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Best bits/climbs between Cardiff and Holyhead

willlytlewilllytle Posts: 7
edited August 2013 in Tour & expedition
Hi,

I'm planning a 5-day ride from Cardiff to Holyhead, and was hoping to get some advice on must-see spots along the way (and must-avoid spots!).

I've listed my approximate start and finish points below. Seeing as I've arranged accommodation in these areas already, unfortunately there's no flexibility here. The good news is that the routes are still very much up in the air, so I'd love to read about your favourite spots. [Strava segments would be ideal, but I'm not picky] :D

Day 1: Cardiff to Brecon
Day 2: Brecon to Newtown
Day 3: Newtown to Dolgellau
Day 4: Dolgellau to Llanberis
Day 5: Llanberis to Holyhead


I'm also more than happy to take any other advice/tips/warnings from those who have done a similar trip.

Thanks in advance for your help.

- Will

Posts

  • gethincerigethinceri Posts: 1,216
    Take the route north from The 'Diff over the top to Caerfilthy then up to Ystrad Mynach and past Penallta across the top to Dowlais. Drop down to the west then north again towards Brecon Mountain Railway then past Llwyn Onn Reservoir, this will then cause you to climb, climb, climb until you swoop down to Talybont Reservoir. Turn left, west, in Talybont On Usk to Brecon.
    If you want company or a fat old beardy guide give me a shout.
    Best of luck and enjoy.
    Geth
  • gethincerigethinceri Posts: 1,216
    Ooh, yes, I can give some thoughts on your day two if you wish.
  • willlytlewilllytle Posts: 7
    edited July 2013
    Gethinceri wrote:
    Take the route north from The 'Diff over the top to Caerfilthy then up to Ystrad Mynach and past Penallta across the top to Dowlais. Drop down to the west then north again towards Brecon Mountain Railway then past Llwyn Onn Reservoir, this will then cause you to climb, climb, climb until you swoop down to Talybont Reservoir. Turn left, west, in Talybont On Usk to Brecon.

    Thanks Geth, you've laid out the whole day :)

    Is this the route you were talking about: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2973004
    I was a bit confused by Llwyn Onn Reservoir and Talybont Reservoir, because I could not see a road connecting them.

    Also, I've read great things about Rhigos Road. Was originally thinking something like this: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2963553

    -Will
  • willlytlewilllytle Posts: 7
    Gethinceri wrote:
    Ooh, yes, I can give some thoughts on your day two if you wish.

    This is what I've constructed so far. It's pretty boring (subject to help from others), but maybe that's a good thing depending how adventurous days 1 and 3 become.

    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2963919

    -Will
  • Hi all,

    Let me try this a different way. I've gone through and tried to map out what I think are some good routes each day. Assuming roughly the same start/finish points each day, are there any changes people would recommend?

    Day 1: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2963553
    Day 2: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2963919
    Day 3: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2964148
    Day 4: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2965446
    Day 5: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2970719


    Thanks in advance
  • you seem to have picked main roads, which in some cases are ok, others they are stressful, especially considering there are nice alternatives-- have you looked at the os maps ----in the days before censored nav, strava etc--the only reference we have is paper maps--which are very useful to give an over view and detail of an area!

    if you want some nice small roads with challenging climbs between dolgellau and holyhead let me know
  • Hi Dylan,

    I was definitely hoping to elicit such advice. I kept the start/finish points each day so close so I could wander off the main roads. The issue for me is knowing which locals roads are suitable for riding, both in terms of scenery/climbs as well as road condition.
  • from dolgellau you follow a470 to gelliylidan-- then take minor road to maentwrog-- think its a sustrans signed one--from maentwrog take the road to llanfrothen via rhyd- then on towards aberglaslyn, turn right into beddgelert, then nant gwynant(good cafe at nant gwynant)-up to pen y gyrwd-peny-pass and down to llanberis. when you thinking of doing this ?
  • LazarusLazarus Posts: 1,426
    When you leave cardiff don't use the a470 its not a place for bikes ! Seriously busy dual carriage way.
    Just wanting to chill I actually used the taff trail down cardiff and back the other day and it was a pleasant easy ride which takes about 1 hour either way and would get you out of the city comfortably before you start to hit the hills.
    http://www.strava.com/activities/71596030
    http://www.tafftrail.org.uk
    A punctured bicycle
    On a hillside desolate
    Will nature make a man of me yet ?
  • LazarusLazarus Posts: 1,426
    Just noticed on your GPS route that when you head up into the valleys on day one , when you hit Porth you turn right up the Rhondda Fach valley then have to climb up and over penrhys to get back down to the Rhondda Fawr valley to continue your journey over the Rhigos.
    http://www.strava.com/segments/700757
    One of the local testers lol
    A punctured bicycle
    On a hillside desolate
    Will nature make a man of me yet ?
  • @Lazarus: Thanks for that Penrhys Rd tip. I've added it to the ride out of town. Should wake the legs up properly before Rhigos. Also, when you say, "when you leave Cardiff don't use the a470", how far out of Cardiff does this apply?

    @dylanfernley: I have been going back and forth between the route you recommend on day four via Nant Gwynant or the going through Blaenau Ffestinoig. Have you taken the latter? The one you recommend seems breathtaking. I'm planning on doing this from 28/8 - 1/9.
  • hi,willylte- ive sure done all the roads round these parts many times--- the blaenau route is ok-- just gets busy , and is not as 'sheltered' in case thewind is 'up'--i avoid busy roads when possible--sometimes you can't avoid them-and during the holiday months many roads become busy--you should be ok on the dates you have chosen--tail end of the season--you are staying in llanberis ? --i would be happy to join you on your last leg for a bit if you wish ?
  • LazarusLazarus Posts: 1,426
    Willytle just to give you an idea , you don't see many cyclists on the A470 until after Merthyr about 25 miles out of Cardiff !
    There's always another road close to the A470 so everyone gives it a miss.

    Planning a ride for someone can be tricky lol, looking out my window I can seehttp://www.strava.com/segments/1320117 which would take you out of Pontypridd up a big climb and along to top of the mountain ( lovely ride ) then drop back down into the Rhondda about a mile away from the Penrhys climb but where do you draw the line on which climbs to add , interestingly that segment doesn't see to start at the bottom.
    A punctured bicycle
    On a hillside desolate
    Will nature make a man of me yet ?
  • LazarusLazarus Posts: 1,426
    you could use
    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3096635

    or with one added climb

    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3096665

    Both remain close to your original route of riding up and out of cardiff and up the South Wales Valleys.

    Though whilst the Rhigos is a long climb it's relatively easy, both Penrhys and Graigwen (llanwonno climb) are short lung busters and are worth noting that they will hurt, considering what you will be doing in the days ahead, you should consider if they are necessary or not, if not when you get to Porth on my first route disregard the route and follow road signs for Treorchy and that will take you up the valley avoiding climbs but it will ultimately lead you onto the Rhigos.
    A punctured bicycle
    On a hillside desolate
    Will nature make a man of me yet ?
  • andrewjosephandrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    As others have said, the Rhigos is a relatively easy climb. How much luggage are you taking?
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
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