PENALLT IN CLOUD CUCKOO LAND

20.06.10

It was the Sunday before the longest day of the year and the morning sun shone down on us as we cycled to Usk. The streets had not been properly aired, our route through Monkswood and Glascoed before firing down the main road to Usk. After stocking up on supplies here the coolness of the morning had to be taken advantage of along our way toward the tiny village of Cwmcarvan.  There were Cyclists everywhere,  fifteen or so years ago there were only a few to be seen as mountain biking was the popular sport, but now on nearly every trip there are increasing numbers of road cyclist. Things started warming up as we turned off the old A40 at Mitchell Troy near Monmouth. The lane climbed sharply before joining the main Trellech road. The great Fred Hando, who wrote and sketched many books on Gwent, called this the upper world or cloud cuckoo land, I can see what he meant as the quaint untarnished path toward Penalt was taken. High up, looking over the Wye valley, this really is a wonderful place! Our route took us through a forest track for a few miles, the birds were singing the sun shone and a brilliant ascent up to Trellech common was enjoyed. Here the asphalt road by Trellech observatory was reached, from there; there was a quick descent to Trellech. In the blistering hot sun our ride took us down to Usk and then home via Glascoed and the old abandoned road from New Inn to Croesyceiliog....50 miles.

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