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South Wales climbs - any recommendations?

Chris SwanseaChris Swansea Posts: 78
edited July 2009 in Road beginners
I am (at last!) getting to the point where I am really enjoying climbs. Over the past 7 months, I have dropped 3 stone, feel a lot fitter and am enjoying every minute on my bikes. Changing to a compact chainset has also helped.

I have restricted my road outings to Gower (although my MTB rides take me all over Wales and the Peak District).

I would like to attempt some longer road climbs and wondered if anyone could suggest a couple that I could work up to, around Swansea/west Brecon Beacons? Length rather than extreme steepness would be better at the moment :)

I might not be able to get all the way up, but it would be good to have something to aim for over the next few months.

Thanks very much,

Chris
Trying my best to do 300 miles a month on and off road.

Posts

  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    I do a loop from maesteg, cymmer, bwllch, treorchy, rhigos, down to glyynneath, neath, cymla, back to maesteg. (part of dragon ride route).

    I've not done this in reverse (yet), but the climb from Glynneath up to Hirwaun would be a stiff test.

    I'm planning on extending this to follow the long Dragon Route out to Brecon and past Cray Res, back into Glynneath.

    Not done any road riding around the Gower apart from the BHF charity ride last sunday. Looking at doing more riding around there too.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • nolfnolf Posts: 1,287
    The bwlch and rhigos, no matter which direction, are great climbs and not too far away...
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
  • Thanks chaps - I'm going to explore the elevation profiles of some of these climbs. Has anyone climbed the Tumble (from the Nat RR Champs)?
    Trying my best to do 300 miles a month on and off road.
  • AGNIAGNI Posts: 140
    I am doing the Bwich this Saturday for the first time

    http://www.pedalformacmillan.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47&Itemid=54

    For a rather "rotund" rider such as myself, it aint gonna be easy[/url]
    Still suffering with wind
  • 1 in 4? Hells bells!

    Damned good luck with that one AGNI!
    Trying my best to do 300 miles a month on and off road.
  • AGNIAGNI Posts: 140
    1 in 4? Hells bells!

    Damned good luck with that one AGNI!

    1 in 4? Is that bad?

    Determined to get up it. Might just take a stop or two on the way up.
    Still suffering with wind
  • That means for every 4 metres you travel forward, you climb 1 metre. Yeah, that's bad!

    But that is only at it's steepest section :wink:

    At least you won't get stuck behind a caravan!
    Trying my best to do 300 miles a month on and off road.
  • AGNIAGNI Posts: 140
    I might need an extra mars bar or meat and potato pie before tackling that baby.

    Hmmm. Pie. Shall I have gravey with that?
    Still suffering with wind
  • mr.gmr.g Posts: 36
    Chris. I live in Bridgend, would be more than happy to meet up, ride and chat about all things bike!

    I'm getting into it in a big way but have recently had an accident. I lost my balance over rough loose gravel and had just pumped my tires up to the 100psi stated!

    I managed to get my left foot out of the SPD and onto the floor, my right then came out as i and the bike were certainly headed for a left sided fall. As my right leg came back towards the bike with a conciderable amount of force it hit the chainset at the front, low gear so teeth were exposed.!

    You can guess what happened next.....tore into my ankle and down to the bone. Along with way it spliced my tendon only just though. Had an operation to repair and i'm back on my feet. This was around 3 weeks ago. I'm back on the bike and haven't looked back.

    So if you wish to start on base fitness there are some short, 26km rides which i do each evening, coastal runs i call them. If not i'll come up to you, we'll ride from yours.

    Which bike do you ride?

    G[/img]
  • GeorgeShawGeorgeShaw Posts: 764
    Different Bwlchs. Bwlch means "pass" in Welsh, so plenty to choose from in Wales. "The Bwlch" north of Bridgend is a 6-7% drag, so nothing like the 1:4 of Bwlch-y-Groes. Same gradient for the Rhigos. Both are 15-25 minute climbs (depending on fitness and the weather) and good training rides for novice or expert. And both have excellent descents :D

    I did the Tumble just before they came up for the Nationals. 10+% for 4km. It deserves it's reputation, I was grovelling by the top. I wish I lived closer, I'd be a much better climber.
  • Hey Mr.G,
    Rough luck there, accident sounds horrible! Glad to hear you are back on the bike.

    My road bike is an '06 Allez Elite, with a nice carbon compact retro fitted (to allow me to get up these hills!).

    I regularly ride around 40 miles (with 3000 ft climbing) in about 2 hours 30 mins, so I'm no speed demon! Be happy to join you for a jaunt one evening or weekend if you don't mind my average speed?
    Trying my best to do 300 miles a month on and off road.
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    The steepest climbs near me are from caerau to croeserw and from cymmer to creoserw. 15% average but with much steeper sections!

    They are not too long though.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • T.C.T.C. Posts: 495
    Chris, i drove down to Aberhonddu last year and did a 75 mile loop which was in cycling plus it did the black mountain ride above ystalyfera, brynamman down to llangadog,,
  • AGNIAGNI Posts: 140
    mr.g wrote:
    You can guess what happened next.....tore into my ankle and down to the bone. Along with way it spliced my tendon only just though. Had an operation to repair and i'm back on my feet. This was around 3 weeks ago. I'm back on the bike and haven't looked back.
    Jeez. Thats sounds horrific. Didn't realise you could get that kind of injury from your own bike. Really sorry to hear it.

    Good to hear you're fit again and back enjoying riding
    Still suffering with wind
  • T.C. - Sound like a good ride, I know the area well. I don't suppose you know what issue that was in? I have a pile of old Cycling Plus mag's in a cupboard.
    Trying my best to do 300 miles a month on and off road.
  • GeorgeShawGeorgeShaw Posts: 764
    Quite a recent issue, if I remember correctly. The road over Black Mountain north of Brynamann is another lovely training ride, again about a 6-7% gradient all the way up. I like the way it just says "Mountain Road" at the top of the village. And another good descent follows :D

    The last time I rode it some idiot pulled out in front of me at the pass, and then refused to let me past on the descent (you know what some car drivers are like). The car was almost out of control, bouncing around the corners, as I sat about 15 metres behind on the brakes. They just weren't going to give way ... :evil:
  • Found the route last night in a back issue - looks perfect. Now just wait for a break in the weather :)
    Trying my best to do 300 miles a month on and off road.
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