Monday 19th March
There was still a lot of ice on the roads but we had to get Danny to the train station to get back to Reading to work and I wanted to get to Swansea. After trying local taxi companies without success Danny walked his bike to the local train station to take him into Cardiff central. My trike was sliding everywhere but it was safer for me to be on 3 wheels than my 2 feet! We walked along the centre of the roads and made it to the station.
It was hard to say goodbye as we knew we wouldn’t see each other for a few weeks. I wouldn’t have the physical and mental strength that I do without having Danny. Danny was the one who helped me cycle again in the first place on our tandem and he supports me in absolutely everything I do. He is spending a lot of his time at the moment checking my route files and publishing things on my website as well as cycling at home as much as possible, he only did 20 miles less than me last week!
I was a little tearful when I left him but had to focus on getting myself to the gritted main road. Once I had found it I got a shout from a passing car “Are you the Zebra?”
Robert had read about me online but was unable to join me because of an injury, he was so pleased to have driven past me that he was happy to stand outside in the freezing cold to have a chat and a photograph. This really cheered me up after saying goodbye to Danny!
I met up with Jackie in Barry, who had unfortunately slipped on the ice before we met but she still wanted to cycle with me, again I was very grateful to have company as it was absolutely freezing for the first couple of hours cycling. We chatted about the rides Jackie has done in the past and the exciting year she has planned. We stayed on gritted roads which unfortunately kept us away from the smaller coastal roads but cycling in the valley of Glamorgan was beautiful, the snow covered hills remained to the right of us and our ride was relatively flat. Throughout the ride the snow was melting quickly and the closer I got to Swansea it was clear they hadn’t had much, if any snowfall. Jackie left me at Porthcawl after quite a substantial distance together, thanks Jackie! I had a cheese and ham croissant accompanied by a cake and peanut butter hot chocolate (one of the best drinks I’ve ever had!)
I cycled to meet Amanda who was going to cycle with me into Swansea on her ICE trike. Amanda has a spinal injury and is just as determined as I am. We cycled side-by-side along the roads and the perfectly sized cycle paths and chatted the whole way. Riding together on trikes was fantastic and I am definitely going to try and come back next year so we can do some longer distance riding together!
There was a network of wide paved cycled paths all the way to the outskirts of Swansea where I would be staying for the night. Amanda showed me around the Maritime Quarter before her husband arrived as a lift home and I retired to my hotel. Tomorrow I’ve got some more hills again cycling around the Gower so I need to get some good rest in preparation.