The Climb


The road rose. An escalator to cloud and mist. I drop the gear. I drop it again. Shoulders hunched, fingernails slicing into bar tape. I hear panting. Is it mine? The rain is more intense here. A curtain. A veil. Like standing too close to a crop sprayer, or hiding beneath a poncho at Niagara.




The road jacks right. Still air. Better tarmac. The panting is ear splitting and it’s mine. The body makes a fine echo chamber. I remember an experiment at the Science Museum on Exhibition Road. ‘Put a clean straw in the box, bite the straw and hear the music’. Its funny how your mind throws curve balls.



The road jacks left. Wind again. But this hill loses severity as it gains altitude. I drop the gears and pedal harder, sensing the man v bike v mountain battle is nearing conclusion. There shouldn’t be a ‘v bike’ element. But there is. I wish I could climb like Coppi, all elegance, cadence and grace.  But I ride a bike like a light cavalry horse at Balaclava. There’s no effective marriage of body and componentry.


The summit. A panoramic view of…….nothing. A Grey void. The view has been stolen. It matters not. Nothing removes the thrill of cresting a mountain.

The climb refers to yesterday’s ascent of the Bwlch (Black Mill side). With thanks to Paul and Justin at Morgan Cole for an excellent day’s riding in the South Wales Valleys. Image below courtesy of of Yesterday’s weather was not that clement.


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