A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Share your rides with us.

Moderators: Bearbonesnorm, Taylor, Chew

jameso
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by jameso » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:57 pm

“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best…”
- Well said. And said before we had a bewildering choice in bike genres.

“How would your life be if you accept everything you have as perfect?”
- A thought-provoking comment I’ve probably mis-quoted from a Twitter account that posts some (I think) valuable Buddhist thoughts.

“How would my bike trips be if I accepted things as they are?”
- Jumbled thoughts about why I tinker over my bikes and kit, thinking it truly adds to the experience to get it right. I think it helps. I also remember that one of the best rides was on a borrowed, blown out MTB that didn’t really work but the place and company were just incredible.

‘Adventure is just bad planning’
- I can do that.

This is about the ride… but my rides are always about the bike to some extent. Testing, experimenting or just interested, there’s usually some sort of reason to use that bike for that route. I expect many of us are the same kind of kit junkies and bike nerds, all drawn to the possibilities in lightweight bike travel. Yet I’ve wondered if my riding would be different (better) if I was more detached from the product. I might have more kit problems, I might not care anyway.
During the lockdown/furlough period I got some ideas into shape and had a custom frame made, a traditional Reynolds 631 lugged road/audax frame with slimmer tubes and some influences I took from the ‘golden age’ of bike design that I love. I wanted the bike for long, brisk road rides and knew it wouldn’t be ideal for loaded tours. The inevitable urge to go away on it for a few days or more would force some re-thinks to kit and luggage that could be interesting and would certainly be compromised. In accepting that I thought it might remove the kit experience<>ride experience link, or change it at least.

I’d say it’s true that seeing a country by bike is the best way to get to know it. The kind of bike comes into it though. By mountain bike, you’ll cover less ground, see more wild/remote areas and possibly fewer populated areas. To see one side of a country to the other will take longer and necessarily need to spend more time looking 15ft ahead of your front tyre. By gravel bike is arguably the way to do it as it’ll open up more traffic-free routes and some MTB terrain. By road bike, well, you’re stuck on roads which isn’t always good but you can cover a lot of ground at the perfect pace to see detail as well as change. It’s mostly smoother and more comfortable too with plenty of opportunity to look around. Without getting into all the pros and cons of bike types though I will say that (quiet) road touring has always had appeal to me, it’s where my touring started.
My favourite way to ride is from my front door or with a train trip to get to the start. Flying has less appeal now and this summer has plenty of other reasons to just ride from your doorstep. Wales is practically on my doorstep in road-riding terms – I live in the Chilterns and the Severn Bridge is 180km away. I’ve said elsewhere (and at the risk of sycophantic repetition) how I’m a big fan of the Lost Lanes books, how they manage to make armchair bike travel work in a way few/no other route books do. Lost Lanes Wales was the spark for Wales as a destination, looking through the routes and realising that I’d seen most of what I knew of Wales from a car window driving to Snowdonia to climb or scramble in the past, or riding trail centres and the same general area of the Brecons. Detailed knowledge of tiny areas of a country with far wider potential for a road trip, to get to know the country better.


Image
Map for knowing the area, GPS for detail.

I started to ride over the Severn Bridge around 8am on the Friday, the first day of the tour really. Spent the afternoon and until 10pm of the day before getting close so that Friday was straight into Wales from the bivi, almost. The first night was one of the best bivis, it was warm, clear and dry, I found a lovely patch of grass in an open field just off a byway. Around 11pm I saw the brightest shooting star I’ve seen in a very long time, one that broke up clearly into two trailing parts as it burned up. Something golf-ball sized maybe. I thought at first it was a firework from the way it disintegrated but no, that really was a meteorite. I thought about that for a moment, then woke up around 3am. Saw the space station overhead. Then woke up just before 5am and started brewing up for coffee. The first morning is often the best, the enthusiasm of freedom before multi-day fatigue set in. Rolling along lanes in the west Costwolds towards the bridge in early morning light, with all of Wales ahead of me, is about as good as life needs to be.

Image
View from the bivi, morning 1

Took my disposable camera (an old one found in a drawer during a clear out) out to get a snap of the Severn bridge and realised it wasn’t working or was already full. A quick Conway (edit, er no, Chepstow isn't it) castle visit for breakfast, to the post office to send the camera home while wondering what was on it, then onto the hills towards Abergavenny.
I was on bottom gear within a few miles of crossing the bridge and knowing I should have put the 34T on the back, even the additional 2 teeth would have helped, I wondered why I hadn’t. I’ve never used my bottom gear as often as I did on this trip. I knew Welsh roads were steep but I hadn’t appreciated how often they were that steep. I generally make my routes without too much worry about climbing, instead accepting that quiet and pretty roads are often hilly. But climbing should be worth it and on a hot day I was losing faith in my routing before I’d even got to lunch time. The climbs were one thing, the descents on 30mm tyres and rim brakes another. Average speed was low and I didn’t care. If you can’t go that fast you have less interest to try, I just rode. That was a good thing. The Lost Lanes routes I followed as added loops around Abergavenny were lovely, interesting and a little frustrating – only frustrating as the lanes were probably lost and forgotten for being so small, steep and full of grit and dirt. Lovely if you’re on a gravel bike with good brakes. Or, lovely on a less capable traditional bike but with all the time in the world. I relaxed, took it as it was and felt like the routes and the bike were helping me channel the author’s intentions. I was wearing what Reg called my ‘gardening shirt’, so I felt dressed for the occasion anyway. I walked up to a little chapel on an out and back as the hill was just too steep, then walked back down too. It was worth the side trip and the time.

Image
Old church on Lost Lanes route

Later that day I followed a long drag of a climb to very close to the top before realising this was Gospel Pass. I knew the north side and some off-road trails in the area but the gradual climb from the south crept up on me. The descent to Hay could have been faster but rim brakes and bracken that spat sheep out at random kept things tame rather than pinned. Hay was a good stop for dinner (Chinese takeaway). It started to drizzle on the way up onto the moor north of Hay but it wasn’t threatening enough to call it short for the day. Another route section that took in some more Lost Lanes and two churches of St David. No water taps there, but lovely little buildings to look around.
The sky was on fire as I descended and a couple of times I just stopped to take it in. The roads, landscape and skies were incredible. One of so many times on this ride that it hit me how beautiful Wales is. I know that’s not news to anyone and it wasn’t to me either, but somehow it really hit me on this trip and I just fell for the Welsh landscape in a big way.

Image

After riding a few miles further down the road in the dark I got to a pub, not far outside Builth Wells. There were a few people sat at the back, they were serving food at about 10pm (large pork pies, crisps, Dairy Milk and good beer – that counts) and while I ate a chap came over to ask about my bike and trip. Turns out he was a retired engineer from Coventry, where I studied (to stretch the term at times) at the School of Engineering. He was interested in how my bike’s tubes were made in Birmingham and brazed to custom spec in Coventry. He offered directions to his orchard to sleep in, finished his pint (I doubt it was the first) then drove home. I rode to the orchard a little later feeling a bit warier of night riding on those remote lanes than before but glad to have a bivi spot as so much of the land in these areas is gated farm land, and with camper vans dotting the river side parking areas bivi spots were harder to find than I expected.
The gate he said I needed to climb over to get in was the second I climbed over at ~11pm, the first was probably his garden. Oops. The orchard was lovely when I saw it in the morning light. It was flat and comfy with the river Wye alongside it and he had a fishing rod and haversack stashed under a tree. Idyllic, particularly when compared to what I remember of Coventry.

That morning I was headed towards Lyn Brianne and on a mix of Lost Lanes and TINAT route inspiration. It was raining and I cut off about 10km of an out-back section that completed more of Lost Lanes Wales route 12, ‘Watery Wales’. It was watery enough already, thanks. Not too disappointed to miss that swim spot there. It was another gorgeous Welsh road that just suits cloud and rain quite nicely (I was dry and warm under good layers, could be very different in less comfortable conditions). I got up Devil’s Staircase, just, on a gear that was too big to be comfortable. The road around Lyn Brianne was the way the TINAT didn’t go but LLW and my Lost Lanes tour did, and it’s a stunner. Got hungry on the faster road toward Tregaron and ate a bit too much after a shop stop there, but thankfully the roads after were also flat. Timing eating with the 20% climbs here didn’t always work out.

Image
Approach to the Devil’s Staircase, heading north

Image
Lyne Brianne

Image
Chatted to a family of touring motorcyclists who were also into bikes. Took photos for each other in the drizzle.

The sun came out after Tregaron. I rode up a beautiful, small valley that felt like a slightly scaled-down version of a salmon fishing river valley we rode on the RSR Scotland trip last year. I took a diversion off-route towards Devil’s Bridge as I thought we’d ridden through there on the WRT (wasn’t sure but turned out we did), got dinner there and headed back on route. It was one of those diversions that probably improved the route, I got to the stone gate monument at the top then rode into the Afon Ystwyth valley with late evening light behind me. That valley at that time of day in that direction has to be as beautiful as any road I’ve ever ridden. It was perfect. Wild, open country, a mellow climb, the colour of the hills and the light complementing each other – just incredible. As I got to the junction near the top I realised where I was and that I’d ridden down that valley before in both other directions. But it was riding that way up and that light that made it.

Image

Image

Image
Afon Ystwyth valley in golden hour

There’s a gated road after Rhyader that avoids the busy A road and along there was a bench with a nice view. After 9pm it was an appealing bivi spot. I’d already thought of a stargazer’s bivi on the hill top before the descent to Rhyader but it was exposed and windy. The bench would be nice for morning coffee. I woke up to the sound of light, intermittent rain on my bivi bag and (unusually) found it relaxing enough that I went back to sleep. I woke up again at about 4am to the same sound and packed up before it got worse. Arse. No tarp, too lightweight, too much hope of ‘found shelter’ in a place where there really isn’t much, certainly not compared to the civic buildings, open stone market places and plentiful bus stops of France. Riding at 4am, wet and no coffee. Day three legs too, this day wasn’t starting as well as yesterday ended.

Image

I was going to be passing BB HQ land that day and Stuart had offered a tea stop. I wasn’t sure what time I’d be there, it was about 50km so I’d thought it might be mid-day based on my low average speed but the early start meant I was there for a morning brew. Before that it was unannounced apart from a PM on here saying ‘probably Sunday’. Thanks Stuart, for the tea, sub standard coffee (your description not mine) and chat. I rode off realising I’d forgotten to blag some more meths : ) but I had saved 2 brew’s worth by not making any that morning. The BB HQ call-in also was a good excuse to miss the single-track mountain road over 500m in the rain and head directly to Pennant. One for another ride.

Later that afternoon and too soon after a good lunch and sleeping kit drying-off stop (“it’s not dry yet, may as well eat that last tiffin slice eh”), I was on the way up Bwlch Y Groes. Lunch stayed down though it’s rare that I make the same noise going up a hill that I used to make doing intervals on the turbo. Grimaces and I AM NOT WALKING and cadence down to 30rpm. Got to the top and decided not to take the routed decent as the TINAT had taken us that way, so I went back down to Lake Vyrnwy and to Bala that way. This general area and loop was a real highlight of the ride, the way the fir trees end and it opens out onto the high moor is mini-Alpine and it was another sunny afternoon / early evening.

Image
The top of the Bwlch. Not as high as the smokers of weapons-grade dope in the chav truck that's just out of shot.

I was back on the TINAT route after a pizza in Bala, riding the small road climb over to Trawsfynedd. That’s a really hard climb. The Bwlch is a strain but I think this one is a tougher climb. It doesn’t gain much more than 350m overall but it gives up a chunk of what you gain along the way in a set of three slightly descending steps. Each time you think you’re there it rises up again. The descent is a good one, through a beautiful valley.

The rain was threatening again though and before I got to Trawsfynedd I had the waterproofs on and was wondering about where to sleep. I checked out a stone bin building at the roadside but like ‘Montana Hiltons’ I’d rather be wet than sleep on a floor like that. I wasn’t desperate yet. Then it emptied it down. There was a bridge in the town. A picnic spot nearby looked nice but was open. I saw a gravel bank under the bridge – it was dry, sheltered and, well, a unique kind of bivi spot. I thought about water levels as I took shelter from a heavy downpour on the bank. The forecast said the rain would be heavy but not for long. It stopped. The skies looked threatening though. I decided that there wouldn’t be a dangerous flash flood there and rolled out my sleeping bag on the bank with my feet closest to the water and about 6” below my upper body. I had a short thermarest too, so that made my feel dip down a bit.

Image

I slept well but woke up a bit cold, mainly my feet. I looked out at the lovely view of moonlit river and hills from under the bridge. My feet were oddly cold though. I woke up fully and moved them out of the flowing water they were now dipped into. The river level had come up a few inches as the run-off from the hills had made its way towards the lake - predictable really, probably a bit daft of me too. But all in all I’d stayed a lot drier and though I did question my wisdom I was also enjoying the sense of adventure and unpredictability of bivi-only touring in a famously rainy place. ‘Adventure is just bad planning’. It keeps me on my toes (cold toes). The skies were clear so I moved to the picnic spot and got a few more hours sleep before making a brew on the slate bench and table around 6am.

It was a sunny morning with darker skies ahead to the N of Snowdonia. The roads were full of golden light and with back lit dark clouds ahead all looked quite dramatic. I got some breakfast in Beddgelert and road up towards Llanberis pass. In so many trips to this area I’d not ridden up this particular road. It’s a cracker, a rare big-gear climb with an Alpine feel as you pass the east side of Snowdon and turn up to Pen-Y-Pass.

Image

Image
Into Snowdonia proper

Brew and flapjack at Pete’s Eats (of course… Always when in Llanberis), up the minor road on the other side of the A5 towards Lyn Ogwen, a big-ring flyer down the A5 past Tryfan trying to decide between riding fast and rubber-necking the view, a left turn in Betws-Y-Coed to get the hell out of there asap (nice place when not busy) and then onto a section I was looking forward to – the terrain to the sides of the A5 that I’ve driven down dozens of times but never cycled through.

Image
Not the A5

A tiny high road with the best views into Snowdonia I’ve ever seen. Down to the A5 again. Turn up onto Denbeigh Moor. “Oh wow”. Big skies, open moor and a legit bivi shelter for future reference. An old, remote monastery or church up on the hill. No access road to it so I carried on. After getting home I read that the building was (possibly) Denbeigh Asylum, home to over 1000 mental patients around 100 years ago and closed down in the mid 90s. I know this sounds morbid but reading that, I really did wish I’d stopped to look around. There’s plans to build homes on the site now which sounds like the start of a good horror film. But anyway, that wasn’t actually the building I saw. It just made for good ‘stay off the moors’ thoughts while a black metal imagination ran with it.

Image
Denbeigh moor - spacious

On the southern side of the A5 I rode back towards Bala on some smooth, fast and open B-roads. Spar shop dinner went into my pac-a-sac with a cold beer wrapped in a down jacket for later. The road up to Vyrnwy was the only road on the loop I re-routed to ride again the other way and luck was with me, I got another golden hour ride up a really lovely climb that on the lower slopes strongly reminded me of the Vosges.

Image
Back up over the hill on the way to Vrynwy again

I had a GPS error a bit further on and with light fading and GPS pointing to a byway sign rather than a road junction I thought I’d take the byway as a walk, look for a bivi spot and figure out the re-route in the morning. The bivi spot I found a few 100m along the byway was one of the nicest I’ve ever had. It was in the upper corner of a triangular field with a view from >250m up over rolling hills, looking east, with flat lush grass to sleep on and a tree overhead to sit up against. I ate dinner, watched a pink-purple moon rise then drank about 1/3 of the carefully carried-up beer before falling asleep. I woke up at about 2am feeing like I’d slept all night, so I drank the rest of the beer like a true wino and went back to sleep.

Image
A bad photo of a lovely full moon rise from a perfect bivi spot – the sun rose just a little to the left there in the morning.

It started lightly raining in the morning, disappointing as the night before it was looking like it’d be clear and sunny for a while. The route fix was easy and the rain wasn’t bad though, I was in Welshpool as a café was opening and chatted to only the second cycle tourer I’d seen so far. It was suprising how few tourers I saw – I saw more riders on Tri bikes than on tourers overall on this trip.

Long Mynd next, not Wales technically but with a crazy headwind, some drizzle and a big open expanse on top of a long climb it fitted in nicely.
Image
The Long Mynd road

After that I headed south into a strong wind on relentless rolling B-roads, flagging a bit in energy and motivation. Every trip has a point where my enthusiasm for the place drops behind my energy and comfort levels. This was it on day 5, or 4 ½ really, but it had been fairly intense in a good way – interest, uncertainty, exposure all made it 5 days that had felt full in every sense. I’d said I’d be in the Cotswolds to see my parents and sister the evening of the next day so, concerned about the headwind and pace, I straight-lined the route that afternoon to avoid having to TT-it the next day and arrive there beat. I was close to the border all the way, through Kington and close to Hay later in the day. By 6pm I was hoping for a pub stop for food but it was Govt 50% off eat out to help out night so all the pubs were pre-booked fully. To be honest one was so full I wouldn’t have eaten there, all a bit too CV-positive looking to me. By 8.30pm I was empty and heading straight to Monmouth as a guarantedd chippy/Chinese takeaway destination and stopped at the first shop I saw - after riding one of the fastest roller-coaster descent roads I can remember, the B4233 to Rockfield. It must have been in the Tour of Britain based on the names on the road there. I’d love to know how fast the Pros hit that road, I was tired and empty and it was fairly easy to stay above 30-35mph for much of it.
Bought food. Rode a way to get back on my route while looking for a rain-proof bivi. Found a great bus stop on a remote road, sat there happy and comfy with a good dinner and then my favourite weissbeer. Woke up later with the beer just over half-finished (JO as a wino, pose #2). Finished tasty beer, got into sleeping bag and had a great sleep.

The next day left about 130km to get to family dinner so I took my time. It had that last day, roll-in feeling that’s so good. I had a long breakfast stop on top of Symonds Yat rock then rode through the Forest of Dean.

Image
Symonds Yat breakfast

The bike lanes around Gloucester weren’t great fun but the blackberries along the way were fantastic. The headwind along the Severn Sharpness canal was a drag but I got to Stroud and called in at Shane’s bike shop for a good coffee and a catch up. Stroud has always been home to me. I had 100 more miles to go to get 'where I actually live' home but this was the end of my tour, mentally. I’d got there a day earlier than I had time for and ending at the right time seems to be as important as anything on these rides. Not how many miles I’d done (no accurate idea) or any other measures. The lugged traditional bike and the gardening shirt had worked, or maybe I’ve grown into them both. I rode home from Stroud a couple of days later. I’m writing this feeling happy and relaxed, in a way that bike trips don’t always manage. That it was done door-to-door might be a part of it. That I really did fall for Wales on this ride and I know I can go back just as (relatively) easily is another.
Last edited by jameso on Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Landslide
Posts: 875
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:00 pm

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by Landslide » Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:49 pm

Oh yes. Very much yes.

User avatar
RIP
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Location: Seat 23 (window, facing), Coach H, 08.05 Leighton Buzzard - Euston
Contact:

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by RIP » Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:38 pm

Stunning that James, one of the best on here for ages. We're not used to road epics really are we so that made it even more interesting. So much to take in and absorb on that ride, your head must be happy but a bit overloaded now :smile: . Impressed with those bivvy spots :-bd . And on that lovely gazelle as well. Ace.
"My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster

User avatar
UnderTheRadars
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:12 pm
Location: Stourbridge/North Col of North Worcestershire Alps

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by UnderTheRadars » Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:57 pm

I shall read all of that later with a brew.... but do you have gpx of the route to share please?
Image

slarge
Posts: 1868
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:49 pm
Location: MTB mecca (Warwickshire)

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by slarge » Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:38 am

Fantastic James, thanks for sharing this ride. I’m very interested in the route also.

Also, boring bike question - where did you get the frame made? The only Coventry maker I know of is lee Cooper - are there others?

jameso
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by jameso » Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:39 am

Thanks Reg : )

Will post up the routes soon, need to tidy and upload on RWGPS.

Steve, yes, Lee Cooper built it for me. He's done a lot of work for bike brands over the years, I was interested in that side of things and got chatting to him a couple of years back. When I asked about this frame he got it made on a pretty short lead time. I like how close he is to Reynolds and the Coventry link.

jameso
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by jameso » Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:23 am

https://www.komoot.com/collection/99533 ... 9bbc84c7e5

https://www.albioncycling.com/2020/07/d ... 9bbc84c7e5

Just saw Albion's recent mid-Wales Komoot collection via their mail-out. Worth a look. Credits Dave Barter off 'ere in the blog article for the Irfon / Elan 175 route from his book “Great British Bike rides: 40 classic routes for road cyclists."
Covers a few of the roads I used - tbh there's not a huge range of options there anyway, it's more a case of you can't go far wrong in this general area. I expect Dave's route is a more refined loop though.

jameso
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by jameso » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:24 pm

(place name typos edited up there. I can struggle with names of places at the best of times and Wales is a real test of that weakness!)

User avatar
Charliecres
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:28 pm

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by Charliecres » Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:05 pm

Fantastic ride and write-up, James. Love it. :-bd

User avatar
psling
Posts: 931
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:36 am
Location: Forest of Dean

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by psling » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:18 pm

Yes, great ride and write up. Enjoy following your descriptions of the route in my mind's maps :cool:
That's Patrishaw Church up there ^^ - definitely a steep out and back no-through-road on your route although the lane leads to some great off-road riding for a more suitable iron horse.
We go out into the hills to lose ourselves, not to get lost. You are only lost if you need to be somewhere else and if you really need to be somewhere else then you're probably in the wrong place to begin with.

benp1
Posts: 3320
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:36 pm
Location: North London

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by benp1 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:33 pm

Good job James, lovely write up and sounds like a cracking trip

User avatar
thenorthwind
Posts: 990
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:07 pm
Location: Newcastle

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by thenorthwind » Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:35 pm

Your write-up really captures the happy-go-lucky feeling of the trip James - thanks for sharing. Great pictures too.

User avatar
PaulE
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:05 am
Location: Sheffield

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by PaulE » Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:24 pm

That looks absolutely amazing, and makes me really want to take off for a few days to do something similar. Thank you!
Image

jameso
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by jameso » Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:59 pm

Thanks.. glad I got it all down as I generally don't get round to it before reminiscing turns to jumbled memories. Enjoying the other UK trip reports on here recently, accessible is inspiring.

jameso
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by jameso » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:03 pm

psling wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:18 pm
Yes, great ride and write up. Enjoy following your descriptions of the route in my mind's maps :cool:
That's Patrishaw Church up there ^^ - definitely a steep out and back no-through-road on your route although the lane leads to some great off-road riding for a more suitable iron horse.
Yes, just looked it up in Lost Lanes. Peaceful spot. The books make for good post-trip reading as well as pre-trip planning.
Would be tempted to take a rigid 29er to that area again and include more of those lanes on my route, there's plenty where the 29er would be more suitable than a road-ish bike.

Chew
Posts: 2515
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:46 pm
Location: Halifax

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by Chew » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:32 am

so I drank the rest of the beer like a true wino
:-bd

Thanks for the inspiration

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 18759
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:00 am

The sh1t coffee was actually meant to be kept a secret .... at least until after the WRT :wink:
#corporate shill for hire

Verena
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:22 am

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by Verena » Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:17 am

Thanks, great write up, sounds amazing

jameso
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by jameso » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:03 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:00 am
The sh1t coffee was actually meant to be kept a secret .... at least until after the WRT :wink:
Oops. The visit or the coffee and the fact you have it at all?

jameso
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by jameso » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:07 pm

Chew wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:32 am
so I drank the rest of the beer like a true wino
:-bd

Thanks for the inspiration
I try to set a good example :grin:

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 18759
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:19 pm

Oops. The visit or the coffee and the fact you have it at all?
Just the fact it comes out of a jar and isn't partially digested by Columbian bats before being slowly roasted over glamour models thongs.
#corporate shill for hire

JackT
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:28 pm

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by JackT » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:17 pm

That's a tremendous write up James. And I'm thrilled and rather humbled that such an accomplished cyclist should find anything inspirational/useful in my books.

It is exactly the kind of ride I've been dreaming of doing all year, but hasn't been possible due to lockdown, having the kids at home, trying to juggle work & home schooling and all the rest. So the vicarious pleasure of reading about your ride is the next best thing.

To share the love with the 'boners, if anyone on the forum wants a Lost Lanes book, I'll throw in a cloth badge to sew on your Carradice or de-waterproof your dry bag (normally £5). Just enter the code BONIO at checkout - offer available while stocks last blah blah etc etc. https://lostlanes.co.uk/shop/

Image

All the books I sell are signed by me and personally dedicated if you want that too (if you don't want it signed let me know - unsigned copies may have a rarity value :roll: )

jameso
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by jameso » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:53 pm

Thanks Jack, really. I'd say it's largely about how your books made me appreciate how much I often miss when I'm riding a bit head-down. I tried one of the routes in the Chilterns from the first book and it took in the best of what I know in an area I've ridden in detail for ~15 years or more, but also looped it in a way I'd not ridden and really enjoyed - so I knew the recommendations in there were good. Plus, I feel I've earned right to sew on the LL patch I have now.

Just the fact it comes out of a jar and isn't partially digested by Columbian bats before being slowly roasted over glamour models thongs.
...thankfully... I did bring back some civet cat-digested coffee from Indonesia a while back. It was said to be the most expensive coffee in the world, think it was about $15 a bag. That's not a lot for the most expensive in the world of anything like that is it? It was nice, very smooth. Took in on the 1st TNR and waited a couple of days before telling Ben where the morning brew beans came from/out of, but the joke fell flat as he'd heard of the coffee type and was appreciative of it.

User avatar
Charliecres
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:28 pm

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by Charliecres » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:47 pm

To share the love with the 'boners, if anyone on the forum wants a Lost Lanes book, I'll throw in a cloth badge to sew on your Carradice or de-waterproof your dry bag
Bah! Just got a ‘despatched’ email today for Lost Lanes West then saw this. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll be ordering Wales at some point soon.

jameso
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: A Lost Lanes, TINAT-revisit meander through Wales, South to North and South again

Post by jameso » Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:12 am

Routes for those interested,
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33106715 - Severn to Tregaron inc LL routes in green

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33106864 - Tregaron to Bala inc LL routes in green

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33578670 - Bala to Long Mynd via Llanberis pass - didn't colour-code the next two routes one so I'll leave you guessing!

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33578677 - Long Mynd to Stroud

Chilterns to the Severn Bridge is 180km, Stroud to the Chilterns is ~150km. Routes available if of interest but haven't posted them here.
I took a few diversions. One was to miss the climb then long descent to /edit/Machynlleth in the Tregaron-Bala section on a wet morning. I went through Pennant instead, stopped at Bearbones HQ and carried on to the Bwlch. Then the weather cleared so I had time to descend E from the top of the Bwlch, down to Vyrnwy then back up and down to N end of Bala. That was a good alternative section and worth riding the other way on the return leg of Bala-Long Mynd.
Also on that file I went to Devil's Bridge which was a few miles off-route and took me into the Ystwyth valley perfectly.

The other diversion was after Long Mynd where I straightened the route a little to gain some time on a slow day. Though the borders area of Shropshire is lovely the going was slow and I felt I'd seen enough ups and downs by then. The time gain was needed later when I had to go off-route a little into Monmouth to get food, then find my way out over the river in the dark rather than climb back up the valley.
Last edited by jameso on Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply