Touring Wales

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)

Re: Touring Wales

Postby mcallaghan » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:27 pm

Ok. So by my rough calculations, doing around 50miles a day (give or take a few) I can start in Fishguard, do the Celtic Trail, and then straight onto the LLC, and get to Holyhead in 8 Days. I'm tempted to then ride back down the coast, but then why not do the Celtic trail after the LLC if thats the case? (other then using the easier Celtic Trail to warm up for the LLC?) Or do I just get back to Fishguard along the coast and take a train back to Cardiff?
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Re: Touring Wales

Postby welshwoodsman » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:14 am

Fly into Cardiff,cycle north on llc to Holyhead,then head back via coastal route. I found the coastal route more difficult due to the sheer amount of ups and downs. The llc route will prepare your legs. If you get to Fishguard and find you don't have enough time to complete route 4, then there are plenty of opportunities to jump on the train back to Cardiff. If you find yourself on route 4 on the section through pembrey country park and millennium coastal park in Llanelli, stop and say hello. I'm one of the park rangers looking after both parks and I've cycled both Lon las cymru, welsh coast and all of route 4. Scott.
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Re: Touring Wales

Postby PDQ » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:28 am

If you do Lon Las Cymru be aware that the Briwet Bridge crossing of the River Dywryd, just south of Penryndeudraeth, is closed for the forseeable future.The diversion involves an 8 mile, very dangerous ride along narrow, busy, main roads. There is no alternative if you come up the West coast from Dolgellau and Barmouth, which is fine cycling especially the section from Dolgellau along the old traffic free railway line.
Attempts are still being made to get the bridge re-opened for Lon Las Cymru users and pedestrians.
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Re: Touring Wales

Postby Richard Fairhurst » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:49 am

If you're on a hybrid (or tougher), you can take the Dolgellau-Coed y Brenin-Trawsfynydd route (NCN 82) to bypass Pont Briwet. But it's a bit lumpy and I certainly wouldn't recommend it on a road bike. (I'm not actually 100% sure which way NCN 82 goes through Coed y Brenin goes right now; when I cycled it a few years back the scant signage went over the uncyclable Sarn Helen, but the Sustrans online mapping suggests it now takes a slightly easterly route on gravel tracks, coming out onto the tarmaced road 1.6mi to the south.)
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Re: Touring Wales

Postby PDQ » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:14 pm

But you would miss some of the finest parts(IMHO)of Lon Las Cymru.
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Re: Touring Wales

Postby Richard Fairhurst » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:40 pm

Indeed. But some of the roads that way are pretty nice too - the minor road down into Trawsfynydd and the tiny lane towards Maentwrog in particular.
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Re: Touring Wales

Postby PDQ » Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:55 pm

And then 5 miles on the main road? Coed Y Brenin to Trawsfynedd also on fast main road?. But I take the point.
However if you haven't cycled the old railway line Dolgellau- Barmouth then you have missed one of the finest cycle tracks in the UK IMHO.
Briwet is a vital link on the West coast route.
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Re: Touring Wales

Postby mcallaghan » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:08 pm

Given the limited time (2 weeks round trip) I'd prefer to avoid cycling sections I've already done - which would be the case in riding the LLC and then returning along the coast.

I figure the flatter terrain of the Celtic trail will get more more accustomed to riding in Wales (we ride on the *right* side of the road here, for starters) but I imagine I'll be fine.

I don't plan on being in Wales until right after the bank holiday in August - September 1st is my projected due date. Would imagine said bridge will be operable by then?
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Re: Touring Wales

Postby toekneep » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:23 pm

PDQ wrote:And then 5 miles on the main road? Coed Y Brenin to Trawsfynedd also on fast main road?. But I take the point.
However if you haven't cycled the old railway line Dolgellau- Barmouth then you have missed one of the finest cycle tracks in the UK IMHO.
Briwet is a vital link on the West coast route.

I would second that. I would also say that with respect to all the comments about recognised routes there is a lot to be said for an absence of planning and spontaneity. I like to plan a vague sort of direction but leave the day to day route selection open to what takes my fancy on the day according to weather, how I feel, what the locals say etc.
Having lived in Mid Wales for 25 years I'm a little biased but any time spent touring in that area will be time well spent. Enjoy yourself.
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Re: Touring Wales

Postby mcallaghan » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:03 pm

I figure the route as its laid out is pretty good as it is. I'll hopefully be touring with my childhood best friend (though I live across the pond now, I lived in Surrey as a kid for 6 years) who got more into MTB while i got into Road cycling...though he's now a fixie and does triathlons...which will make things more interesting.

Just have to figure flights and transportation from the airport and finalize dates. Still thinking first two weeks of September.
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Re: Touring Wales

Postby drg1973 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:14 pm

Thanks. We are planning to cycle wales from Bristol to Llandudno in four days in June and will go to Trawsfynydd via a470 given the bridge is closed. Is this main road as dangerous and fast as it looks.
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Re: Touring Wales

Postby toekneep » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:08 am

I used to live in Mid Wales close to the A470 and cycled on it as a matter of course. Yes some of the traffic is fast but it isn't busy by many standards and it is very scenic. You will have a tough climb a few miles south of Dolgellau but the view as you come down the other side is one of my favourites in the whole of Britain. It's stunnning to see the Cadair Idris range from that side. Have a great trip.
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Re: Touring Wales

Postby drg1973 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:50 pm

many thanks for the reply. very helpful/encouraging.

on the same trip we were also tempted to try linking the elan valley route (81) to llangurig (route 8) via the 818 route from blaenycwm/esgair-wen farm. does anyone have an idea of how suitable this is for a road bike ? the initial 2mile section is marked as off-road on the os. the start looks ok on streetview and I thought I read elsewhere that it gets better as you head north/east but want to be sure as there would be no alternative and we will be getting there relatively late in the day. Happy to attempt it if there is some tarmac most of the way . . .

thanks for any help
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Re: Touring Wales

Postby meic » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:08 pm

There is some tarmac all of the way.

It is/was a narrow tarmac road but the years have taken there toll. In places you are cycling on an 18" strip of tarmac with an 18" drop either side where tarmac has been removed by 4x4's probably.
A lot of the broken bits of tarmac are on this strip and it is quite steep in places.
Coming down on the NE side you are back on a "proper" road.

You can cycle it on a road bike but expect a very low average speed across it, around 3-4mph and that includes the descents!
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Re: Touring Wales

Postby drg1973 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:22 pm

many thanks. really helpful reply. we will give it a go legs/weather permitting
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