Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Beginners attempting Holyhead to Swansea in 3 days.Possible?

snolan09snolan09 Posts: 3
edited January 2010 in Road beginners
Myself and 5 other friends are thinking about biking from Holyhead to Swansea for sports relief in March. We all are very young, sporty and fit people, but with no biking experience as such. I am in process of planning the route this is it so far:

Holyhead - Bangor - Porthmadog - Dolgellau - Machynlleth - Aberystwyth - Llanrhystud - Aberaeron - Llanbedr - Talley - Llandeilo - Ammanford - Pontarddulais - Swansea

or if this is impossible then there is a route from my home town Shrewsbury to the coast 117 miles away Aberystwth.

So I was just looking for advice on whether this would be possible for us, and if we would be able to do it on our mountain bikes? or would we have to look into renting/borrowing road bikes? any helpful ideas or advice would be very helpful!


  • skyd0gskyd0g Posts: 2,540
    The distance shouldn't be a problem overall - the challenge is in the contours!

    Try plotting your planned route here: which will give you a better idea of the ups & downs you may face.

    The other thing to consider is whether you're planning to have all of your travel kit on your bikes with you, or whether you will have a 'support vehicle' (wife for instance) who will be able to take spare clothes/ bike parts (tubes/tyres/tools etc.) from location to location.

    ...and a few training rides wouldn't go amiss. :wink:
    Cycling weakly
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,685
    Sounds like a fun idea. Entirely feasible with MTBs on slicks, though naturally road/touring bikes would be ideal. But don't let that put you off using what you have.

    Regarding the route I'd suggest you consider how much A-road riding you want to do, as the traffic could be a bit scary - or at the least not fun. Bangor-Porthmadog-Dogleggy is all trunk road and not relaxing. If you have plenty of time you could look at using parts of Sustrans' Route 8, Lon Las Cymru. On Anglesey you can now use the A5, as the fast traffic crosses the island on the dual carriageway A55. Also bear in mind that March is not always a kind month weather-wise, and it might be less of a chore riding from South to North (providing the wind is in the typical South-Westerley direction).

    Being of a cautious nature I'd try something shorter for your first big event (or use it as trial run for the big one). Routes from Shrewsbury to Aber include NCR 81. See the Sustrans Wales routes page for more.

    If you want to talk offline send me a PM, I live in Shrewsbury too and know parts of Mid-Wales quite well.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    If your fit lads the ride shouldn't be too taxing just make sure you prepare well and take decent kit (i.e. not scrimp). As simon suggested plan for the better roads or get local cyclists on the legs to advise on them.
  • skyd0gskyd0g Posts: 2,540
    As well as the logistics already mentioned, you'll find life easier with some decent padded shorts...
    ...or it will be three long days in the saddle. :wink:
    Cycling weakly
  • Thanks for all the help, we've decided to do the shorter one from Shrewsbury to the coast (aber) 117 miles which will still be a challenge for us. We are considering biking back aswell so around 240 miles in about 3 days. We've done a few trial rides. We biked from Shrewsbury to Lake Vernwy which was quite successful. Road bikes would be alot easier and more comfortable :/

    If the aber ride goes well we are going to do the Holyhead - Cardiff one because it will be a big acheivment. But thanks for all your help, we have invested in a padded seat and some decent clothes even after our short ride round the lake we realised it was worth it!
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I did quite a lot of road cycing on my mtb before I bought my road bike

    After the shorts, if you don't already have them your best investment would be some slick tyres. Makes a massive difference on the road.
  • hazychrishazychris Posts: 202
    I planned a Holyhead to Cardiff route to do with some work friends - we did London - Paris in 3 days in 2008, and wanted to "up the ante" a little. It's all fallen through for 2010 due to other commitments, but the routes linked below give you an idea of what the plans were.
Sign In or Register to comment.