I cycled to Newport on a chilly Sunday morning to meet Nick who had just finished his night-shift at Maindee Fire Station. The tide was in so we decided to try out a new cycle path that  follows the River Usk through the city. The Celtic Way track was joined near the Solutia chemical works and in a few minutes the flood plains of the Nash moor were before us. For about 20 km the ride was pleasant along this sometimes strange, sometimes creepy flatland! After traversing the Monk's ditch (an ancient irrigation channel) Magor was found and the main rail-line and then the main-road to London were crossed. The recently cut barley fields were a pleasant sight as the road started to climb slightly to Llanfair Discoed. Monmouthshire Council had been resurfacing the lane to Shirenewton earlier that week and I had the great honour of delivering some of the asphalt! With the wind behind us it was a tranquil ascent up to Shirenewton and the climbing had, by now, warmed us up. Past Shirenewton pies were enjoyed at the highest point of the ride at 249 metres. Whilst enjoying the pies and the views a group of Nick's work-colleagues, past and present, turned up on their cycles - after chatting for a while the ride continued. There was then fast descent to Llangwm and Usk. From here we took our 'Traditional' route home via Prescoed, Coed-y-Paen and the Trehebert road....67 km  with 829 metres of climbing.

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