A few days before my 47th birthday I cycled down to the busy and bustling Newport City on a Saturday evening to meet Nick who had just finished his shift at Maindee Fire Station. I met him there and we rode out from the noisy city. After a few miles it was not long before we were in the quiet country lanes . Our ride took us on a meandering silent lane that followed the main rail line between South Wales and London. After inhaling the smell of the fermenting hops from the massive Magor brewery we rode through Magor village and then on the road to Llanfair Discoed. It was now time for a magical, eloquent, beautiful ascent up past the Cwm, which Fred Hando has written about, and then on a magnificent climb, inhaling the scent of wild garlic, to the charming village of Shirenewton which is set high up on a ridge overlooking the Severn Estuary. It was a quick ride down the hill to the Huntsman pub. We then cycled on a very tranquil road that would take us up and up onto another high ridge to the village of Newchurch. After viewing impressive views of the mighty Severn river with its two huge road bridges we had another splendid view of the mountains of South Wales to our north. It was now 21:30 and the light was now fading, the lamps were lit and a speedy descent down to Usk was enjoyed! After stopping for a drink in the town of our birth, we cycled home on our traditional route, via Prescoed, Coed-y-Paen and the Trehebert road.... 45 miles.

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