Moonlight bathed the trail. Dripping through the canopy, skipping across the water. A breathless, cloudless, glorious October evening. I rode from Llandaff North to Cardiff Bay in a little over 20 minutes. Barely a traffic light, rarely a hold up. At Llandaff fields the odd runner emerged from the shadows, the soft padding of feet accompanied by tinny rhythmic beat – the discourse of digital music. At Sofia Gardens, silvery luminescence played across empty seats at the Swalec stadium. At Cowbridge road, the masts of the millennium stadium linked the sky with a still river Taff. Grangetown brought a mix of thoughts and questions. Half of my family hail from here. What would my grandfather make of it all? the cycle path on the Taff, the waterbus stop, luxury flats where grimy warehouses once stood. The coup de grace – Tiger Bay devoid of laden ships freshly returning from exotic ports. He was a lifelong merchant seaman with a 1000 stories etched into the leathery crags of his face. I’ve only met him through pictures, anecdotes and ancient logbooks. But I think I know the answer.
Monday evening was as perfect an autumnal night as you could hope for, a bike the purest way to embrace it. Spin quietly. Spin often. Unwind.
Top image: Taff embankment near Cardiff. The original image taken on a Canon S95 can be seen here.
With thanks to all who maintain the Taff Trail.