Graham decided there was time for a road ride between the bands of heavy rain sweeping through Pembrokeshire lately.
Moylegrove is under 6 miles (9.5km) from Newport but feels more distant. You turn off the main road (A487) almost immediately to cross the Nevern estuary at the rebuilt iron bridge. After that the lanes are quiet and the views magnificent. The direct route takes you down a sharp slope into the pretty village centre. Nowadays the only cafe is at Penrallt Ceibwr Garden Centre. It is worth a visit if you don’t mind a steep climb to reach it. It is not far though – and think of sailing back down!
Another option, perhaps for warmer weather, is to divert down to Ceibwr Bay. The beach is a beautiful place for a picnic, a paddle or just to admire the superb rock strata on the cliffs.
A view of the cliffs at Ceibwr
It is also enjoyable to wander off on a side road – exploring tiny lanes is one of the pleasures of North Pembrokeshire. Having a good map is advisable as they don’t always end up where you might expect. On the other hand, if you are on holiday, you might enjoy getting a little lost. You can’t go too far wrong; the area is bounded on the one side by the Irish Sea and on the other by the Preselis (though you’d have to cross the A487 to get there).
We plan to prepare maps and short guides to popular routes for loan to bike hirers or to sell for a small price. This route will be one.
Although it is all on-road, people often ride it on mountain bikes for comfort and to make the short, steep parts less daunting.
Graham has been out on his bike as often as he can lately but he admits it can be hard to beat the wet winter weather in January.
So, he has taken up spinnning.
Fishguard Leisure Centre runs no less than 8 spinning classes every week. They are so popular that you literally have to get up early to be sure of your place. It attracts everyone from seriously fit Ironman candidates to sedentary workers looking for a quick fitness fix after work. It can’t compare with the exhilaration of cycling in the open air but can be challenging enough to keep things interesting. The instructors are no softies: “Turn up the resistance” they announce, or “We’ll be standing up on the pedals for half an hour today!”
Yesterday Graham reckoned the session had been a little easier than usual – or could it be that he is gaining in fitness?
Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day. The low winter light shows our North Pembrokeshire scenery to great advantage, so Graham set off on his mountain bike with camera.
That in itself was a triumph. Many times he has arrived home after a ride saying, “If only I’d had a camera……” or remembered to take it, only for the weather to change instantly.
This time, his aim to record key points in a ride in photos did work out – here are a few.
plenty of water about
This time, Graham’s comment on coming in was “The riding didn’t flow.” Looking out for likely photo-spots, stopping, manipulating gloves, camera case etc., in fact generally concentrating on the photography more than the riding, was a trial for him.
I’m guessing that photography-lovers know this but enjoy the hunt for the perfect image enough to compensate for the difficulties – or even see the riding as a means of reaching good photo locations.
I don’t expect Graham to morph into more of a camera nut than a mountain bike one – but I do think the results were worth the effort.
Perhaps not the best cycling conditions?
It was exhilarating to be down at the Parrog on Friday, wading through the car park, watching waves and this intrepid cyclist. There was some nasty damage though.
Howling gales hurling hailstones in your face do not make for mountain biking fun – but we are in Pembrokeshire – where weather can change fast and distances are not huge.
So, if you are in Newport, look out of the window – is it dry now?
Yes? Jump into your winter riding gear (remembering the Norwegian motto: no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing).
Pedal up on to Carningli and the Christmas cobwebs will clear in no time.
If it starts pouring down, turn downhill and you’ll soon be back in the warm.
We’ve had rough weather recently.
Too poor, you might think, to enjoy mountain biking around Carningli – too wet – too windy?
Well, some of the time – yes – but in between the gales and downpours there have been interludes of calm beauty. Nothing beats the exhilaration of coming down the mountain – and the scenery – always amazing.
The scenery was looking wonderful today
Nights are drawing in and Summer sun a distant memory but Half Term is approaching fast. What could blow away the cobwebs better than a bike ride along Pembrokeshire lanes or getting muddy on the mountain?
Don’t have your own bike – or don’t need the hassle of bringing it on holiday?
Just call in at Carningli Centre or phone Graham on 01239 820724 (10.00 – 5.30, Mon – Sat) to arrange hire.
See you soon……