Ride and Write: Abergavenny Writing Festival with Emily Chappell and Jack Thurston

July 25, 2018

At the end of last year our friends from Abergavenny Road club told me of a ride being organised as part of the Abergavenny writing festival, taking place at the end of April. 'Ride and Write' was to be led by ultra endurance athlete and keen writer Emily Chappell along with Jack Thurston, author of the Lost Lanes books. I went along and became truly immersed in a thoughtful and engaging morning of exploring the lanes and churches around South Wales. Emily and Jack spoke about the art of using cycling as a tool for thought and how we might transfer those thoughts into the form of the written word, inspired by our experiences on and off the bike. 


We meandered through the lanes and stopped off along the way in a series of secluded churches for Emily and Jack to share their experiences, notes, tips and advice on writing. The idea was for people to have a few minutes at each spot to write down whatever we felt like writing about on the day. In my case it was thinking about and noting down how I would write about the whole ride and noting down all the quotes I could while photographing others engaged in their own thoughts. There was something strangely compelling and engaging about talking about something so vibrant and creative and an activity that makes you feel so alive in a series of tranquil graveyards across South Wales.