Clear day. Surreal ride


Clear day, blustery wind, cotton wool clouds.

Sun baked mud, fields of grass and buttercups. Invisible winds prescribe patterns into the distance.

Road. Cattle grid. Rocks.

I crest an ancient celtic mound and gaze east to Gwent. South to Devon. West to Swansea. North to Pen-Y-Fan.

Head East across Moorland, descend the North East slopes. Enter gate.

Usually empty, the gnarled, rocky descent is lined by children.

‘It’s steep down there!’.

‘I know’. ‘Thanks’. Smile. Descend.

My back wheel is followed by a ripple of applause.

How unexpected.


I reach the bottom and turn back up the hill. Road this time. Steep but comfortable.

The sign reads – ROAD CLOSED. LANDSLIP.

I’m not alone in ignoring it. A Japanese man pushes his bike.

I smile. ‘Good morning’.

He looks at me. Looks through me. Nods silently.

I climb.


I run the south slopes of the Garth, bike on shoulder.

I jog the climb. Walk the steps. Hobble the fell.

My trig point has a new adornment. A lady stands astride the monolith, photographing the scene.

‘Will you film me?’

‘Art project?’

‘No. Football manger’.

She mimics a gull. I capture philosophy in pixels.

Footage reviewed she smiles contentedly.


Riding off the mountain, I pass the Japanese wanderer , sat cross-legged beside a Celtic barrow.

His bike rests idly.

I smile.

He looks at me. Looks through me.  Nods silently.

Saturday was a glorious day for training at my favourite spot. The sun saturated everything in its path, the woody descents were silent and the hardened path perfect for my 29 inch wheels. Normally my sets are uninterrupted lonesome affairs. But Saturday was quite different. Vaguely surreal.  Image taken earlier in week at a reworked Victorian train bridge.

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