Show Your Bike Some TLC!

Hay-on-Wye’s Drover Cycles is aiming to demystify the dark arts of bike maintenance with a series of classes for absolute beginners.

Research shows as many as 41% of people admit to a lack of bike maintenance knowledge.

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Drover’s Anna Hewyood said: “Imagine you’re miles from home, cycling your favourite loop and enjoying some rare peace and quiet. There’s not a soul in sight and there’s zero chance of your phone interrupting your reverie – because you’re deep in a reception blackspot.

“It’s all well and good if your bike’s in tip-top condition, and you know how to keep it that way. But what happens if you’re one of the many cyclists whose knees turn to jelly at the thought of a little bike maintenance?

“How would you cope with a puncture? What if your brakes needed adjusting? Or your gears?”

If you’re the type of rider who can’t tell their bottom bracket from their drop-out, or their stem from their spoke tool, fear not: Drover’s head technician Tom Sturdy has designed a bike maintenance course with total novices in mind.

Said Anna: “The facts is, a little maintenance can really help prolong the lifetime of your bike – not to mention help keep you safe when you’re out on your own – and something as simple as adjusting the amount of air in your tyres can make a huge difference to how your bike rides.”

“Most bikes are very simple machines at heart and although some things do vary from model to model, the principles are the same across the board.”

The classes will increase in technicality across the three sessions, which run next month and again in January.

Each two-hour tutorial (10am-12pm) costs £28, or the full course can be booked for £75.

Anna added: “Vouchers are available if you’d like to gift the classes. Dare we say – Christmas is coming!”

Course dates are: 8th, 15th and 22nd November 2014 and 10th, 17th and 24th January 2015.

Contact Drover on 01497 822 419 or via info@drovercycles.co.uk for more info or booking.

For ideas on the best cyclist friendly cafes read here! 

bike maintenance classes poster

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Half-term Halloween in the Brecon Beacons 2014

Halloween is getting ready to hit the Brecon Beacons National Park with spooky activities to suit all ages, with fright nights, parties and haunted hotels!

Since Halloween is only two weeks away, it’s high time you got organised for all hallows eve. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Halloween, Craig y Nos Castle

Thursday 30th October

We have something for the kids from 12pm to 5:30pm, with our Halloween Extravaganza, complete with masks for every child, a bouncy castle, spooky ghost tour, pumpkin carving, competitions and even free tattoos! £6.50

GhostlyWoman

© Craig y Nos Castle

At 7:30pm the adults only Halloween Party will be kicking off for another year of spooky fun. There is accommodation available if you wish to stay the night in our eerie atmosphere.

Friday 31st October

Prepare for an evening of spooky performances. With 10 actors and actresses performing with the latest stage pyrotechnics and illusions, enjoy their total mind and fear control techniques, the Haunted Bar and a three course a la carte menu. £45

Halloween Party Week, Cantref
There are a lot of spooktacular activities happening at Cantref Adventure Farm from the 25th of October to the 2nd of November with their Halloween Party Week. With Halloween bingo, snap, arts and crafts, skeleton building and much more! Every paying child who enters the Frightfully Fun Treasure Hunt will be given a spooky prize! £8.75 for children and adults, families of four for £34, families of five £42.50 and kids under 93cm FREE!

Halloween Party at The Play Barn, Brecon
On the 31st of October, The Play Barn is putting on a fancy dress Halloween party for the kids. There’ll be fun and games between 2pm and 4pm for everyone aged from one to 11 years old! There’s even a blood curdling Halloween buffet before you go home! 4-11 years £6.50, 1-3 years £5 and adults FREE!

3_Exterior The Bell

© The Bell at Skenfrith

Medieval Halloween package at The Bell at Skenfrith, Brecon Beacons
Brave a stay in an attic suite between the 26th and the 30th of October, in this traditional inn, you can enjoy the Skenrith sleuth walk around the medieval church, war memorial and spooky ruined Skenfrith Castle. One of the walks, Black Habits Black Deeds, teaches you about ghostly apparitions in the area and on a full moon night the devil can be seen dancing with his muse… Families can learn about this mysterious, historical part of Monmouthshire and The Marches (sites of Norman battles), as well as walking in the steps of sci-fi wonder Doctor Who in the village of Skenfrith! £450 family of four

Don’t forget to get in early with these events, tickets are vanishing like ghosts!

Take a look at the Brecon Beacons website to find out about all of their exciting october activities!

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Brecon Arts Festival 2014

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Brecon will be coming alive over the next month with art, music, poetry and literature popping up all over the town for the Brecon Arts Festival 2014.  Artbeat Brecon is a group of Brecon based businesses and artists working together to positively … Continue reading

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It’s Back! The Sunset Slalom Returns to Hay

An afternoon of high-octane, pedal-powered fun is promised as dual slalom cycle racing returns to Hay-on-Wye on Saturday 18th October. 

Hay’s Drover Cycles and Trewern Outdoor Education centre in Cusop have teamed up to host the event –  badged The Sunset Slalom – which is open to everyone aged five and up. The short course can be raced on any bicycle, but the grass track favours mountain bikes and BMXs.

sunset slalom banner

The first Sunset Slalom went down a storm at April’s Hay Bike Fest, with visiting reporter Dave Jaquin from national mountain bike magazine Dirt bagging first place.

Joe Lally, of Wye Valley Canoes in Glasbury, took second.

Organiser Brock Sandeman, Drover’s new store manager, said: ‘It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, or what bike you ride, this is an event anyone take part in. We want it to be a real family occasion.’

A dual slalom sees riders racing head-to-head through a series of tight turns. Organisers promise a range of age categories – with winners’ medals and prizes for the fastest riders in each.Trewern will be warming up their wood-fired oven and serving fresh pizza from midday. And riders will be able to quench their thirst with local ales from Whitney-based Jones the Brewer.

The race arena will be open for practice runs and registration from 12pm, with the first races at 2pm. Cycle helmets are compulsory.

Organisers anticipate a lot of demand and recommend entering in advance at Drover on Forest Road for just £3.

On-the-day entry will cost £5.

Visit facebook.com/sunsetslalomhay or facebook.com/drovercycles to keep up to date with the latest info.

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Brecon Mind Art Fair 2014

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Taking place on Thursday 16th October, 6-8pm and Friday 17th and Saturday 18 October, 10am-4pm at St Mary’s Church, Brecon. Free admission!  Two members of Brecon and District Mind have had artwork chosen for the Mind National Calendar. Dave Griffiths’s watercolour illustrates February … Continue reading

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Four Awards for The Bakers’ Table at Talgarth Mill!

Real Bread Bakery, The Bakers’ Table at Melin Talgarth Mill scooped four awards on their first attempt at the Tiptree World Bread Awards 2014.

Although they did not make the finalists awards ceremony, The Bakers’ Table received Gold for their Bara Felinwr (seeded wholemeal) made with Talgarth Mill flour. Their three other awards (all silver) were for Green Olive and Rosemary Foccacia Bread, Ciabatta, and Chocolate and Cherry buns made using Tiptree black cherry jam.

foccacia

Owner Nicola Willis, and baker Ian Sheeran worked through the night to get their entries ready to be taken to London the next day!

Nicola said ‘We are very excited to have won these awards for our bread as it’s the first competition of this kind that we have entered. Our staff and customers are delighted for us. We’ll be working on getting our breads to award ceremony level for next year’s competition. It’s fantastic to have this recognition for our loaves.’

Freshly baked bread can be purchased from the Café Tuesday-Saturday, Crickhowell Market on Fridays, Brecon Farmers Market, Talgarth Rural Market, Bijou Deli Café in Brecon, The Welsh Venison Centre at Bwlch, and Church Barn Farm Shop at Whitney on Wye.

Learn to bake classes are also available!

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Top Award for Gliffaes Hotel!

Gliffaes Country House Hotel has been honoured with an award from the only truly independent hotel guide in the UK. The Good Hotel Guide has given their Editor’s Choice Award to Gliffaes as Fishing Hotel of the year for 2015! 
James Suter, who runs the hotel with his wife Susie, said: “You have no idea who their inspectors from the Good Hotel Guide are so we are thrilled with this award. We may well have some very fine wild brown trout fishing on the Usk but that is not enough to secure this award as we have to provide top quality service too. So I must thank all of our staff for their hard work and positive attitude for winning this award for Gliffaes – it’s very much a team effort.”

Gliffaes Hotel ©

Gliffaes Hotel ©

Gliffaes Hotel has a long tradition of looking after fishermen with fishing records going back to the 1930s available for guests to read. The hotel has over 1.5 miles of fishing on the Usk, split into 5 beats, which are open to both residents and non-residents alike. Abergavenny fisherman, Jimmy Devoy, has been guiding and assisting fishermen for over 20 years at Gliffaes. Fly fishing courses are run annually, throughout the season, for both beginners and improving fishermen and women.

Fishing at Gliffaes Hotel ©

Fishing at Gliffaes Hotel ©

The Good Hotel Guide, which is published annually, is proud to be the last independent hotel guide and states on its website that, ‘Hotels and B&Bs are recommended by readers, whose opinions are tracked, and their judgements are checked by anonymous inspection. The Guide’s editorial team writes the entries each year on the basis of this information. About 15-20% of the Guide consists of new entries each year and a similar number is omitted.

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