November 14, 2008 by welshcyclist
That heading, no doubt, will strike a chord with everyone. I’ve thought about those two facts often, but now as I get older, it rings truer and truer. The world is a massive place, no one will ever see it all, indeed my small home country Wales is a huge place, if one was to try and see it all, but at least on that scale, it could possibly be done. How much time would it take? I’ve no idea, except to say, maybe a lifetime.
What about this beautiful valley that I live in, could I see it all? I presume I could, but I don’t just mean see it , I mean “see it” in all its clothes, winter, spring, summer and autumn, in snow, rain, winds and mists, also to understand its history, through pre-history, the iron and bronze ages, Celtic, Roman times, the middle ages, the Tudors, the Stuarts, through the industrial revolution, what happened here in the two World wars, and so, so much more.
I think you’ll all agree, it would be a lifetime’s work, to see and understand the whole of this Neath valley. That lifetime would need to be free of any other committments, with a ready supply of finance etc..
But what a joy that life’s work would be, and best of all, it could be done from the saddle of a bike. What better way to traverse the whole of this place, and at a pace that gives one the chance to see all and miss nothing, though it might take many repeated trips to note all its wonders, and hidden charms.
So much has been achieved by so many around the world, incuding, no doubt, in this little valley in Wales. I’d love to see it though layers of the past, to see what common themes, if any, have survived down through the centuries. But it all takes time, something that is hard to come by, with a partner, full time job ( thank God ), and a family home to keep going. I often kid myself, when I retire I’ll have time….. Just a pipe dream, but hopefully I’ll keep my cycling going, up, down and across this beautiful valley, getting to know it ever better, but only ever scratching the surface to seek all it has, is and will be.