Saturday, 8 February 2014

Dreams Can Come True

Do they? Well, as long as it's a realistic dream (we'll discount aliens invading or finding a suitcase full of money under your bed) they certainly can.

My dream before I moved to Wales was to cycle around the roads I now cycle around on a regular basis. I used to pore over the articles in Cycling Plus, thinking how amazing it must be to cycle past all the wonderful mountain views we have here. "Hmph" I thought, who am trying to kid. I was stuck in York with no real prospect of moving away.

But, as people who have read this blog from the start will know, that opportunity did arise in April 2008. So, I took it.

Well bugger me, I was in cycling heaven. Sure, I was still depressed but the scenery absolutely inspired me to get out on my bike, as often as I could. You see, and I know I keep saying it but, we can take the largest dose of anti-depressants in the world and still not get that high feeling you get whilst out and about doing what you love, whether that's on the bike or yomping up and down the mountains. That's what I love about the hobbies I participate in. I can cycle as far as my body will allow, and see everything Snowdonia has to offer. Other times, I will be in the mountains, looking down from the tops and just feeling absolutely at peace with myself. It's very satisfying knowing that when I cycle past the mountains, I know I have ascended pretty much all of them!

In fact, let me link you to another blog, and I urge you to read it. I've recently been talking to another sufferer of depression and his form of 'medicine' is rock climbing. Now whilst I don't climb anything as much as I used to, I can totally relate to how the writer gets what he does out of it. It's exhilarating hanging off a rock face, sometimes with nothing but void beneath your feet, that sense of risk and danger; it's a really fantastic feeling, being so close to danger but still being in control by being attached to a rope and trusting your climbing partner. In fact, Jake has climbed one of my favourite routes which forces you over a void; Sphinx Nose Traverse (S4a - Severe 4a) in the Cleveland Hills. I remember leading this and feeling pretty nervous as I attempted to swing my body around the arete to climb up the nose; loved every minute of it!

The feel of warm rock on a summers day is wonderful and the movement of climbing just feels so natural; the way I feel when riding my bike. So please pop along to Climb Out, and I can assure you, the writer (Jake) will appreciate your visit. 

Speaking of medicine, I went out yesterday on the bike, as the weather had given us another brief window to get outside. I wanted to do a route I haven't done for a while, just click here for a look. I felt good on this ride, as my fitness is clearly improving after being off with injury for a good 6 weeks, so I'm pushing the mileage up gradually now.

The route takes in a number of valleys circumnavigating Snowdon and the scenery around the whole route is stunning. Naturally, I always take my little point and shoot camera to get some images of the ride. The images are not my usual quality due to the limitations of the camera, so a lot of the skies will be 'blown out' (bright white) with little detail. They will also be quite noisy (grainy). Anyway, I'll just post them in the order I took them.

It always pays to look behind you!

Mynydd Mawr Rises Out Of Llyn Cwellyn

Nice To See Some New Traditional Fencing Going Up

Across Llyn Dinas to Cnicht (right of shot) The Mountain I Climbed The Other Day. I Swam In This Lake In Summer :)

Me At The Snowdon Horseshoe Viewpoint On The Nant Gwynant Climb

Llynau Mymbyr And The Snowdon Horsehoe In The Distance From Capel Curig

Zoomed Shot Of Above

Light Plays On Moel Siabod's North Face As I Enter Conwy County

The Dream Came True - The Stunning Backdrop As I Head For Home Along The A5
I hope you liked those pics; I tried to make them look as good as I could.

I'm no longer going to say that I live on a little terrace in Bethesda. As my friend Nick said the other day, " live on Tryfan Street"; so true, I do. I live 20 metres from the A5 and that mountain above on the left is one of the most famous in the UK; Tryfan. I can cycle past her and climb her any time I like. 

Snowdonia is beautiful and I'm so very lucky to live here.


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