Mountains. Forestry. Leaden skies.
I set out to beat the foreboding skyline, to dodge the curtain of rain.
Climbing first through forest and along ridgeway.
I rode through trees packed so tightly together that I never saw the branch that whipped my face and bloodied my nose.
A Honey Buzzard, spooked, beat powerful wings and blurred amongst the trees.
The mountain rises above, silent and waiting.
I force the path, stamp the pedals.
Gorse knifes my skin, brambles wrapped around crank arms. The forest pulls visitors back.
I shoulder the bike and escape at the gate.
The mast signals more; the roof of the valleys.
Machen mountain, Saturday morning: My cross bike, a tribute to Julie and skies so heavy it hurts. Can’t beat three peaks training.