Monday 20 August 2012

leg power

The last week or so has been dominated by leg power in one way or another!

On Monday, we travelled to Brecon via Bristol to pick up son Jack.  Steve dropped us off at the Monmouth and Brecon canal basin, the start of our walk along the Taff Trail, an "easy" eight miles along the towpath to Talybont-on-Usk, our base for the night.  

The challenge came on day 2 a walk of around 18.5 miles over the Brecon Beacons, along forest tracks, former railway lines and skirting reservoirs, before descending into Merthyr Tidfil, our base for the second night, where I was happy to take of my walking boots and backpack!  

The plan had been to walk on to Pontypridd, then Cardiff. However, having seen a severe weather warning for day 3 with high winds, torrential rain and localised flooding, we decided to quit while we were ahead and save the rest of the trail for the future, perhaps cycling next time.  

And cycling was the theme of this last weekend, specifically the Brompton (folding bike) World Championship at Blenheim Palace on Sunday.  We were joined for a meal on Saturday evening by friends Rob (the racer) and Helen visiting from Leeds, Anne and Colin who travelled up from Chichester, and Ian and Ruth, recently back in Oxford from Indonesia. 

As a concession to the hot weather, riders were allowed to remove their suit jackets whilst racing (but still look smart from the waist up in shirt collars and ties!) Even so, it's still an amazing sight to see so many riders whizzing twice around the circuit in partial "business dress".  

Time trial specialist Michael Hutchinson wiped a minute off his winning time from last year and completed the 13.15 km course in 20 minutes, 17 seconds. The fastest female was Julia Shaw with a time of 23 minutes 39 seconds.  Our friend Rob was aiming for a time inside 30 minutes - did you do it Rob? Well done again, whatever the time!  Bet you were faster than Rory McGrath :-)

Another friend, Sarah, has been using her legs this weekend, climbing 3,000 ft over Helvellyn and traversing Swirral Edge in the Lake District to raise funds for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.  What a challenge - well done you!

After so much physical stuff, we are looking forward to a relatively quiet week to recover from all the excitement and my chest infection which started mid-July and is now well into its fourth week, in spite of having a course of antibiotics.  

Post script:  My image "Four Square" was featured in the Guardian Weekend Magazine on Saturday :-)   See it here!


  1. glad to hear the valleys were just as wet as I remember- the photo is great. A group of us were reading all the papers this weekend and a friend even commented on this picture but I didn't put two and two together.
    Hope your chest infection clears up soon

  2. Thanks Amanda! Feeling better today, so will probably cancel tomorrow's appointment with the doctor. The Welsh air must have done me a power of good :-)