ROUGH-STUFF OVER MYNYDD MAEN

15/03/09

Spring was in the air as I cycled down the main road to Newport city to meet Nick who had just finished his night shift. Our rendezvous was at the start of the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal in Malpas. The canal splits here, the main stretch goes toward Cwmbran and beyond, but we were to take the old abandoned Crumlin spur, which heads along the Ebbw valley. Up to Rogerstone there is a complicated series of fourteen locks, this, in the 18th century, would have been the equivalent of the Motorway that the Brothers had just passed. The canal was a pleasant ride along the valley, being a Saturday morning it was heavily used by walkers runners and, of course, cyclists. Our objective was the Cwmcarn Forest, a Mecca for mountain bikers; there were scores of cyclists riding the tracks and trails here. Also, there is a narrow asphalt road which winds it's way up the mountain to over 400m. As we levelled out on the road we walked over the short back of the Mynydd Henllys and dropped down the old tram-road from Henllys Colliery to the canal in Cwmbran. Here Nick took me back to Croesyceiliog on his daily commute route, it was a surprise to me as I had not seen Cwmbran like this before and without much effort we arrived back home after an enjoyable morning of cycling.....22 miles.

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