MARYLAND

9/06/07

This Saturday evening in June was particularly hot as we cycled out of Croesyceiliog at 16:30 in the blazing sunshine. Our route took us through New Inn and then through the sultry lanes to Glascoed. The main road to Usk was then taken which was very busy as was the town of Usk itself. We were glad to get out of Usk and head off up the quiet road to Gwernesey, we then went past a Polo match taking place in the Usk showground and onward to Llangovan. This gentle climb was an old ridgeway to Monmouth, its path dating from mediaeval times. We had a look at the church here but unfortunately it was locked, as most churches are now. The road down to the old A40 was taken quickly passing the busy Somerset Arms pub and then on to Mitchell Troy, here there was some confusion, Nick had cycled off on the main road to Monmouth, while I cycled up the Common road as previously arranged. After a few bad reception phone calls Nick cycled back and we climbed the quiet lane up and up onto the famous Trellech Plateau. All of a sudden a summer shower appeared from nowhere for about 15 minutes, this highlighted the aroma of this upper world! At the crossroads for the Narth there was a narrow track in the forest that just had to be taken! We cycled for a while through the sweet smelling pine until we came to a crossroads. Like all forest roads there are no sign posts but after tking advice from a woodsman the road to Trellech was found via the Maryland Wood. This area is less than an hours drive form the city but this enchanting land may as well be a thousand miles away. There is something quiet serene and beautiful here that I can not explain, anyway it makes it perfect for cycling! After looking at the Trellech Observatory the ride to the village was taken quickly, as was the road to Llanishen. It was now 21:30 and it was just about to get dark. We stopped up the top of the plateau before dropping down to Llansoy. A quick drink in Usk and home was made on our traditional route via Prescoed, Coed-y-Paen and the Trehebert road....45 miles.

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