This is my love letter to Wales. I am fascinated with it's rich history and rugged landscape. Within 50 miles I can travel over 3000 years. The Bronze and Iron Ages, the Middle Ages, and the not so distant Industrial Revolution all huddle beside each other amongst these verdant valleys. This is where I ride and this is why I write.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gelligaer Adventure

At the time of our decision to climb up to Gelligaer Common I was concerned that it would be too much for some in the Green Ladies group, but after a brief discussion they all seemed enthusiastic and wanted to give it a go.

So off we went. And it does have some hills to climb, most notably riding up through the Fochriw Moors.

Looking back toward Fochriw.

In one short mile as you climb across the moors and up along the mountain side everything changes in scale. The view down Darren Valley is stunning.

The road across the moors.

Once up on Gelligroes Common you have views into both Darren and Taf Bargoed Valleys. Traffic is generally non-existent with one or two cars at most, but for some reason on this day it was surprisingly busy. We even saw an Asda "Free Bus". URGH!!!

Heading across the ridge.

But the real fun came just a few minutes after reaching the top. And it came on quick and hard. Before we could get our jackets on it was thundering with SLEET. I kid you not. It started sleeting. (profanities flew as fast as the wind whipped...) I snapped this one quick photo and that was it for the day.

Get yer jackets on!!!

We cut the trip short by not heading down into Parc Taf Bargoed and over to Hengoed. Instead, we shot straight across the ridge (raining!, raining!, raining!), through the wooded farms and down into Gelligaer. Then a fast cruise down the rather steep and busy B4254 to the Pengam Train Station.

ROUTE COLOUR KEY:  Traffic-free  Shared Use  Quiet Road  Steep Hill

And that was it for the day! Whew! Super-intense, dramatic, gorgeous, and very, very wet.

See ya soon Green Ladies. Cheers! - cm

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