Our annual trip over the Gospel pass was to start at a nice and early 06:00 from our usual start point near Ashford Hall, Croesyceiliog. Cycling before the streets were properly aired was a pleasant change and our route through New Inn, Glascoed, Monkswood and Croes Llanfair took us to Abergavenny and out on the old Hereford road. Our late, great, Uncle Ron was remembered here as we were to start what he called the “penetration” into the Black Mountains, generally regarded as a testing ground for man and machine! The ride was tranquil to Llanthony Abbey where we shared breakfast with a couple of friendly sparrows. The climb up toward the 549 metre highest public road in Wales consists of a series of sharp up-hills and flat straights. Eventually the road breaks out of the tree-tunnel to reach the open mountain after a short very steep climb. Looking back at the conquered valley is always a good sight and the climb over the summit is quite gentle. This year the Brothers stuck to the usual descent to Felindre and then on the flat road to Talgarth. There is a tranquil lane here that mirrors the main road, it's four mile ascent was an enjoyable aperitif for lunch at the top, near Pengenfford. The long downhill toward Tretower spring-boarded us for a 20 mile ruleur ride along the awful main A40 road. Speeds of over 30 mph were reached (fast for us!)  The hell was over as the golden lanes of Monmouthshire were reached at Llanellen. A pleasant warm afternoon ride back to Glascoed was the order of the day and after the last climb to Semen world farm was completed, my legs knew they had done a few miles. The ride was completed long the old abandoned road from New Inn to Croesyceiliog....75 miles.

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