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Coast to coast - Wales

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 bettypastie 18 May 2020

Hi,

I'm day dreaming at the moment about potentially cycling from Cardiff to North Wales - when we're allowed that is. I was wondering if anyone has done it and whether it is possible purely on a road bike?

Any other advice or tips would be appreciated as well.

Thanks,

Beth

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 Sl@te Head 18 May 2020
In reply to bettypastie:

Did a big part of it with a school group, quite a few years ago.

It's called 'lon las Cymru'

https://cycle.travel/route/lon_las_cymru

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In reply to bettypastie:

It certainly would be possible and I like the sound of doing it also, but I'm in pembrokshire and trying to consider the best route from here.

I drive from pembs - snowdonia several times a year but the best route to drive certainly wouldn't be very nice to cycle on quite narrow main roads with lots of rushing, frustrated drivers.

If any one has suggestions for good quiet roads for cycling pembs - mid Wales- north coast would be very interested myself

Apologies for slight hijacking, but route from Cardiff could well converge in mid Wales so maybe someone can help us both. 

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In reply to Sl@te Head:

That looks good and is very useful, thanks.

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 1philjones1 18 May 2020
In reply to bettypastie:

Have a look Open Cycling website. They run a Wales in a Day event from Caernarfon to Chepstow and the route is shown. Would be easy to reverse it from Cardiff with a bit of tweaking.

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 GerM 18 May 2020
In reply to bettypastie:

Perfectly possible, if you're on a road bike the logical option is to stick to a road. And there is one that does pretty much what you want, the iconic A470. Some logical variations are possible, maybe the Taff Trail from Cardiff to Merthyr Tudfil to avoid dual carridgeway and traffic, and maybe a hilly but scenic shortcut from Llanidloes to Llanbrynmair (or even Machynlleth via Dylife for a stint on the A487 before rejoining A470) past Llyn Clywedog.

Cycled all bits of this, not quite in one, did a day Cardiff to Porthmadog way once, and have cylced all the bits Gellilydan/Ffestiniog north at various other times too. It is a major road mostly with traffic to match, but not that busy, and is mostly decent sized A road with some twistier sections. Not for those of a nervous disposition, but pretty steady for anyone used to cycling normal A roads.

Post edited at 18:42
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 balmybaldwin 18 May 2020
In reply to bettypastie:

Sort of... as part of my Lejog route we travelled up the welsh/english border... probably more in england than wales, but it was probably our favourite part of the route (behind the scottish highlands)

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In reply to bettypastie:

Here's a nice route that should get your pulse racing.  Not for the faint hearted though.

https://www.cyclinguk.org/route/wales-end-end-bryan-chapman-memorial-lonely-planet

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 Crazylegs 18 May 2020
In reply to bettypastie:

I did Lon Las Cymru with a group of friends a few years ago and really enjoyed it. It's mostly on surfaced roads and traffic-free paths but there were some occasional rough surfaces. A touring/gravel bike with some decent tyre volume should be fine. 

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/find-a-route-on-the-national-cycle-network/lon-las-cymru-from-holyhead-to-cardiff-or-chepstow/

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 Harry Ellis 18 May 2020
In reply to mountain.martin:

This post has got me looking at maps and dreaming Martin! I’ve cycled through the middle a couple of times. There are some cracking little roads and some big climbs! Bwlch y Groes over from Bala to Dinas Mawddwy was a memorable one. Spoilt for choice really depends if you want coast or mountains. Hopefully it won’t be an impossible dream all summer! 

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 bearman68 18 May 2020
In reply to bettypastie:

Hi.

I cycled Holyhead to Chepstow a good few years ago. Although I did it on a MTB, most of the route was road, and only a few short exceptions chosen specifically because they were off route. It's a great few days out - I think we took a week, and followed the cycle route for the main part. 

It inspired us to cycle LeJoG a few years later, and that too, was a memorable trip, and one that has lived long in the memory. As part of the training for LeJoG we also cycled Fishguard to Chepstow one weekend - another great route, especially around the Pembroke coastline (Fishguard to St Davids especially nice). 

In summary, it's really on the cards. Worth getting the bike sorted for a fit and some maintenance if you are not 'into' bikes, and get out there and do it. You won't regret it. 

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 pwo 18 May 2020
In reply to bettypastie:

I’ve done it a few times And each time on a road bike. The gravelly bits are avoidable. The National route is well marked. I’ve even done it in one go. South to north I’ve done from Cardiff  via Chepstow, Hereford, Shrewsbury,Llangollen, Ruthin etc. It’s also nicely walkable especially if you start from llanfairfechan. Watch out for the pitchforks! Very pleasant riding in beautiful scenery. If you’re based in Cardiff you could consider getting train to Holyhead rather than the reverse. I find the ride from Builth to Cardiff (perversely) easier than starting from Cardiff . Hope you manage to do it.

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In reply to Harry Ellis:

Thanks Harry, yes hopefully get a good ride in this summer, as well as some climbing.

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 bettypastie 18 May 2020
In reply to bettypastie:

Thanks very much for all your tips and links. I'm even more keen now!

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 Swirly 19 May 2020
In reply to 1philjones1:

I'll second the Wales in a Day route, I did it in 2017 and it was a cracking day out, I think they slightly underestimate the amount of climbing though. I've also done Liverpool to St Davids but that was over 2 1/2 days as we were going climbing. Both are entirely on road, WIAD does its best to stick to minor roads.

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 JamieH 19 May 2020
In reply to bettypastie:

A few years ago, I rode Caernarfon castle to Cardiff castle, with a group of a dozen from Clwb Rasio Mona. Club member Gethyn Hughes inspired me to join them and it gave a memorable day out. 

A few details that contributed: we rode in June, starting at 5am, finishing about 8pm - so we rode in daylight; we had a support vehicle, with regular food and drink stops; A470, roads and the odd section of paved cycle way; some riding as a whole group, some in pairs or smaller groups, sharing pulls on the front; Merthyr and the valleys had the most traffic, ridden as one group; always regrouping and looking out for one another. 


It was a grand day out, made possible by sharing it and great support. Without these elements it would be a very different challenge.

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