Fool in the Rain – 2nd September


It had rained heavily overnight, but before we’d gone to bed the forecast was for it to stop at 9…. now at 08:30 the forecast was saying it would stop at midday. Looking out of the window it was typical Welsh grey misty drizzle. The plan for the rest was to head up to the Dyfi Forest, I didn’t really have one. I’d intended to see the wind direction and do an out and back type of ride. i.e. ride out into the wind, and return the same way with hopefully a tailwind.

There didn’t seem the be much wind, which although good as I hadn’t got to battle against it, was also bad as the misty drizzle would probably linger. I let the rest head off first as yesterday had proved that 5 riders trying to get their stuff sorted out at the same time gets a bit chaotic. Well that and I was in no rush to get out in the wet!

About 15 minutes after they’d left I headed out, aiming to get to the coast and hopefully getting to sea level out of the low cloud would get me out of the rain. Very soon I was wet, very wet, but sure enough as I dropped down to Tre r-ddol and the turn off to Borth the rain eased. I headed down to the dunes at Twyni Bach, the mouth of Afon Dyfi. Looking around it would be a great place to take the Mukluk beach riding! I took the road bike out onto the sand and it coped, but steered well clear of the dunes!

I headed south to Borth…. Mmmm, the place has certainly seen better days! In the greyness it didn’t look inviting at all, so rode straight through. Climbing back up into the hills I hit the drizzle again. I’d looked at the map at Twyni Bach and had intended to head up to a wind farm, but looking at the conditions I’d be just able to see the very bottoms of them, if that, so decided to get on the main road and head back.

Quite where I went wrong I don’t know, but I didn’t rejoin the main road where I expected. I’d gone down some very windy lanes and taken a guess at junctions as I didn’t want to get the paper OS map out and get it soaked. I got my head down and pointed the bike back to Machynlleth, but as I reached a villiage called Furnace I noticed a sign for Cwm Einion ‘Artists Valley’…. I’d noticed it when looking at the map the night before… I thought what the hell, let’s have a look.

It was a winding climbing single track lane that followed a steep sided valley, very picturesque, and VERY loud, the overnight rain had got the river up, and water was cascading down the valley sides. Soon I was into heavy mist, but pushing on out of the trees it seemed like I’d gone through it. There were a couple of houses, that when I reached them I expected to be the end of the lane, but the tarmaced lane kept going till it got to a Conservation project at Blaeneinion, where it split into two byways that I wouldn’t dare have tried to take the road bike on.

Heading back down the valley was interesting to say the least. I had to constantly try and scrub off speed, as on the way up I’d noticed just how much moss was on the road. By the time I’d got to the bottom my hands were aching! Turn right and now straight back to the bunkhouse, for the second day, at the end of the ride my legs were complaining.

Fraz, one of the locals we know turned up at the bunkhouse later having been out for a test ride on Rob’s fatbike. He asked where I’d been, and when I told him he asked if I’d seen a nice cottage on the left half way up Artists Valley. I vaguely remembered the place. Turns out it’s Robert Plant’s place, the lead singer of Led Zeppelin! – Hence the title of this blog “Fool in the rain”, track 3 side 1 of their 1979 album “In through the out door” – See, some thought does go into this drivel!

Oh, the photo. All the ones I took on the ride were plagued by condensation on the lens. The one you’ve got is one I took of “cat” that morning who lives near the bunkhouse and is a real attention seeker. As soon as he spots you outside, he’s over meowing (a real strange one) and looking for a fuss.

Ride – #145     Bike – Raleigh Airlite 100

Miles – 36.3     Total 2012 miles – 3151.0


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