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 5000 years. The Bronze and Iron Ages, the Middle Ages, and the not so distant Industrial Revolution all huddle beside each other amongst the verdant Southeast Valleys. This is where I ride and this is why I write.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Grosmont & Garway Ramble

Originally we planned on riding up over the Gospel Pass, but as the weather changed, we decided something less adventurous would be smarter. Our ride to Grosmont, however; turned into a surprising adventure in it's own right.

My day began early with a sleepy ride up to Brynmawr and down through Clydach Gorge to join the fellas in Abergavenny for the start of our ride.

I was excited for the day and made it to Abergavenny early enough to stop for breakfast. Yes!, I will have that sausage and egg sandwich, please. Thank you!

Soon after we all met; the skies opened up and we quickly changed our plans. Heading out of Abergavenny is always a climb, yet it affords some pretty scenic views back across the valley.

We stopped for coffee & tea a few miles up the road and decided on Garway as a destination. The rain however, did not let up and poured on us the entire way there. (I was sooo glad that I had that sandwich in my belly!)

St. Michael's is a very unusual church worth reading more about... see my link at the bottom of the post. Fortunately, the weather calmed briefly while we walked the church grounds.

Without much of an introduction when entering, there are some pretty interesting details to be found if you take the time to look around.

One of the most notable design features is the Norman Arch leading into the naive.

  Ride Report Card
  Ride Name: Grosmont & Garway Ramble
  Ride Date: August 29, 2017
  Distance: 95.2 mi
  Duration: 15:36:22
  Moving Time: 09:29:30
  Elevation: + 6141 / - 6140 ft
  Avg. Speed: 10.0 mph
  Weather: Rain, rain, & rain.
  Temperature: 19°c / 66°f
Not everyone finds history as engaging as myself. I guess if you grow up around these places, you become disinterested. And to be fair, not everyone wants to poke about old churches during the midst of a bike ride.

But for me... this is what it's all about. Discovering new places, wandering and exploring, returning home and following up with additional investigation; this is why I love Wales and why I love to cycle here.

Of course too, I've been here before. In 2012 John brought the Kingfishers out for a day of history and architectural study. I had more time then and shot a few more photos. You can read about that trip here... [ Garway & the Knights Templar ]


Mostly, I saw the back of these fellas. Oh well, I like to ride slowly. I finally caught up with them in Abergavenny and after they loaded their bikes into their respective cars and drove off; I tootled up to the M&B Canal and made my way home.

Late summer corn along the canal path home and a troll's hideaway. Cheers! - cm

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