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lower Monnow cycling

Sunny Sunday afternoons are made for cycling.  Even better if it's following up a roast dinner with my parents! I went for a reasonably short (26k) bike ride up the Monnow.  Quiet lanes there, b-roads back, and two border crossings.

It would possibly have made life easier if I'd remembered that the lanes turn into narrow pothole filled not-very-road-bike-friendly terrain.  Which at one point turned into a huge road closed barrier!  But some people walking down told me it would be fine, as long as I was happy lifting my bike over a ditch/fence/barrier at the other end - and a rather large hole where the road should have been.  Oops.

road closed sign
yeah yeah whatever...

Turning back would have either meant a long detour, or not getting to my intended destination - Skenfrith Castle.  So muddy ditch it was.  Sorry bike!

Skenfrith castle tower
Skenfrith castle tower

Other things to remember: Monmouth is a lot more hilly than Gloucester, and I am not used to cycling up hill.  On several occasions I ran out of gears and lung capacity, so got off and pushed...

But it's worth it to then fly back down the road at 40-50km/h :)  So fast and smooth! Until I uploaded the GPS data to Strava, which basically says "haha look how slow you are compared to everyone else".  But that's sort of ok, because I'm cycling for my own enjoyment rather than a desire to be the fastest/best.

And who knows, one day I might learn to stick to proper roads rather than crap ditchy lanes..  At least until I get a new mtb, anyway ;)


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