosser, Harpo, Wayne Evans and Ben North. No marks for originality Bwlch Rhigos Aberdare (fuel stop) and back via Pontypridd and Church Village. Some pinhead had spread tacks over the Bwlch from cattle grid to top so all the sportive riders had punctured. Ben also picked one up and Wayne with great timing at the coffee stop.

Two observations. If anyone needs supplies just ask as between us there is more than enough to go around (I always carry a cafe) and try not to ride with wheels overlapping if possible.

Good steady ride at a sensible winter training pace.

25’ers - 12th October 2014 -  Report by Ron Boast

Disappointing turn out today, just Me, so I joined the Lycra gang, eventually tempting one of the younger members to stop for a coffee at Velo in Llantwit,old habits. Rhondda Tri had filled the place so Tim and I had to sit upstairs. After the refreshments we headed back around the old Saturday route at the old Amblers pace. Nice ride in excellent weather. Tim did see a puddle near the A48, so Pacers beware. Ron B

Amblers  - 12th October 2014 - Report by Mark Pope

A great turn-out for today's club run and good to see some of the Reserve Team Squad stepping up to join the First Teamers in the Pacers group (and put their hands up for regular selection). Very unusually there were less Amblers out today than Pacers, although at our peak we still had 13 riders in the group.  The route today was backloaded with hills, so we were able to ride like Kings for the first half before grovelling like peasants over the hills later in the ride. We set off from Brackla with 12 riders but were soon joined for a stretch by Mark Cook. We followed the Coast around Ogmore and Southerndown before making for Llantwit Major. At Cafe Velo Ron and Tim peeled off before the rest of us headed for St Athan, Flemingstown and the A48. So far so easy, we then crossed the main carriageway where the 7th cavalry (including Pete Phillips and Roy 1) turned back and the rest of us headed via some very quiet back lanes towards Miskin and Talbot Green.

The hard work started at Llantrisant Forest, after which we added a bit more pain by climbing up to Gilfach Goch before descending to that cheeky little hill towards Blackmill that we all forget exists but hurts like buggery. Four of us then had a hero's coffee in Blackmill before climbing Llangeinor and finishing off by heading home via the Garw Valley. The rest took a shorter route home from Blackmill. Great weather today and good company. The legs are burning a bit, so it was obviously a decent ride. Today's Amblers were:

Roy 1, Roy2, Tom, Andy Samuels (newbie - strong rider), Tony (climbing like a Pacer), Lee, Rich Bowmer, Mark P, Tim Raine, Ron, Pete Phillips (4 club rides only - honest), Mark Cook (fast bloke - shot off and left us), Andrew Storey  Mark P

Good route today. Enjoyed. Richard Bowmer

Good report Mark-the club obviously has a number of Literary Lions!Excellent route-one we could do in reverse and front load the hills and enjoy the flat without trepidation over what's to come! Tom B

Good point Tom, it would probably be better doing the hills first. Perhaps we could climb Llangeinor via the lane as we don't do it that often (I've never been up it). It would allow for a nice, fast ride back along the coast with a stop for coffee in Llantwit Major.  Mark P

Mid week ride 7th  October 2014 - Report by Mark Pope

Just four brave souls out this morning, Terry A, Carrie, Roy 2 and me.  We did see Ron coming the other way just as we hit Treos and we hid in the hedge when Steve Chapman rode past looking for us (just joking Steve). Due to the wet and windy conditions and the freshly clipped blackthorn hedges we stayed away from our usual Tuesday lanes, hence Steve being unable to find us.  We have become so used to riding in shorts and short sleeved shirts that we were caught out by the freezing rain and headed home early, chilled to the bone. We made the route up as we went along but took in Treos, Pentre Meyrick, Cowbridge (twice), LLandow, Llantwit Major, St Brides, Southerndown, Ewenny and the Golden Mile back to B&Q. Total distance only 31 miles and Strava included 20 minutes in Costas in our average speed, which makes it looks like we were riding mobility scooters. Still it was a few more miles in the bank and good company. As a few of us live quite some distance from Bridgend we have discussed starting the Tuesday ride at 10 am. At the moment 0930 is a bit of a rush for some of us, which is a partial excuse for our relative state of undress! Mark P

Pacers - 19th January 2014 -  Report by Andy Harries, Vice Captain

Great morning for a ride, cool, little wind and dry, as 7 pacers headed west for sneakily tough ride to Seven Sisters.

Tempo pretty high from the off, as we headed out on the A4061 to Aberkenfig. First minor climb up Fountain Rd saw Mark Rosser blast off the front obviously on a Stava KOM chase, or not as it turned out just a 'comfort stop'!!

Kept the pace up past Margam and the new road around Port Talbot to Briton Ferry and Neath. Crossed the river to follow the A465 to Aberdulais then the long drag up to Seven Sisters. Richard Beech peeled off at this point and 6 continued the long drag to Seven Sisters, the group staying together for much of the climb, only splitting in the last mile or so. After regathering at the top we decided the only thing the ride was missing was a coffee stop, Mark R persuading Rob that a detour to Aberdare was a good idea as it was all downhill. (forgetting of course the little matter of the 'mini Rhigos' !

Fantastic descent to Glynneath followed by the climb where things got a bit tasty as Mark again shot off the front with Rob and Chris G chasing. Mark Nott, Jayson and myself in wonder as they disappeared into the distance.

Coffee stop up to its usual excellent standard in Aberdare, coffee and biscuits re-energizing all. Quick blast down the Cynon Valley to Pontypridd and the final drags of the day up to Church Village and finally Llanharan. At this point Mark Nott got dropped but it was decided that :-

1) He knew his way home and

2) He was close enough to walk if he had a mechanical

On meeting Mark back at Brackla it seems that 1) was correct but 2) may not have been achievable.  He appeared a 'broken man'!!!!!!

He kept muttering,   'what just happened'?  ;D

Tough ride with the combination of pace, distance and climbing. I feel surprisingly good but not quite ready to run a marathon after it. LOL

Amblers - 19th January 2014 -  Report by Ron Boast

Good turn out this morning and excellent weather, getting better as the ride progressed. Nine "Ambers" set off on the R1 route as far as Afan Park where we stopped for tea. Returned via Port Talbot, 7  riders did the P Cawl loop on the way back. Ron,Andy, Wayne,Terry, Tony, Richard,Woody, Paul and Neil.

Pacers - 2nd February 2014 -  Report by Andy Harries, Vice Captain

7 pacers out this morning on a bright and breezy day, making the trip down to 'dip our toes' in some of the cycling available on the Gower.

Steven, Mark R, Mark N, Rob, Jayson, Chris G and myself. Headed out via Tondu to Maesteg and the climb up Bryn. Mark R leading the way whilst the rest of us tapped out our own pace. In hindsight think i was going too hard and would suffer later in the day! Steven not feeling great (manthrax) and already suffering decided to head back when we hit the Afan valley. It seems this was a good decision as he was passed on the way home by a woman, on a mountain bike, in trainers. Apparently he wasn't too upset as she didn't have a shopping basket on the bike. That would have been the final insult!!

Started up the Afan valley before turning off to Pontrhydyfen and the climb up Cimla. A short sharp climb which always hurts, not sure who led the way up here as Rob and Mark were too far ahead to tell.   ;D Continued on towards Swansea via Bonymaen, series of lumps adding to the tiring legs. Passed the planned coffee stop to do a quick loop into the Gower, Rob and Mark racing up Mayals Rd and inflicting further pain on us with some 'speed play'  over Fairwood Common.

 Like a pair of kids was the comment from the rear of the pack!  :-X

Reassembled for the few miles back into Swansea and well earned coffee and cake at the marina.

A tailwind saw us keep a good tempo up Fabian Way and onto Baglan where we picked up Steve Landeg who hitched a lift back as far as Margam. Jayson and Rob kept the pace up from Margam which saw the 'old man' in the field and Mark Nott struggling. the climb up to Cefn Cribbwr saw the pack finally split for good with 4 continued on to Sarn while Mark and myself limped back to Brackla via Laleston

Another good work out in the bank.

Pacers - 9th February 2014 -  Report by various

Andy, Mark R, Joe and myself.  Ron joined us for a few miles - probably the first and last combined Pacers and 25ers run ever!  Death Valley and then faster than race speed with the mother of all tailwinds down to Rhoose, Barry, St Fagans and back through the lanes. I'm feeling the effect of missing too many Sundays so thanks to the other guys for pulling me round… SM

Five hardy souls made it to Brackla this morning, to brave the elements, Steven, Joe, Mark R, Ron and myself.

Apart from the wind, rain and cold (and hail later) not a bad day to be out!  Ron rode out with us to Death Valley then the four of us took advantage of a gusty tail wind to smash it down the Wick road towards Llanwit. Decided to make full use of the wind and carried on to Barry and Culverhouse Cross before heading to St Fagans to turn back for home. Taking advantage of what little shelter was provided by the lanes we passed Peterstone before Joe split to climb Gwern Y Steeple and the other 3 carried on to Hensol Forest and Watery Lane, down stream!

Windy all the way around but just the odd shower and the sun even tried to come out at one point.

Glad to have made it out sure as hell beats indoor training.    :) AH

25’ers - 9th February 2014 -  Report by Ron Boast

25er's were 66% down on last week, only four hardy "Pacers" turned up. So off we went into the gale, someone mentioned that the rain was going to stop at 9, Tom starting rumours again? Down to Llantwit and back home for a cuppa, don't know where the Pacers ended up and just a few hailstones to liven things up on the way back. Hope the weather picks up for next weeks reliability R1 ride. You should all be thinking what start time you will be doing, post your thoughts on the R1 site.

Amblers - 2nd March 2014 -  Report by Neil Bartlett

Only 6 Amblers out this morning, Wayne, Haydn, Richard, Andrew, Jonathon and myself heading west. Jonathon peeled off just before the fountain pub, so only five continued to Pontardawe, and at the half way point the weather turned miserable. Andrew on his first ride back for a couple of months struggled with cramp, which only got worse by the time we stopped at Macdonalds in Briton ferry for a coffee. Only four completed today, Richard, on only his second long ride with the club and Haydn proving he is too strong a rider for the amblers and might look to move up to the pacers soon? Enjoyable morning, good practice for RR3 next week.

Pacers - 2nd March 2014 -  Report by various

Andy H, Allan, Chris G, Jason T, Rob J and myself.  Was suffering like a dog who had just been out for a run with Mo Farah and by the time we had been over Pentyrch and Castell Coch I was ready to throw the towel in. However they wanted me to stay with them (tantamount to said hound now being taken out for a run with Paula Ratcliffe) and so we went through Cardiff in the direction of Machen.  I was still hanging on the elastic and eventually they agreed to my pleading to be left to turn back! (This was the equivalent of the dog hiding under the chair with it's paws over it's eyes !).  Ambled back for a rest - will leave the rest of the story up to the other guys.… SM

..........after Steven retired to take his dog for a walk, things started to hot up a bit with Rob putting us all through some hurt on the flats to Newport.  He and Chris G then distanced us on the short climb in Gaer before we got back together and rolled into the coffee stop in Machen. The rain had relented but we were all glad of a warm drink and the heat of the log burner.

All too soon we were off on the return leg, I'd like to say the pace had eased but it hadn't, at least not much! Through Caerphilly town and resisting the urge to turn left up the mountain, we continued on to Taffs Well, Church Village and a solo ride for me back to Brackla.

68 miles, good ride despite the weather.  AH

Mixed bunch - 23rd March 2014 - Report by Jason Turvey

Last minute change of plan...

What with there being four, I think I counted four, would be 25ers and no Ron due to his man flu we changed up the route to accommodate everyone;

Out through Coychurch -> Pencoed -> Llanharan -> Pontyclun -> Cowbridge -> Llandow -> Ewenny

The group split here where the 25ers returned to Bridgend and the rest of the group put in a few more miles around Porthcawl, Kenfig, Pyle and back to Bridgend.

Well done to Ann for getting around the course, when Ron returns for a dedicated 25er group the pace will be slower, less climbing and it should have a cafe stop if available, no doubt your legs are feeling it but hopefully that won't put you off.

Looks like Andrew Fosters climbing legs are returning from his christmas break.  JT

Thanks Jason. Well done for sorting the route for everyone today. RB

Big thank you to u all today for putting up with me .thanks Jason ,will try again when the 25s are out . :) AD

Thanks to all, it was great to finally ride in a group RJ

Hello - let me first introduce myself as darren, i was with you guys on the ride yesterday. i was on the blue and white carrera, i enjoyed the ride and am looking forward to going again! - daz

Pacers - 30th March 2014 -  Report by Andy Harries, Vice Captain

10 out today, a cloudy start but promise of some sunshine en route.

Allan, Steven, Jason and myself were joined by Wayne, Richard, Terry, Neal, Jonathan and Haydn for our '3 peaks' ride. over the Bwlch, Rhigos and Aberdare mountains.

After a stuttering start we hit the bottom of the Bwlch and Steven showing the benefit of Mallorca miles, soon hit the front setting a good tempo, being chased by Allan.     

Meanwhile I did my best to hang on to Terry's wheel who was also looking strong. In fact there was no more than a minute or two between the bulk of us, up this climb. After a rapid descent we regrouped at the turn for Treochy and headed for the Rhigos. Again Allan and Steven led the way followed by Terry with the rest of us trying to enjoying the sunshine as best we could! After the descent Allan made his own way back, while we regrouped again.

Headed  on, to Aberdare for coffee stop, This was a mixed blessing, great for coffee and cake but the legs weren't too happy to be warming up again with the climb out of Aberdare, a tough climb with its 16% section near the start but all made it over with various degrees of effort, Haydn looking the strongest by this time. Down into Maerdy we followed the old road through the Rhondda fach to Pontypridd and home via Llantrisant.

65 miles for me 4 hours 30. Not too shabby after all that climbing. Great ride and see you all next week AH

great ride, wonderful weather! good company! HL

Thanks to Andy for the Route , first time up Maerdy mountain . The Winter training week payed off for Neil and Terry they were flying up those hills. Great ride. WE

Good riding from everyone today... Think I need to drop 10Kg to get over the hills. JT

25’ers - 30th March 2014 -  Report by Ron Boast

Started with young Tom leading out about 20 riders of mixed ability, got to Penllynne where we split into a slow group and a slower group. Slower group Ron, Claire, Roy and Mrs H, went up past the Barley and down the hill. Through the lane to Cowbridge where Mrs H dragged us into a café, don't tell Mr H, after refreshments we headed back through the lanes on a slightly different route. about 20 miles for Mothers day. I am still struggling with chest infection which should go by November, I will be missing for the next few weeks but you can still arrange a ride out between yourselves. RB

Jen (Mrs H) say thanks, enjoyed the ride and company and still had enough energy to mow the lawn, trim the hedge and wallpaper my daughter's room, when she got home.

Perfect Mother's Day!!  :) AH

Amblers - 30th March 2014 -  Report by Tom Beech

So how do the Amblers know when Spring has arrived?No it's not the daffodils or the lambs in the fields but the return of Steve Chapman on a Sunday morning.Presumably he migrates to warmer climes in the Winter but he was back this morning as feisty as ever!

Being still in bossy Mallorca mode I propsed a Vale ride for those who needed an early return and persuaded Ron to change his plan so that we could start off with the 25's-we rode together as far as Craig Penlline before splitting up.11 of us went on a magical mystery tour of the Vale-Steve,Andy,Carrie,Tony,Adam(welcome back!)Richard(Coychurch),Chris,Laurence,myself plus 2 more who'll I'll no doubt remember later this afternoon-apologies,please remind me!We carried on to Aberthin,Watery Lane,Welsh St D.,Pendoylan,Peterston,then up the BIG hill to St Nicholas,Duffryn Lane,Llancarfan St Athan,Boverton and a coffee stop at Café Velo(where a couple of riders asked about joining the clun).Back to St Brides and round the coast gave us almost exactly 50 miles-as promised!Thanks to everyone for your company and trust when it might have seemed we were lost in the middle of nowhere! See you all next week! TB

Amblers - 6th April 2014 -  Report by Various

Weather looks to be a little wet at times so some hills should warm us up.

Brackla - Coychurch - Penceod - Brynna - Llanharran - Tabot Green. Turn left up to the forestry just after the Fire station. This will bring you out on the A4119 Ely Valley Road. At this point turn left toward Gilfach Goch - Blackmill. Llangeinor mountain - Llangeinor - Betws - Shwt - Measteg - Brynn- Afon Valley Rd - Port Talbot - Margam - Water Lane -Porthcawl - Three Steps Hill A48 - New Inn Road passed Merthyrmawr - Ewenny. Cafe Stop home.

Sunday Requirements - Optional pollution mask. Rain cape may be needed for a small shower. Estimated 45 - 50 miles.

Amblers rebel group! I think we followed Pauls original route! It's all a bit of a blur now :-) Good ride, started with 10 but splits on the way. All too much for some eh?  ;). Total for me 56 miles and 4022ft. Who needs Majorca ? TM

Yes as Tony said the Amblers split into to groups. One rode the posted route, and the other which included Tom, Lawrence, Roy, Andrew Fostet and Myself followed the Saturday Morning ride, more of an easy option and a easyer pace. We managed to stay dry and stopped in Cowbridge for a Cuppa. 45 Miles for me.  Same time next week  PL

Good option for me today Paul-thanks for the company all.I'm away for the next few weeks(off next Sunday)so I'll see you in Sunny May for my next club run! TB

Thank you Paul,Tom,Andrew and Lawrence for your patience today and see you next week. RH

Goodride today , Terry was flying on the hills weather was kind to us only the last half mile did it  rain.  WE

The 'rebel' group  started with 8 although Jason was always planning to split to watch the Tour of Flanders. Remaining 7 - Tony M, Stephen C, Chris R, Richard B, Jonathan, Wayne, Terry - covered the original suggested route until Laleston before fragmenting for home. Weather much better than forecast with only a few spots of rain and moderate wind and a good, enjoyable ride had by all (I think) with only 1 flat (Wayne) to interrupt the flow.TA

Pacers - 6th April 2014 -  Report by Various

Can we have a report of the pacers ride to Swansea marina? If you made it back dry then you did well as it was monsoonal around swansea from about 12.45 RJ

Andy Majorca legs harries dragged me to Swansea and back.    Simples.    Dry apart from one or two spots of rain .  CG

and quick service in the cafe.   :D  AH

Amblers  and 25’ers 13th April 2014 -  Report by various

Amblers United and 25ers

Andrew Foster, John Hewitt, John Spink, John Saunders, Rhod, Paul Longthorn, Andrew Storey, Steve Chapman, Mark Pope, Terry Anthony, Richard, Roy, Chris Reed,  Wayne, Lawrence,

Sorry if I've missed anyone.

So the United Amblers and 25ers set off in brilliant sunshine. Roy dropped off near church village, but after that we all stuck together. Great to see so many Club mates out today. 50 miles for me. PL

Thanks for a great ride today. Your patience at the top of those ramps was much appreciated! Look forward to joint you again soon, or when I am able to go a little quicker. RhodJ

Pacers -13th April 2014 -  Report by various

Seven out for a hillfest today. Rob, Chris G, Haydn, Jason T, Mark Nott, myself and guest Andy Samuels.

Lots of suffering in the sunshine, especially up Pontypridd Golf Club climb, 65 miles for me and 5 minutes late for the christening I had to attend but wife's fault not mine, as back in plenty of time. AH

thought I liked climbing until the pontypridd golf club climb, hardest climb ive done so far, every hill after that was pain, thanks to the others riders for getting me back! HL

Good riding harpo. Ponty golf club is about as hard as climbs get round here...though there are a few similar to explore! RJ

Well, what was all that about ???   Ponty Golf Club climb was the hardest climb I have ever experienced !!!   I managed Caerphilly Mountain after that, but it wasn't a patch on Ponty.   Thanks to Rob and Xrayspecs for taking it easy with Harpo and me on the return, Cheers Guys !!!  Harpo you worked really hard today, great effort.

Easter Monday Epic - 21st April 2014 -  Report Andy Harries

Three set off early this morning, cold start but weather promising to warm up. Blasted out towards Neath, via Llanharan, Cefn Cribbwr, Port Talbot with a strong tail wind. Average speed still at 20mph+ by the time we reached Pontardawe. Took a wrong turn and added a few miles by going via Ystradgynlais. This also gave us a taste of the wind we would end up fighting most of the way home.

A short sharp climb at Cwnllynfell, showed up what the tailwind had been hiding, we were all on tired legs! No chance to ponder this too much as Upper Brynamman and the climb over the Black Mountain was soon upon us. For those who haven't been up it, it is rather like the Bwlch climb in gradient and length and equally exposed. Luckily today the wind was across and over the right shoulder, so not hindering too much.  Fantastic decent toward Llangadog, we had decided to miss out the 'roman road' as it would be very exposed to the wind, so taking the long way around to Llangadog and Llandovery. Section from Llandovery to Sennybridge took its toll as it was a gradual climb and pretty much into headwind so a coffee and panini in the cafe at Sennybridge was most welcome.

Headed out for what was to be the last climbs of the day, Devil's Elbow and the climb out of Ystradfellte, both steep and by now absolute torture, although Rob seemed as comfortable as usual climbing (apparently it hurts just as much going steady, as pushing himself). Jason and I were in survival mode.  :-[

Rhigos and Bwlch were no longer an option and we took the direct route home via Aberdare and the A4054 via Pontypridd.

Great ride, think 'epic' is fair description, weather held out and apart from main road from Llandovery, pretty good on the traffic front.

Amblers 4th May 2014 -  Report by Chris Reed

OK my newness to both club and area may make this report light on names!

A group of 7 of us left on a lovely day and rode Cross Country to the A48 - Ewenny - Ogmore - Wick - St Donats - Llantwit Major - St Athan - Bonvilston - Hensol - City

Pace was frisky (Wayne had some DIY to do at home) so we were done pretty early. A light headwind seemed to follow us.

Total was about 70k (43miles for the imperialists)

Good ride today thanks to Chris for the route.Nice day and good company. WE

I agree with the others that the ride was very good - nice route and at a reasonable pace. Hey Chris - for completeness I'll help you out with the eight names :- Tony M, Wayne, Andrew C, Jonathan, Richard, Lawrence, me & yourself. TA

Nice ride today thanks. TM

Amblers 11th May 2014 -  Report by Paul Longthorn

Weather looks like a mixed bag. So a few lumps to keep us warm I think.

Here is the route.

Brackla - Bridgend - Embassy Roundabout - Tondu - Coytrahen - Maesteg - Bryn - Port Tolbot - Margam - Water Street - Porthcawl Via West Park Drive - around the sea front - Three Steps Hill - A48 - New Inn road toward Ewenny. Cafe stop. From here a couple of choices, some my want to continue around the vale and clock some mileage up. Some may want to go home. Should be about 40 miles to Ewenny. See you tomorrow 9am all Welcome

Weather was slightly better than I expected today. Three of us set off from Brackla Wayne Evans, Laurence and myself. Wayne did the lions share of the work on the front, and paid for it going up to Brynn. Laurence got the KOM of the day. Laurence peeled off at Port Takbot the have a family Sunday lunch.

This is where the tail winds kicked in Wow. Wayne and I had a turbo boost from Port Talbot to the other side of three steps hill.

One of those rides I'm glad I got out on, I was tempted to stay at home.. 42 miles for me and in the house for 11:30. Same time next week.

Amblers 18th May 2014 -  Report by Tom Beech

17 riders left Brackla on a combines Pacers/Amblers ride.No-one having any better suggestions we followed my proposed route to Coity,Bryncethin,old road to Llangeinor,back road to the Bwllch then down the Afan Valley to PT.Rather than heading for Porthcawl as Terry warned us it was so busy yesterday we might wait an hour for a coffee we headed to Parc Slip for our coffee stop.Very pleasant sunny ride,a few incidents to report though.

First I'm worried Steve Chapman's eyesight may be going the way of mine-he says he saw our Club Captain having come down the Bwllch ride past us.I'm sure if it was Paul he'd have turned round and climbed it again just to be with his club-mates.

Second I saw Chris G en route who'd gone on his own for a hillier ride as he assumed Mark R wasn't going to be out as he hadn't posted anything.Mark who was with us says Chris should have been at Physique by 9!

I'm sorry this sub-standard report doesn't list everyone by name but a good proportion were called 'Mark'including Mark(Redbeard)out on his first club-run 6 months after taking up cycling.I'm sorry it was a hillier route than usual Mark -you did well and it'll be easier next week-unless you can join us for a mid-week ride,I'm hoping to get out  on Tuesday but will post separately.

There was another new rider called marshall, he did really well!really enjoyed the ride! HL

25’ers 25th May 2014 -  Report by Ron Boast

todays ride, Ron, Roy, John, Andy S, Mark R. Death Valley, St Brides, Mark went the coastal route, Llantwit, St Athan, Cowbridge, through the lane to home. Met Tom in Penllyne, he was heading east like a yellow blur, obviously going at Ambler speed.

Amblers - 25th May 2014 -  Report by Various

10 Out this morning.

Keith, Andy Harris, Steve Chapman, Terry, Tony, Paul L, Paul N, Wayne, Richard Bowmer, Hayden

We set off from Brackla and followed the posted route, until Barry where we followed Andy H onto Cardiff Bay. A brief delay as the barrage was lifted. But soon on our way for a nice Coffee in the Millennium centre. We made our way back through Cardiff City Centre then home via St Fagans.

Nice ride today really enjoyed thanks to Andy for guiding us to the bay and out of Cardiff. Respect to the tandem team for taking those hills making it look easy.

62 Miles for me. Paul Longthorn

Thoroughly enjoyed the ride today, although I think we may have found the most expensive coffee stop in South Wales!

If anybody is 'up' for a ride on the tandem, with Keith he's always looking for pilots.

If you're feeling a bit apprehensive I'd be happy to come along and help out on a first ride. Fitting the pedals, getting used to the gear changers etc… Andy Harries

2014 - Club Ride Reports and News

Amblers - 2nd February 2014 -  Report by Paul Longthorn, Captain

Great turn out for the three rides this morning, 22 I believe.

11 Amblers left Brackla to do a test run of the RR1.

Tim, Tom, Richard Smith, Richard Bowmer, Paul Longthorn, Neil, Jon Spinks, Andrew Storey, Tony, Terry, Chris Mogg,

We rode a windy RR1 course and quite challenging ride. Some peeled of before the cafe. But 6 made in there.

Great to get half century this time of year. See you all next week.

25ers - 2nd February 2014 -  Report by Ron Boast

Sian, John and Ron, Llantwit through the lane and back along the main road, about 25 miles, passed John Phillips on the way back, come and join our group next week. Surprised to see the Amblers so late into our ride. Back in the house by 11 time to cook dinner.

Fab ride this morning was great to go out in company, thanks guys  :) - Sian Harris

Pacers  - 2nd November  2014 - Report by Andy Harries

Pacers and Amblers headed out together, weather decidedly 'cape on/cape off' and within 5 minutes we hit the first shower and it was capes on!

Good pacing kept the group together on the drag up to Maesteg and the first climb of the day up to Bryn. As usual there was a division in the group but certainly not into Pacers and Amblers, as Paul led the charge up the lowers slopes. The stronger climbers then came to the fore but also going well were Roy, Richard and Tony. Controlled descent through Bryn and down to the Afan Valley Road where the group split. 9 pacers heading on to the sharp climb up the back of Cimla and the long drag up to Seven Sisters. Weather improving as we headed west.

Dropped down into Glynneath and a coffee stop in McDonalds, unusual choice but their coffee is pretty decent!

Rain set in, while we were stoppled and it was capes back on for a soggy charge down the valley, Neil then Wayne taking long turns on the front. Rain eased as we headed on the homeward leg via Baglan, Port Talbot and Stormy Down.

Good riding today in difficult conditions, fortunately it wasn't cold. Andy H

Great route again Andy - can't believe I hadn't been up Bryn before. Enjoyed the Seven Sisters climb, and the Glynneath descent will be worth revisiting on a dry day. Allan W

25’ers - 9th November 2014 -  Report by Roy Holdham

Just two out this morning Neilp and myself, we decided to go round the vale Llangan, Aberthin,Cowbridge,Llandow,Wick,Ogmore and Ewenny where we split up to head home, the weather was on our side to day with sunny intervals and no rain. Roy H

Amblers  - 9th November 2014 - Report by Mark Pope

Just the 6 Amblers us out today: Tom, Andrew S, Terry A, Jonathan, Tony, Mark P

We headed out via Coychurch to Pencoed and then across Hirwaun Common, which was a gentle warm-up prior to a mini-hill fest between 10 and 20 miles. We climbed up to Bettws from Brynmenyn before descending to Llangeinor and climbing up and over Llangeinor towards Blackmill. We then climbed up to Gilfach Goch, which raised a few heart rates into the red zone. The second half of the ride was much flatter and apart from some minor incidents of road rage on the dual carriageway near Talbot Green all went well.

I'd like to claim the credit for arriving at the Pontyclun War Memorial at 1059 to be met by a bugler, the RAF/Navy/Army and local population but it was actually just good fortune. After paying our respects we headed back via Cowbridge, Llantwit and Wick, Death Valley and home. It was a little shorter than planned as the Police closed the road into Tonyrefail. I clocked 48 miles (a bit more for Tony & Terry who added an extra loop at the end) and about 2400ft of ascent. The weather was very kind to us too, with not one spot of rain. One interesting point; I was 16 seconds faster climbing Llangeinor than during the Club Hill Climb race and yet today was just a steady even paced ride whereas the Club Hill Climb nearly killed me. Is this an object lesson for us hill climb novices in how to tackle a competitive hill climb? Mark P

Well done Mark, Good run today. I need to fill my tyres with helium to help a bit on those cheeky little climbs. Timing was exceptional. :P Tony M

Pacers - 9th November 2014 - Report by Andy Harries

11 pacers started out on the revised route via Gilfach,  Penrhiwfer and Llanwonno. Steven, Allan, Chris G, Chris R, Haydn, Wayne, Rob, Jason, Toestrap Steve, Mark Nott and myself. Steven led us out at a sensible pace to Blackmill and the first climb of the day at Glynogwr. The usual partition occurred with two distinct groups, the climbers (Rob, Allan TS Steve, Jason, Mark and Haydn) and the 'autobus' Steven, Chris R, Wayne and me, with Chris G yo-yo-ing between the groups on his 15 kilo winter resistance training bike. In two minds whether to sit in or bust a gut and stick with the climbers, he ended up doing a bit of both. Mark Nott on his first winter club run looking strong early on but would he pay for it later?!

Continued over Gilfach Goch with a regroup at the top before the gentle climb up Penrhiwfer and descent into Penygraig. Weather holding fine but as we made our way up the Rhondda Fach we could see the mist and clouds on top of 'Tylorstown tip'.

After the softening up of the first couple of climbs we dropped down from Ferndale and through the switchbacks onto the Queen climb of the day up Llanwoon. Always a favorite, the climbers soon opened a gap while the rest of us grovelled our way up. Descent through Llanwonno forest is also a favorite but in today's wet conditions, was taken with care! Cheeky climb out of the forest to Perthcelyn where we observed 2 minutes silence.

With most of the climbing done, all thoughts were now on the coffee stop, we decided on Duffryn Gardens but had a brainwave as we headed for Tongwynlais. new coffee stop for all of us and worth revisiting. Ride fragmented slightly after the cafe as Rob headed for Cardiff and the group left 4 behind!  :-[ (sorry guys lack of communication). There was plenty of communication from Haydn when they chased us down later near St Fagan's!  ;D  Chris R and Jason pealed off in Rhydlafar.

Steven, Haydn and myself led us through the lanes to P.S.E., Welsh St Donat's and City. Steven looking stronger as the day went on, put in a big effort to lead the sharp climb up from Graig Penllyn, probably sensing Mark starting to suffer.

Coasted from Treos back to Brackla, to end another enjoyable club run.

p.s. Haydn always moans about going over Glynogwr and Gilfach, so as captains prerogative I now wish to rename them Haydn's humps.

Thank you and see you next week Andy H

Good ride again Andy, I'd not done Llanwonno before but I won't forget it in a hurry !  Got stronger as we got into the 4th hour of riding and did have a cheeky go as I'd preserved some energy by taking a tow from the tractor!  The cafe in Tongwynlais was a keeper, the scone was good and the apple pie looked immense ! Steven M

At last, finally put my name to something, shame its about moaning, never mind think positive! great ride, thanks for tips and advise, especially what to do when your behind a tractor towing a trailer! good write up captain!! Haydn L (Harpo)

Great route Andy. As usual, a highly enjoyable ride with good company. Mark Nott looking strong to me, and toestrap Steve also climbing very well. Thanks to Jason  for waiting on me at the cafe so we could 2-up back to the bunch, and to Harpo for waiting further on to make it a 3-up.

I'm worried that the cafe in Tongwynlais is on one of my commuting routes and could lead me into temptation. The apple crumble was indeed immense. Allan W

25’ers - 16th November 2014 -  Report by  Ron Boast

today just three started out for a quick two hour ride, Ron, Kristian and guest Richard from Chippenham wheelers. City route to the Velo and back along the coast. Kristian had to be home at 11 o'clock. Café was packed but the standard remained high. Ron B

Amblers  - 16th November 2014 - Report by Mark Pope

Well it was a great idea on Friday night to merge the Amblers with the Pacers plus tandem for a flat (ish) ride around the coast road to Cardiff Bay and back. However, soon after the impressive club peloton left Bridgend the groups splintered at the first sight of the climb up to Ogmore. After that we settled down to a steady Amblers pace and re-grouped with the following riders:

Paul Longthorn, Andrew S, Tom, Jonathan, Neil, Bowen (Special Guest Appearance), Roy 1 (Good effort stepping up from the 25ers), Wayne E, Richard B, Tony M, Mark P

Various sub-groups split off at various points leaving 6 of us to briefly meet up with the Pacers at the Norwegian Church in the Bay. After a 15 minute busk we'd rustled up enough money to buy a cup of tea between the 6 of us before heading back towards Brackla via a less industrial route through Dinas/Wenvoe/Llancarfan/St Mary's Church/Llanmaes and Ewenny. We flew past the planned turn to Siginstone so we ended up doing about 5 miles longer than planned. The total ride was 66 miles (for me) despite Strava giving up the ghost when entering the electro-magnetic wasteland that is Barry (and I live there!) and clocking me at only 22 miles.  I've also taken on board the comments about the term flat ride that I had previously posted (well I did say flat (ish) ;D. An enjoyable ride nevertheless, despite a biting wind and a particularly good effort from Jonathan who hung on despite just coming back from an injury. A shorter ride next week, promise!! :D Mark P

Oops, sorry I forgot Terry Anthony. Ironic considering he'd already ridden 20 miles before we started from Brackla and carried on for a few more miles after we'd finished! Mark P

Pacers  - 16th November  2014 - Report by Andy Harries

Think it might have been  right at Duffryn gardens - Three of us back safe and sound Chris R

There was a lot of 'hollering' but nobody was of a mind to carry on down the hill after you!!

Pacers and Amblers set off together and after a slow start with several red lights in Bridgend the tandem set the pace out towards Ogmore. The climb through Ogmore saw a few pacers off the front but the tandem and rest of the pack catching up through Southerndown. A decent pace saw a split between the Pacers and Amblers and good sharing of the pace on the windy outward leg saw us make good progress to St Athan, Barry and Penarth before crossing the barrage to Cardiff Bay. Tandem still in contact at this point.

Coffee and a selection of expensive cakes in the Norwegian Church fortified us before we headed for home. Through Dinas Powys, Wenvoe and the only real climb of the day at Ton yr Odyn. At this point a group of three went off the front, turns out they were either geographically challenged, hadn't read the route or were relying on Haydn's Garmin for direction ( Definitely not the last one as Haydn's Garmin is back in the factory.......................again!!)

6 of us continued on and by now the early pace was telling on the tandem, at least on the pilot. The drag along the A48 saw Keith and I struggle and we decided to fall back into 'just get it home' mode'

60 miles for the tandem and an enjoyable ride. Andy H

Good ride today, certainly felt hillier than expected pushing in to that headwind. Jason T

25’ers - 23rd November 2014

Weather was as the seaweed predicted. Four of us on The Mystery tour today, Ron, Roy, Andrew and Neil. Slightly different way to get to a different café then a completely different way back. We met lots of riders around Cowbridge, Jif, Ajax, Newport and Paul G still trying to get back to the start of our TT. Ron Boast

Amblers  - 23rd November 2014

A good turn-out today with 13 Amblers' either on the start line on joining us on route. The riders included:

Wayne E, Big Chris (now big in height only!). Terry A, Tony M, Richard B, Tom, Paul L, Bowen, Steve Landeg, Gary T, Mark P, Jonathan, Neil

A reasonably steady pace today with an average speed of around 15mph due mainly to a few cheeky climbs on route. We had an easy warm-up prior to ascending the Bryn and then heading up the Afan Valley before turning off for Cimla. Although there are no big hills on that road there are three short, sharp climbs that stopped the conversation dead. We then descended to Briton Ferry and headed home via the A48 and a cuppa at Parc Slip Nature Reserve. The total distance from Brackla to Brackla was 46 miles, slightly less than planned due to a road closure at Coytrahen on the original route. The weather was dry and crisp, so generally a good day for a leg stretch.  Mark Pope

Pacers - 23rd November 2014

Noticeably cooler today, damp roads but dry skies as the pacers set off for a long, hilly club run.

First challenge was the Bwlch and Steven opened up a 100 metres or so gap on the lower slopes, soon caught by the climbers but not much of a gap between the various groups as we reassembled in Treorchy.

Everyone seemed to climb steadily over the Rhigos and after a cold descent the group decided to shorten the route slightly by going over Cwm Cadlan (sorry Allan)  the drop down to the reservoir was made safer by the fact the forestry has been cut back, so no pine needles in the road and open views through the bends. At this point the average speed reflected all the climbing and was only just over 14mph. This was soon to be rectified as Mark Rosser got us to Costa in Merthyr in double quick time.

Steven then TT'd down the A470, to Abercynon with a good paceline going  on, before we joined the Mark Rosser Pullman Express (always a comfy ride) pretty much all the way to Llanharan. Only stopped there as Mark rode off the front. Late for dinner again, probably!  :D

Really enjoyed the blast home, great miles today. As Steven says ave. nearer 17mph at the finish

Actually just checked the Garmin and it was 68 miles in 4 hours dead, so 17 mph for the ride.  Andy Harries

Great to see Rob P at Brackla too, not long before he'll be making life hard for the rest of us! Steven M

Thanks for towing me round today. Could have done without the five mile chase back after I got stuck at the lights then at the next junction. If I had known mark was leading you I would have gone home.

At least i was prewarned about the madeley sprint by mark not.Chris G

Mid week ride 4th November 2014

Tom and I this morning at B&Q roundabout. We met up with Carrie en route Nr Welsh St Donnets. Nice cuppa in the Velo and Roy2 popped in to say hello. We didn't see Ron? We only got caught in a small shower. I'm glad Carrie and Tom persuaded me to do the coastal loop.

We need to amend the start time during term time to 9:45. Makes it a lot easier for those who have the school run. 43 miles for me.  Paul L

Mid week ride 12th November 2014

4 of us met up in Cowbridge-Carrie,Mark P,Terry&myself.As planned we went through Welsh St Donats,Peterston,Fairwater,Radyr and along the old road to Pontypridd.Then we took the new cycle path all the way to Llantrisant/Talbot Green.We had a coffee stop in Pontycun(nice place but closed Sundays)then back via Brynsadler,Llanhari,City.Not a huge ,ileage but quite a bit of climbing and it got sunnier and sunnier!Good ride and company! Tom B

Thanks Tom. A good ride - I managed 50 miles - and great company. Sorry about the slightly muddy section! Carrie W

Mid week ride 14th November 2014

Four suspects out this morning in brilliant sunshine, Paul, Tom Mark and Ron. Midweek route after a puncture repair at the start, met a Winston Churchill lookalike at the Velo, or so Tom said. Lost my door key on route and the strap on my shoe broke at St Brides, so had to ride home one legged. Ron B

Mid week ride 18th November 2014

Just me Mark&Carrie this morning(where were you Ron?).Lovely sunny morning,v pleasant ride.Whilst at our Café Velo coffee stop we were joined by Maesteg Velo-7 or 8 strong for a mid-week ride but not so sure about the rather lurid pink kit! Tom B

25’ers - 2nd November 2014 -  Report by  Ron Boast

After Derrick's weather warning just Jonathan and myself out this morning. Around the coast, St Brides, main road to Llantwit to avoid punctures from hedge trimming Cowbridge and back through the lanes. Did not see any rain so must have been very lucky, some heavy mist( Jon's description) but nothing to stop a hardened 25er. Good average speed for the two hour ride and no coffee stop!!! Ron B

Amblers  - 2nd November 2014 - Report by Paul Longthorn

Good turn out this morning considering the rain. There was a mass start with the pacers and Amblers joining forces until the ride became de nuturalised at Bryn. Good to see some of the regular Amblers joining the Pacers.

5 Amblers continued Richard Bowmer, Roy2, Tom, Tony, and Myself. Nice coffee in Aberavon Sands then onto Porthcawl, Ewenny then Home for Tom Tony and Myself. Richard and Roy2 where hunting extra miles.

51 miles for me. Thanks for the kind words Tom I've enjoyed my time as CC, and wish the next CC the best of Luck. Paul L

Enjoyed that today. Thanks all. Richard Bowmer

Tomorrow's ride is Paul's last(for the present)in his role as Club Captain.Like all such posts it's a thankless task but I don't think anyone could have performed it with more good humour and enthusiasm than he has over the past few years.Thanks Paul!(ps if as a farewell gesture you feel compelled to buy cake for all out tomorrow we won't try to stop you!) Tom B

Although I missed Sunday's Ambler's ride I would also like to second Tom's comments about Paul's organisation and marshalling of the Ambler's rides, it's been first class.  Planning and leading the rides can be a thankless task that's often taken for granted, so thanks buddy for doing a grand job. Mark P

Hey Paul, +1 on the comments from Tom & Mark and thanks for all your work. Terry A

Mid week ride 29th October 2014

Ron, Roy, Terry, Tom and myself out this morning usual route with a loop added around Ogmore by see. Roy had a puncture and Tom and I thought Terry and Ron had desserted us. But they where good enough to wait. Nice stop at cafe Velo.

It was nice to be out mid week again. 43 miles for me.  Paul L

I thought Tom had stopped at Tusker Café and taken advantage of their 3 for 2 Choc Cake with Extra thick cream specials, like good Oggies though we came back. Nice morning out 60 mile for me and Terry, we rode 5 mile back to find Tom's gang. Roy did change his tube, but did not remove the thorn first opps, got the T shirt. Lots of hedge cutting down the Vale. Ron B

Thanks all for waiting and further thanks to Paul for lending me a tube after my school boy error, that's the trouble with trying to rush a repair you overlook the obvious.  Roy H

Amblers 5th May 2014 -  Report by RichardB

Great ride this morning.

Me, Chris, Neil, Jason and Andrew S

Pencoed Llanharan Church Village Taffs Well Radyr St Fagan's Wenvoe Barry Llantwit Major and home, good coffee stop at St Fagan's.

57 miles for me.

Well done for Neil getting round with lots of mechanicals and good cadence on the small chain ring, imminent visit to local bike mechanic.

Pacers -11th May 2014 -  Report by Steven M

The pacer decided to do a winter ride - as that's what it felt like.  Port Talbot and over the Bwlch. - 46 miles.

25’ers -11th May 2014 -  Report by Ron B

Not many Oggies up at Brackla today, not doubt put off by the slight breeze. One rider whose name will remain a secret turned up the worse for wear after watching last nights Eurovision, he had his helmet on back to front. Another possible for the "RED" shorts? anyway not one to gossip he wasn't a 25er, so just Claire (Hiett) and Andy out today, both with their helmets on the right way. Down to the Café Velo and back, we only saw 3 riders out which must be a record and they all had their helmets on correctly. How would one adjust one,s helmet when it's back to front. Anyway the rain held off and it turned out nice.

Amblers 22nd June 2014 -  Report by Mark Pope

Great Amblers ride today in fantastic weather. There were 13 starters:

Wayne, Pete Phillips, Lee, Andy S, Terry A, Tony, Mark P, Steve, Lance, Roy 1, Roy 2, Marshall, Kev

We took the coast road around Ogmore and then headed to Llantwit via St Donats. We then rode around St Athan to Flemingstown and up to the A48, where Kev, Roy 1 and Pete left us. The remainder carried on to Welsh St Donats, Miskin and Talbot Green to climb through Llantrisant Forest. Andy S left us here cutting our numbers down to 9. After a quick coffee stop before Gilfach Goch we climbed up and over Goch before the cheeky little climb out of the valley towards Blackmill. At the Blackmill lights most of the group turned left for Bridgend whilst Steve (a mountain goat in another life) and I decided to nip over the Garw Valley via Llangeinor and back via Bryncethin. 50.1 miles for me at an average speed of 15.8mph.

There were quite a few newbies this week, although a number of them are gusting the Pacers group. A special mention for Kev too, who was back smiling (or grimacing) this week after getting left behind by the Amblers last week (our fault).   

Mark P (PS! Hopefully I've got all the first names right, the surnames were beyond my capacity to remember).

Enjoyable ride today Mark / all and a good route. My legs were feeling it a bit though by the time we got to Blackmill and I was quite happy to turn left for home at that point. Terry A

25’ers-  22nd June 2014 -  Report by Ron B

Only 2 out today after a vote 50% decided on Troes, City, Cowbridge, Llantwit, Velo  mmmmmmm nice coffee and home through St D. Lots of other clubs out, Café was busy, but the quality was still there. Almost forgot I was was joined by Andrew (very newbee) today total mileage 30? Whose counting anyway, the sun was out and the coffee was purrrrfect.

25’ers -18th May 2014 -  Report by Ron B

Four suspects out for this very sunny ride, Sian, Lucy, Rhod and Ron. Smylog, Gylfach,Llan G little Bwlch and home, the hills are Sian's favourite. Flatter ride next week, 25 TT on the Monday. Weather and view spectacular this morning.Todays ride 25 mile point to point.

What can I say Ron - looking forward to next week:) SH

25’ers - 30th November 2014

Just Roy and I out in the sun today, Roy said its because I posted the hilly route, the route is always suited to all 25er's who turn up on the day. Todays route was a 2 hour hill ride at a fair speed, young Roy getting some practise in for next years hill climb event, to strong for me anyway. We ended up in Bryn Garw Park for a tea in a fine bone china cup. Weather was superb for this time of year. Claire is that Café still open on Sundays in your street? Ron B

Amblers  - 30th November 2014

A nice ride in lovely weather. Seven Amblers' started today and we were joined on route by Roy 2 and Lance (bravely riding his single speed). Ambling around the Vale were:

Wayne, Terry, Tom, Carrie, Roy 2, Lance, Andy Storrie, Andy Samuels, Mark P, Mystery Guest (on a lovely new De Rosa)

A pleasant warm up around the Vale before the climbs through Llantrisant Forest, Gilfach Goch and Glynogwr. Some super strong turns on the front by Wayne helped on the climbs. A total distance today of 47 miles and 885 metres of climbing. A good day out.

See you next week Mark Pope

Thanks Mark-a good route and a lovely day.My apologies to you and the others for being so slow.In fact I felt so grotty when I got back I've been researching why and there seem to be 3 reasons

1-I gave blood on Friday p.m. and apparently performance can be 10% reduced especially in the first day or 2(If you take 10% away from mediocre you get abysmal)

2-I didn't carry a drink-I lost nearly 3 k on the ride so think I was a bit de-hydrated-I'll re-think that strategy

3-The biggest factor by far-I'm old and decrepit Tom B

Mid week ride 25th November 2014

A slightly  chaotic start as eager-beaver Ron didn't realise that 9.45 may mean 9.50 to the Tuesday group!We all met up fairly soon though and although there were a few showers it was nothing really and we were all glad we made the effort(I think).And yes Ron did eat my biscuit.(as well as his own toast)! Tom B

Pacers  - 30th November 2014

Great conditions - sunny, clear, no wind to speak of and crucially no ice. Steven Madeley, Ben North, Jason Turvey, Andy Harries, Mark Rosser, Chris Goodwin and me to start with - tapped out a good tempo through Brynna to Treforest where we picked up Rob Jones to head up through Porth to Rhondda Fach. Rob and Ben set a fair pace up the valley, so by the time we hit Maerdy Mountain our  legs (...well mine for sure) were feeling it. Ben then stuck with Rob for further than most could manage, with Mark Rosser almost closing the gap to them (he'd have caught them if he hadn't been hungover  ;))Lovely views on top, and then the scary harepin descent into Aberdare - even in good conditions like today I get vertiginous. Good cafe stop in Aberdare, then Jase and Rob made sure we quickly warmed up again when we resumed when they put the hammer down (or at least a small mallet) to take us to Ponty. The it was everyone's favourite climb up the Graig to Penycoedcae - Rob J and Ben leading the way - and a glorious descent to Beddau (see Jason Turvey on the Strava leaderboard) where we split up.

Great ride as usual - really like that route. Plenty of kms for me this week - I thought I might actually finish top of the club leaderboard this week, but Terry managed to pip my by a few kms  ::). Maybe next week..… Allan W

25’ers - 7th December 2014

Roy and I were out for 3 hours with no tea stop, up to Groesfaen then to Peterson, retraced our ride out well roughly anyway. Weather man told porkies again, we did have some rain. I can see this type merger of groups, Ambler 25er's more regular in the winter. Bad weather forecast for the week ahead Tuesday for the brave only? Ron B

Amblers  - 7th December 2014

An enjoyable ride today despite the chilly headwind on the way home. At this time of the year any dry day is a good day. We were joined by Ron's 25 ers for today's run for the first 24 miles or so before they veered off at Peterston-Super-Ely. Ambling around the lanes today were:

Paul, Tom, Andy Samuels (a possible Majorca recruit and new club member), Wayne, Jonathan, Ron, Roy 1, Mark P

Unfortunately I broke a spoke as we passed East Aberthaw, which meant I had to nurse the bike home. The rest of the group were kind enough to ease up and ride back with me, hence our slightly slower than average speed. It was good to see Tom back to his normal strong form, powering up the hills after nearly throwing his bike away in disgust after last week's ride. A total distance of 50 miles from Brackla to Brackla. Mark P

Excellent run today Mark-I'll leave it to you to post a report.I enjoyed it a lot more than last week-a few extra red blood cells do you a power of good-I'd recommend it to any other club members feeling below par! Tom B

Yes great route Mark glad to hear you got back ok. Head wind made for good training weather. Paul L

Pacers - 7th December 2014

The early morning rain and cool, blustery conditions seemed to put a few people off this morning. Both the Amblers and Pacers numbers slightly down.

5 pacers, Steven, Jason, Chris Reed, Haydn and myself set off west towards Swansea marina, Chris setting the early pace, until Roger's Lane where his lungs reminded him he'd been off the bike for a couple of weeks. Steven and me then took turns leading the group out to Margam and toward Port Talbot, where Haydn hit the front. This was to be a recurring theme, he was very 'excitable' this morning, doing long, hard turns on the front and 'kicking' on every rise we met. There was a very strong headwind this morning and the need to share the work was evident but we didn't tell Haydn!   ;D

Carried on via Neath and Skewen before dark clouds descended over Bonymaen, not metaphorical clouds but a real downpour, not on the forecast!

Soon got wet and cold but not far to the marina cafe, who seem to be more on their game these days and we were served promptly, with a chance to warm up and dry off a bit.

No dissenters when the suggestion was made for a quick return home via Fabian Way and Water St. Steven set a steady 25mph up Fabian Way before Jason, who was looking strong all day, took it up a notch pulling us along at 29-30mph along the new road past Port Talbot, Haydn hit the front towards the end of this section but was to pay the price for his efforts, when we hit the climb out of Porthcawl. Steven leading the way for the final drag home.

54 blustery miles and back in Brackla before the Amblers.  Andy H

Amblers  - 14th December 2014

Despite the dire weather forecasts earlier in the week, today turned out to be not too bad. It was overcast and damp, with a brisk breeze but I remained dry and as warm as toast in my club winter jersey ( I'm not on commission honest). However, the forecast did reduce numbers and only 2 hardy Amblers joined me for a jaunt to Porthcawl and back. After riding through Pencoed and across the Common we turned North towards Maesteg before scooting across the lanes towards  the A48 and Water Street. We eventually picked up a welcome tailwind after Porthcawl, which eased the ride back to Bridgend. As it was a slightly shorter and damper ride than usual we didn't bother with a coffee stop but headed straight home. Total distance from Brackla to Brackla was 39 miles. Today's Ambler's were:

Tom, Roy 1, Mark P

Thanks for the ride Mark&Roy.I was glad I got out but gladder to get home &warm&dry again.Bit puzzled by you&Andy in his report referring to it being pretty dry!I can believe I may have got so wet through extreme effort but I don't think my feet can sweat that much! Tom B

Pacers  - 14th December 2014

Numbers down at Brackla this morning as most people looked at the forecast and not out the window!!

7 pacers, regulars Jason, Chris R, Toestrap Steve and myself being joined by Richard B, Wayne and Andy Samuels from the Amblers for a loop around the Vale.

A healthy 'winter' club run pace took us out through Death Valley and Wick towards Cowbridge. A puncture on the section down to the Llantwit roundabout slowed us for a while but we were soon back on the road. Jason towed us to Cowbridge and the only real climb of the day Primrose Hill. The windy section across to Llanbethery saw Richard struggle for a while, unfortunately he said he'd brought his 'running legs' this morning. We then looped around Rhoose before heading back down the B4265 for a coffee stop at Cafe Velo.

Home via St Donats and Marcross, the group then splitting up to head for home either via Wick or a very blustery coast road to Ogmore and Southerndown. Had the only shower of the day here, only lasting 5 minutes or so. Weather behaved itself and was certainly much better than the forecast!  :)

50 miles in the bank. Andy H

Thanks all, enjoyed today's ride. And thanks all for your patience with me! Cheers, Richard.

Pacers - 21st  December 2014

Four riders today - Mark R, Chris G, Jason T and myself.  Hadyn took one look at us and joined the Amblers! Off to Ponty with a tailwind and then up to Aberdare to the usual Cafe ( image enclosed).  A headwind stretch down the valley to Neath and then back via the Port Talbot link road.  When we got to Laleston we realised that Jason still had a long ride back to Ponty.  As a gesture of solidarity and to get the miles in, we took in a loop around the Vale.

84 miles - Hadyn, you may have made the right decision ! Steven M

^^ Christ ~ What a picture ^^

Good miles and overall speed today despite the weather.        I'm off to check out those waterproof socks Chris was telling me about. Jason T

Amblers  - 21st  December 2014

Five Amblers set off today for a jaunt around the Vale. Initially the group consisted of Paul, Jonathan, Richard, Haydn (wisely taking a break from the Pacers) and myself. We passed Tom on route but met up with him again half way round when he decided to turn around and ride with us to Cafe Velo. However, although we didn't realise until later, we were also chased almost all the way round the route by a determined but late arriving Roy 1. Due to the grim weather forecast we stayed quite low and headed across the Common to Brynna, Llanharan, Talbot Green and then took the Cowbridge Road to Aberthin where we turned off into the lanes to Welsh St Donuts and Gwern-Y-Steeple.  We had the pleasant experience of catching up with Cardiff Ajax Ladies where the visual and olfactory experience improved significantly.

Despite the forecast the conditions weren't too bad throughout the ride and we cruised on through the lanes via Flemingston and St Athan to Cafe Velo.  After a welcome cuppa in Llantwit (paid for by Haydn who'll have to lay a few more bricks this week to cover his costs), we took the shorter option and returned home via Death Valley. As we cut out the Coast Road our total distance from Brackla to Brackla was only 45 miles. However, that's not bad considering the time of year and the weather. Mark P

Yes it was a bit murky for me this morning so I decided to stick to the lower groumd.Glad to meet up again though-thought we would if I went slowly enough!

Incidentally unless there was a convoy of Roys chasing you it was Roy 2(Llantwit Roy)whom I'd seen Tom B