The Queen Inn

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The Queen Inn, Upper Cwmbran Charity Cycle Ride for St. Anne's Hospice 2014

 The longest day of the year, Saturday 21stJune saw the 2014 charity ride for St Anne’s Hospice organised by The Queen Inn, Upper Cwmbran.  This is the fifth such charity ride.  There was a trial run in 2009 done by a handful of Queen regulars on the spur of the moment, most of whom hadn’t been on a bike for 20years! The results were interesting!  The ride has raised a huge amount of money for The Queen Inn’s in-house charity, St. Anne’s Hospice.

 The weather was perfect.  Cyclists began to gather outside the pub at about 8.15am.  Fox’s Removals again provided the transport for the bikes and the coaches for the riders were supplied by Phil Anslowe and Murray’s Minibuses..  Everyone left on time with 127 game riders on board from all walks of life and of all ages.

Once in Brecon, the 127 riders geared up and assembled by the Theatr Brycheiniog in the Brecon Boat Basin.  They set off at approximately half past ten and headed for the towpath to start the 37 miles back to The Queen Inn.  Everyone on the ride does it in his or her own individual way.  Some like to test themselves by hammering back as fast as they can and doing the distance in less than two and a half hours without a stop.  Others favour the more leisurely approach (the vast majority!) This usually involves stopping at the various pubs along the route and partaking of a pint (or two).  Apparently this year, the combination drink of choice amongst the aficionados of the brewing process was a pint and a Jaeger bomb!! After cycling all that way it must have been like stabbing yourself in the eye because your leg hurt! Still, each to his or her own.

             The first stop is traditionally The Coach and Horse at Langynidr.  This is a sensible stop for the riders, as they had to come off the towpath a couple of miles before the pub because of the Ashford Tunnel.  The pub now has a large beer garden across the road and a good selection of real and top pressure beers.  It was very touching to see several men in the beer garden here all wearing T-shirts specially made bearing the legend Team Waggy on the back in memory of Martin Wagg who died suddenly earlier this year.  Waggy had been a regular cyclist on this charity ride and is sorely missed.

             With noticeable reluctance, the cyclists forced themselves to leave the comfort of the Coach and Horses and climb back on their bikes and head for the next watering hole.  This is The Bridgend Inn in Gilwern.  It is well placed right on the canal towpath and there is a really good chippy down the road for much needed fuel.  A couple of cyclists had running repairs to do at Gilwern but everyone seemed ok so far.  After food and drink they set off once more.  The main topic of conversation now was the South Africa v Wales rugby match that was due to start about 2pm.

             The support car driven by Kim Morgan accompanied by Pete the Photographer stopped in a convenient small car park off the beaten track just before Goytre Wharf.  This was thought to be a good spot to hand out water and Mars bars to the passing cyclists.  Some took them on the fly and others stopped for a brief respite and a fag.  Unfortunately, it was here that we learned the most wretched news.  Wales were leading South Africa 30-24 with minutes to go when Cornal Hendricks headed for the Welsh line.  Liam Williams shoulder charged him into touch but it was deemed an illegal tackle and a penalty try was awarded to South Africa with a simple conversion under the posts.  Wales lost 31-30.  Gutted.  The cyclists who had listened to the dying minutes shuffled away with grim faces.  Still, cheer up boys; The Open Hearth is not that far away.

             The Open Hearth in Sebastopol is the last watering hole before tackling the remaining few miles and the dreaded long slow climb up from the Crosskeys Inn to the Queen Inn (unless you are desperate when The Crosskeys is the last watering hole!!!!)  Some spirit had returned to the riders as they contemplated the end of the ride, the resting of sore legs and bums and the welcoming smell of the St. Anne’s Hospice barbecue.

             Back in Upper Cwmbran, the weather was still brilliant and the pub was absolutely packed. The place was buzzing with live music, barbecue and of course great refreshments from the bar.  Bikes were once more stacked against the railings as tired legs and dusty throats were given treatment.  When we all returned we found that the first person back to The Queen was Lloyd Burns in 2 hours 20 minutes!!!  Second back was Duan Bell and third was Stewart Green.  The first lady back was Linda Morgan-Williams.  It had been a great day with no serious casualties and everybody seemed to have enjoyed it enormously.  We all wait now with anticipation for all the money to come in and for Jane to announce the amount made. 

             Well done to everybody who took part in the ride, the helpers and supporters and to Gareth and Jane for all their continued hard work.  I’m sure St. Anne’s Hospice would agree that their contribution is vital to the continued provision of palliative care for cancer sufferers and their carers.

              There are three slideshows accessed from the Events menu.  The slideshows are divided between photos of 1. The Queen Inn to Brecon, 2. Brecon to Llangynidr and 3. Llangynidr to the Queen Inn

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LINKS

www.thequeeninn.co.uk

www.lensflairwales.com

 www.lfwales.co.uk/blog