Short shift.


May 24, 2020 by welshcyclist

Yesterday, I was rostered a short six hour shift, 09.00 – 15.00, to use the hours I “owe” the company, due to the vagaries of an imprecise shift system i.e. for the hours to add up.

The weather forecast had been very positive, and the sun was already up and warming Glynneath, with the promise of a hot one, by the time I was out and securing my Pioneer to the rear of my Yaris. All secured, I drove down the old road to Neath. It used to be unusual to see cyclists (me one of them} riding up and down this 12 mile stretch. Nowadays, with the lockdown, there are many, mainly single riders, but more and more often now, pairs racing up and down.

I park up in Neath these days, at a small car park close to the newly tarmacked canal tow path, which takes me to Briton Ferry, where I get on the national cycle path along Aberavon seafront and into Port Talbot where I work in the signal box. When the sun is out it is a fantastic trip, not bad in the rain either lol.

This is me trying to get this blog posted, Yet again I have forgotten how to add media to it, i.e pictures from my phone camera. Hopefully it will come to me.


I started this post several days ago now, unfortunately events have conspired to change my routine. Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st I parked my Yaris in the car park in Neath, then cycled on to my work. The car remained there both nights.

Friday morning at about 06.30 I put my Pioneer back on my bike rack and started the drive home. I use the old road, the B4242, after passing through Abergarwed, I heard a smash, and looking in the rear view mirror just caught a glimpse of my bike rack and Pioneer falling off. Fortunately, I was only doing 30-35 mph, so was able to pull up very quickly. Two straps holding the rack in place appeared to have broken. I managed to get everything in the back of my Yaris, after removing the front wheel from my Pioneer, which appeared buckled, then continued home.

When I got home I put my dismantled bike in the shed, too scared to examine for any damage, and went for a sleep after my night shift.

After a troubled sleep, I got up and ventured into the shed, got my Pioneer out and checked it over. Both front and back wheels were buckled, and my gears now need some serious attention, hopefully not replaced entirely. My rear light was missing, and my expensive two front rechargeable lights no longer working.

I then checked over my bike rack, disappointingly, I found this.


The consensus of opinion is these hatch hugger straps have been cut??

Who would do such a thing? I do not know, but I hope to find out. The car park I use is covered by CCTV operated by Neath Port Talbot County Council. I found that out from the police when I reported this crime, and have since applied to the authority for the relevant footage, which may identify the miscreant, and could help with any insurance claim I can make.

Something I have to wait for, not that I have much while I feel so angry and, basically, upset. I keep asking myself who would do such a thing?

It will make my commute that bit longer everyday, if I resort to putting the rack on and off every time I leave the car. Back in the day when I first started to part commute by my bike, I used to do that, for fear of this very sort of thing happening. What a sad indictment of our society today.

Well, I have rediscovered how to upload my phone camera photos to my blog, so I will share a few of those I took over the past couple days on my commute.


Here is a photograph of the M4 flyover at Briton Ferry. Coincidentally, I took the picture roughly at the same time as my blogging pal hero, tootlepedal, did of a flyover in the borders of Scotland. Below is the reason why I came to point my mobile camera in its direction.


What I thought was a very picturesque church in the shadow of such a modern edifice, do you not agree?

Most of my commute journey these days is along the tow path of the Neath Tennant canal, where I am fortunate to have some Monet type scenes.

20200501_135137 (1)


As well as new life, with this year’s new cygnets and ducklings.



I have to close now.


3 thoughts on “Short shift.

  1. scunepo says:

    So sorry to hear about the vandalism to your rack. As serious as it was I guess the bike falling off the rack could have been disastrous had you been followed by traffic. What on earth goes through the mind of the pond life who did this?

    Here in Yorkshire some of the locals at the beauty spots are getting raggy about day trippers with Corona virus still a concern. Perhaps some fool saw your bike rack and thought an outsider had visited to go for a bike ride and in their ignorance decided to teach you a lesson? Whatever their motive let’s hope they can be brought to justice.

    • welshcyclist says:

      Could be, that’s all we need, we’ve got covidiots, now possibly covi(d)gilantes. Getting justice is not very high on local police force’s agenda, and anyway even if there is CCTV footage of the miscreant, it would be a very long shot getting them identified. What really makes my blood boil is that such bloody mindedness costs me, the victim, hard earned cash. I have to be thankful this is the first time I’ve had to put up with such mindlessness, hopefully it will be the last. Cheers.

      • scunepo says:

        Perhaps the police may take a more serious look at the incident as it seems very likely the culprit was carrying a knife.

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