Having said that, the weather here has been changeable to say the least. Last weekend it was cold and icy, so much so that I got my new trainer out, for a first go on Saturday. Thanks to my son Tierloch, who solved my inevitable misconstruction, it was ready and waiting to be connected up to the Subway. I'd got up early, which I usually do when I'm going on one of my leisure rides, but chickened out as soon as I saw frozen water, on the back path. So I set the trainer up and attached the Subway, and was taking my first tentative pedal strokes at 07.30. I tried the various resistance settings, and was impressed.
The first commute after my efforts on the trainer was great, I kept imagining to myself that my leg strength had improved, but after that my trips to and from work became really hard work, and I seemed to be getting overly tired for no reason.
Here is the drive up to the big house, on the right is perhaps a gatekeepers house. Note the sweep of the road with an old dissused factory on the left.
This is the gatekeeper's house again showing it's relationship with the workers' cottages and the stables.
This is a stream which has been walled either side, and is a major feeder for the canal across the road. If you expand the picture you will see it also acts as an overflow for Rheola pond on the right.
Another shot looking up towards the big house, set in the trees at the back of the bold sweep of grass, between the stables on the right and the main house itself.
I said the factory was dissused, but in fact it is now in use by demolition experts, who reclaim stone and timbers from old schools and churches etc., selling it all on to be used again. The factory building meanwhile has found a new purpose, being used every Saturday to house an indoor market, which is very popular in these parts.
As I left the factory I noticed a farmer feeding some horses, across the road, on the other side of the canal, I said a quick hello, and took a couple of picture of their horses.
I stopped to take the above photo, it shows a small barge that is used to cut back weeds from the canal sides, a lock and an overflow, used to take excess water away when the lock is closed.
I took this shot from the canal towpath looking north at Rheola forest, which occupies the escarpment separating the Neath valley from Crynant and Seven Sisters.