Sunday, April 24, 2011

christ on a bike

As it was such a nice day on Friday I thought I'd take the mountain bike out for its first spin of the year. Plus, what better way to commemorate the suffering and naily death agony of our Lord Jesus Christ than through the medium of cycling? I suppose someone truly committed would have embedded some upturned nails in the saddle.

As I mentioned here, living at the narrow end of Newport means that you can be out of town fairly quickly, in this case by hopping over to the ring road and down past Newport Retail Park. If you then head down towards Nash and turn left at Pye Corner you're out onto the Caldicot and Wentloog Levels, a strange man-made reclaimed landscape of drainage reens, sea walls and long straight roads. It's a bit featureless in terms of topographical variation, but excellent if all you want to do is get some miles in the legs and check the bike isn't completely rusted to buggery. The sort of completely straight road pictured on the right is what my grandfather apparently used to call a "dead horse mile", the point of the idiom being that a (presumably already tired) horse would look at the prospect ahead of it and just keel over there and then rather than slog all the way along it. A sentiment I had a certain amount of sympathy with, particularly on the way back.

I cycled out to Redwick (where I resisted the temptation to pop into The Rose for a pint) and then on over the M4 to Severn Tunnel Junction railway station, for no particular reason except that it provided a convenient point to turn round and come back. I came back the same way I went, which is why the route map only appears to have a single line on it, and the altitude chart (see below) looks so symmetrical. Note, however, the vertical scale - apart from getting out of Newport (and back in later) it's under 10 metres all the way, which is about as close to perfectly flat as you can manage. That'll be why I was able to do a round trip of a little over 29 miles in a fraction over three hours.

Anyway, I took a handful of photos en route, which can be found here.

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