Winter had arrived as the Brothers set off from Ashford Hall, Croesyceiliog, at 08:00 Sunday morning. Although temperatures were around 8-10 degrees there was a cold north wind. The usual route through New Inn, Glascoed and Monkswood was taken. The ride was enjoyable through the lanes up and past Rumble Street. I am very pleased with my Langdale, it's comfortable ride and sturdy 8-speed gearing make it a joy to ride! After stopping in Maerdy for supplies the smoky lanes took us to Bettws - the start of our penetration into the Black Mountains. The going was good to Pont Escob, the winding remote road to Partrishow was next and before long we had arrived at the holy well of Merthyr Issui. There has been a place of worship here for over a thousand years, in mediaeval times someone was reported to have been cured of leprosy here. Since then it has been a place of pilgrimage. St. Issui was a mediaeval monk who gave hospitality to pilgrims here. Unfortunately, one traveler murdered and robbed him . The church is 11th century and  has a fine rood screen which is still in it's original form. We ate some food and chatted to the vicar as he left  after a service. A different route was taken back, the lanes took us to Llanfihangel Crucorney. Nick said the wind would be with us along  the main road to Abergavenny. The opposite happened! a gale hit us full on, I stopped at the front for a while and then Nick took over, before long Llanellen was reached and the quiet lanes again welcomed us. Not so welcoming for Nick though, as he picked up his second puncture of the day in exactly the same place! I carried on to Llanfair Croes as Nick pumped up his tyre. Eventually he caught up with me a few miles down the road past Nantyderry.  I took on board emergency rations as I started to loose power. After that it was a good ride back to Monkswood, Glascoed and the old abandoned road from New Inn to Croesyceiliog....45 miles.

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