PENALLT AND PIES!

14.6.12

Thursday morning and The Brothers left Ashford Hall Croesyceiliog. The aim was to avoid the rush hour and cycle to Usk via our usual route of Monkswood and Glascoed. Since it was a weekday the butcher's in Usk square was open and so The Brothers purchased two large traditionally-made pies, one chicken and the other steak and Murphy's. The weather was dry for the moment and the road past the gliding club was taken and a fantastic ascent up to Pen-y-Clawdd was enjoyed. The fast ride down to the old A40 was followed by the climb from Mitchell Troy up toward the Trellech plateau. Here the road turned up toward Penallt and The Brothers had arrived in another world, the upper-lands of Gwent. Above the Wye valley the lanes here hold a different feel to any other, quiet and isolated we cycled toward Penallt old church. On the tree covered lane above the valley we saw the old coffin stone where in old times people would have rested on the way to a funeral at the church. According to the plaque "thirst was quenched and substantial pies were eaten" in those days so the brothers carried on the tradition by eating our pies in the churchyard with commanding views over the Wye Valley. The ride continued down toward the river and then an ascent through the trees and past many remote and picturesque cottages. Eventually emerging out in Penallt village the ride continued past The Argoed, a former residence of Robert Plant, from Led Zeppelin. The lanes continued to  the village of The Narth. It was sad to see the old log cabin Trekkers pub in complete ruin. The Brothers the climbed up to the high-point of the Trellech plateau. The ride continued along the main road to Llantrisant, high above the Star pitch the Cwmbran valley was seen to be covered in rain. There was rain to be encountered and sure enough past Usk rain jackets were put on  and there was an enjoyable wet ride retracing our steps back through Monkswood, Glascoed and the old abandoned road from New Inn to Croesyceiliog....47 miles with 4000ft of climbing.

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