Saturday, 21 March 2009
Saturday: A day on a bike
Started off the day at about 12 ish (when I woke up) and head out with the initial plan of biking up to Merthyr and then up and around Pen-y-Fan then back. Or getting the train to Merthyr and then doing the Pen-Y-Fan thing. But, as they say, the best laid plans of mice and men...
So, I packed my bag with couple of fruit bread sandwiches, filled my camel back, put my camera in my helmet for safekeeping (wasn't wearing my helmet.. Ooh naughty!) and tucked SAMR/MRSA into a pouch on my new rucksack. After doing a spot check on my bike I began out, but almost immediately ran into trouble. As I headed across Broadway/Heathfield Villas I could hear a scraping of my rear wheel against the frame. Once across the road I had a quick inspection and decided that the axle was probably loose, and since I do not have the tools I headed off up to Halfords.
When I took off the back wheel I figured it was a little more than a loose axle since the Quick Release pin was bent, but not much. They took in my wheel and went to tighten the axle so it wasnt loose, and the axle came out completely. It had sheared in half! So I had to buy a new axle because I'd snapped the old one! After they'd fitted the new axle I was back out, and this time headed up the Taff towards Abercynon. A couple of miles outside Abercynon I broke off from the main trail and went down the Lady Winsor Colliery trail towards Porth.
After the colliery I headed North towards a place with a silly name, lots of Ys, I know that for sure. Ynysybwl.
From here I had to decide if to go to Porth or Mountain Ash, I decided Mountain Ash, so I continued northward. My route led me though a forest called Ffynnon dwyn, but my 1:50k map didnt show me any paths in detail, so I decided to have a try anyways and see what I could find.
There was what appeared to be some sort of path going northwards, where I wanted to be, so I took it.
After a long uphill stretch I found the path curved back around and went down again about 500m from where I started off! One large circle, one large waste of time! I had to double back then and found a small path that snaked off though the forest, and best of all, it was down! Got some great speed down this little piece of single track though the pine trees, and eventually comming out by a river. At this point I didnt realise I'd just missed my turning half way back up the hill, and was slightly confused by the fact that the path disapeared, so I figured I would just head south till I ended back up in Ynysybwl as there was some sort of sheep track of some description. After a click or so the path petered out and I was left in a field with a 8ft barbed wire fence on one side, a river on another and a house on another, so I had to do do another loop to get back up where i should've turned off originoally. Finally I reached it and headed back across the correct field back to Ynysybwl, back though the Lady Winsor Colliery, back along the Taff trail to Pontypridd and then home. Total journey length 25 clicks.
All in all, a good little trip!