Tuesday, 20 October 2015


Back home from Wales, I cycled up the Puffing Billy trail to see what Autumn looks like here. It is a former tramway starting below Western Beacon, Dartmoor's most southerly torr. This is the view looking up from Filham near Ivybridge on NCN2.

The tramway is about 8 miles long and a mountain bike is needed for the stony trail.  It was built for a china clay works about 120 years ago at Redlake which is near the head of the River Avon.  I had chosen a bright sunny day with a cool light wind coming from the north.  The Beast has been left at home and I am riding for the first time a new mountain bike with 29" wheels. This is my first view of the trail

Setting the scene the views are enormous. Behind me the sea shimmers and I can see the coast from Cornwall down to Start Point and on to Torbay.  I do not cycle far and Bodmin Moor comes into view while a little further I can see almost to Exeter.  Ponies come into view as do Belted Galloway cattle, sheep and lots of birds. There is no traffic noise except from a distant aeroplane. I have passed Butterdon and find Hangershell Rock, a good vantage point

Three Barrows is where the tramway takes me next and this is the distant hill in this photo. However I must take a photo of my bike to send to Dagmar, my German friend.

I come across a herd of ponies

My journey's end is Leftlake. I could have gone further but decided that will be for another day

There is another ride near here that shows a completely different aspect to Dartmoor which I want to do shortly. It is to Piles Copse, one of Dartmoor's three ancient woodlands dating back 10.000 years. Judging by my enjoyment of this new bike, this ride could be soon

Monday, 12 October 2015


The day's are shortening and shadows getting longer but the sun keeps shining.  It feels slightly surreal.  Autumn colours have been in full swing as I move into mid-west Wales.  I had a close call with a squirrel yesterday.  The squirrel saw me coming and in its panic ran straight at my front wheel.  I braked hard and the squirrel ran under my front tyre.  This happened once before when a squirrel ran into the wheel, got caught in the spokes, to which the bike stopped dead and I went over the top.  When I recovered, the front forks were bent in the opposite direction.  These are a few images seen with my bike:

This cyclist seems out of place in Dolgellau

Views from cycle route NCN8 around Dolgellau

I enjoy cycling on the National Cycle Network because of the stunning choice of routes and low volumes of car traffic.  Many of these routes are traffic free such as around Cadair Idris and many are challenging rides such as NCN8.  There is always time to stop to take photographs and immerse yourself in the area.  The next are images on the Ystwyth Trail (NCN82) further south:

My rides in Wales can be found on maps supplied by Sustrans Shop.  I will be back in Wales next year searching for new routes

Sunday, 4 October 2015


The Welsh borders are fast becoming one of my favourite destinations and here I am again.  Even the sun is shining.  These are a few of my images:

A friendly welcome from my B+B

Autumn colours in Powys

Distant views from NCN825 across Powys

Autumn colours at Presteigne on NCN825

Claerwen Dam on an afternoon ride close to NCN81

I always look out for giant trees.  This one is near Gilwern beside the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

I regularly find fascinating towns, villages and countryside cycling through the British Isles and much of it is c/o the National Cycle Network.