I was cycling abroad today too .... in Wales, to be specific. My self-imposed obsession with the Metric Century-a-Month Challenge led me to enter a 100km event (the Gwent Gambol audax) starting in Usk at 08:00 this morning - which required getting up before the milkman for the drive from Gloucester with my clubmate Paul. I really should have taken some photos in the stunning Usk Valley, but we were rattling along so well and enjoying it so much we didn't stop until we got to the first info control at Redwick on the Severn Estuary. From there we picked our way through some Roman ruins at Caerwent and along an even more ruined NCN4 that had more craters than the moon, before heading off for Chepstow via the Bulwark Road: Some lovely quiet roads on today's route ... you can always trust Audax UK to find them. Our only navigational error came when descending into Chepstow, when we overshot our left turn and ended up leading a sizeable group of others the wrong way. By a miracle, when we picked our way through an alleyway on foot we came out at a pedestrian crossing directly opposite the control point at Pye Corner and arrived with the trip computer registering exactly the right distance. Jammy or what? One surprising omission in my vast array of cycle rides done in Gloucestershire, the Forest of Dean and Monmouthshire is that I'd never ridden along the Wye Valley from Chepstow to Tintern Abbey. I put that right today. After a bit of a climb out of Chepstow, there was a fantastic descent into Tintern, with great views of the abbey: Next came the monster climb of the day, up a little side valley as far as Trellech, before another sweeping descent into Monmouth. Lovely scenery, lovely weather. The last info control of the day came at the Steel Horse cafe in Llanvihangel Gobion. We were definitely not riding the right sort of bikes for this place. There is a little black sign outside the beer garden saying something like "No bicycles beyond this point". When I stopped here with @Banjo last year, we left our bikes outside and went inside only to find a brand new, huge motorbike inside the café! One of the other riders in the event kindly took this shot of Paul and me outside the café: Made it back to Usk in 6 hours 30, having taken a café stop in Chepstow and a few brief rests along the way. There were plenty of others drifting in behind us, including one guy who kept trying to reel us in but who I actually managed to distance every time we hit a hill. I'm really feeling the benefit of losing 10lbs in weight recently. A great ride in great company and well worth the early start. Bikes loaded back on the car, we set off back to Gloucester both agreeing that this was one of the best routes we've ever done. After a long, hot soak, I'm already starting to ache, but won't mind that at all in the morning. I can thoroughly recommend the Gwent Gambol audax to all comers for next year. Wonderful stuff. Cheers, Donger.