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The Black Mountain – South Side

The Black Mountain – South Side

First, a little about myself. I purchased my first and only road bike in October 2012 and yes I did forget to unclip when I came to a stop on scratched it, but who hasn’t right. Safe to say I fell in love with cycling. Joined my local cycling club – ByneaCC along with my local swim club – North Dock Dredgers and in September 2016 I completed Ironman Wales, got the tattoo and all. At the moment I’m living in a village called Loughor, which, is on the outskirts of the City and County of Swansea. Originally from Llanelli (and proud of it) yes I have moved to the dark side of the river, but my blood will always be Scarlet. Detect a little local rivalry between Llanelli and Swansea. I spend a lot of time on my bike; I’ll make sure I take a photo on each ride. It may annoy the guys that come with me, but they’ll always give me the orange thumb on Strava and like the picture on Instagram @samlankedwards. This is my first blog for T Cycling and certainly won’t be the last. My first requirement as a Brand Ambassador is to write about my favourite route. Funnily enough, it was a route I did with my mates two days ago. Details can be seen below. If you’re from South Wales and are a keen cyclist, then chances are you know the Black Mountain well. Located on the western edge of the Brecon Beacons. It's not the most challenging of climbs (6km with an average gradient of 6%) but from where I live you have to climb to get to the start. The road joins Brynaman and Llangadog. The start officially begins when you hit the cattle grid, killing your momentum like a good old cattle grid does. You can see the road continue up the valley and on your right-hand side you can see wind farms, stream, villages and if you’re lucky the sea There are plenty of other great mountains and climbs around South Wales (Bwlch, Rhigos, Devil’s Elbow, etc.), but this one sticks out for me. Firstly because it was the first genuine climb I had done on my bike, so the sentimental value is substantial. Secondly, the views are spectacular. Thirdly and most importantly is the fact that there is a superb café called The Hangout just outside Llandeilo, which make excellent homemade cake along with a brilliant menu and coffee to die for. Rule 3 of a cycle ride – The coffee shop must be worth the ride. Once you’ve refuelled there are several different ways you can make it back to Swansea which vary you can vary in distance and difficulty. It’s a cyclist’s dream and must be done.