3 hour or so ride from Merthyr Tydfil area?

mustgettaller
mustgettaller Posts: 120
edited January 2014 in Road general
I've got a meeting tomorrow near Merthyr, and have decided to redress my work/life balance by taking the afternoon off and taking the audax bike out for a spin around the area.

I'd prefer to ride from Ebbw Vale (where I've booked into a Premier Inn), but can drive to a better start if necessary.

I'm looking to do 3 hours or so. Translates to around 40-50 miles for me usually in the lumpy South Downs.

Anyone got suggestions as to a route starting from around here? Or (almost as good) any un-suggestions - i.e. roads to avoid!

I'll have good lights so no worries about extending into the dusk/dark!

Thanks,

James

Comments

  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    You're right next door to the Brecons so there are more routes than you can reasonably shake a stick at. If I were you I'd get the appropriate OS map in my pocket with a compass, head north for 90 minutes and then see if I could find my way back without using the same roads!
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  • mustgettaller
    mustgettaller Posts: 120
    edited January 2014
    DesWeller wrote:
    You're right next door to the Brecons so there are more routes than you can reasonably shake a stick at. If I were you I'd get the appropriate OS map in my pocket with a compass, head north for 90 minutes and then see if I could find my way back without using the same roads!

    That's true - good suggestion! I've got Anquet with 1:50000, so can print off the area. I've also found some good routes on RideWithGPS, so will adapt some of them. I just want to avoid going up a smaller road which someone with local knowledge would say "I wouldn't have gone up there because it turnes to sh*t..."! :shock:

    Edit: I had twigged that I would be next to the Brecons! :wink:
  • Suggestion. Park somewhere to the north of Merthyr.
    Take the A470 north towards Brecon. After a couple of miles there is a lane to the left signposted Cwm Cadman. This goes to Penderryn, home if Welsh whisky. From here over the moors on the main road back to the A470. Continue north towards Brecon. At Libanus there are lanes to Talybont on Usk. From ToU head along the reservoirs and over the mountain back to Merthyr.
    I have only ridden these roads on Tour of Britain day. The main roads are very fast, but wide and without too much traffic.
    Should be a decent ride in the high Beacons.
    Also further east might be able to make a loop from Ebbw Vale to Abergavenny and back over the moors. I don't know this area so well.
  • Suggestion. Park somewhere to the north of Merthyr.
    Take the A470 north towards Brecon. After a couple of miles there is a lane to the left signposted Cwm Cadman. This goes to Penderryn, home if Welsh whisky. From here over the moors on the main road back to the A470. Continue north towards Brecon. At Libanus there are lanes to Talybont on Usk. From ToU head along the reservoirs and over the mountain back to Merthyr.
    I have only ridden these roads on Tour of Britain day. The main roads are very fast, but wide and without too much traffic.
    Should be a decent ride in the high Beacons.
    Also further east might be able to make a loop from Ebbw Vale to Abergavenny and back over the moors. I don't know this area so well.

    That looks like a good suggestion - thanks. I was eyeing up the lanes between Libanus and Talybont on Usk.
  • Hah! Got it sorted - a variation on Dave's suggestion.

    North to Llangynidr and Talybont, across to Libanus, back down A470. Pubs at Talybont and Libanus in case I need to take shelter :wink:

    http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/345642689

    Now I just need it to not be raining - which is the opposite of the forecast right now. :roll:
  • Suggestion. Park somewhere to the north of Merthyr.
    Take the A470 north towards Brecon. After a couple of miles there is a lane to the left signposted Cwm Cadman. This goes to Penderryn, home if Welsh whisky. From here over the moors on the main road back to the A470. Continue north towards Brecon. At Libanus there are lanes to Talybont on Usk. From ToU head along the reservoirs and over the mountain back to Merthyr.
    I have only ridden these roads on Tour of Britain day. The main roads are very fast, but wide and without too much traffic.
    Should be a decent ride in the high Beacons.
    Also further east might be able to make a loop from Ebbw Vale to Abergavenny and back over the moors. I don't know this area so well.

    That looks like a good suggestion - thanks. I was eyeing up the lanes between Libanus and Talybont on Usk.

    That in part at least is the A470 the main trunk road north-south quiet lanes it is not.

    From where you are I'd head north.

    Head down steelworks road up to Beaufort hill, on to Garnlydan and then your on Llangynidr mountain either heading to Llangynidr or take the left down the hill to Llangattock, heading west to Gilwern then Govilon which places you at the bottom of the Blorange, aka the tumble or fiddlers elbow, either way a mini alp, arriving in Blaenavon take the road to Brynmawr which skirts the Coety Mountain. And once in Beaufort Hill it's downhill all the way.
  • dai_t75
    dai_t75 Posts: 189
    I would personally try and stay off the A470 as much as possible. Why not something like this:
    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3910667

    Takes in the devils elbow and llangynidr mountain. Also try and stay off the A465, not a very nice road IMO.
  • Thanks Roger and Dai,
    I like Roger's shorter interesting loop - I'll do that if I feel like a short local ride.

    Dai - I like the idea of less time on the 470, and it would be nice to go down the steep side of Devil's Elbow for once! I'm going to aim for this I think - depending on weather and motivation..

    Thanks all for your input.
  • You can ride from EV to Talybont via llangynidr without going on a busy main road, the road back via Talybont/Pontstick res is a nice route (apart from one little climb!) then back via Dowlas Top/Rhymney etc
  • gethinceri
    gethinceri Posts: 1,517
    "Little climb" eh, @starsboy?
    Your favourite I reckon!
  • Gethinceri wrote:
    "Little climb" eh, @starsboy?
    Your favourite I reckon!
    It's that easy my new cassette will be 12/23 :lol:
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,567
    Starsboy wrote:
    You can ride from EV to Talybont via llangynidr without going on a busy main road, the road back via Talybont/Pontstick res is a nice route (apart from one little climb!) then back via Dowlas Top/Rhymney etc

    That little climb is an absolute bar steward, I hate riding down it even as it hurts your hands trying to control your speed.
  • Ended up getting on the bike at 1540 - so took the shorter route, which was definitely sensible! Took Roger's suggestion, which ended up like this:

    http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/345660095

    The ride up to Llangynidr was great - in the daylight, great views, wind sort of behind me. Found myself going faster than I realised on the descent into the town - wet brakes and wind behind me!

    I'm not sure my choice of road from Govilon to Blaenavon was right - it ended up being the very narrow/rough road over the top of the hill. This section was, of course, in the dark and rain with a reasonable headwind. It was a bit of a relief once I picked up Abergavenny Road - perhaps I should have taken this road anyway, although it had pretty fast traffic on it, so in retrospect I'm happy with the goat track!

    Total distance 35 mile with an average of 12mph - not very fast, but had a few naviguessing moments in the dark, and the downhills were slow, due to dark and strong winds. Oh, and it rained the entire time. Receptionist at the hotel was a bit surprised when I splodged my way in, muttering "It's wet out there". :)

    Thanks to all for the input. From Pross's comments, I think I'm glad I didn't come back via the reserviors!
  • Ended up getting on the bike at 1540 - so took the shorter route, which was definitely sensible! Took Roger's suggestion, which ended up like this:

    http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/345660095

    The ride up to Llangynidr was great - in the daylight, great views, wind sort of behind me. Found myself going faster than I realised on the descent into the town - wet brakes and wind behind me!

    I'm not sure my choice of road from Govilon to Blaenavon was right - it ended up being the very narrow/rough road over the top of the hill. This section was, of course, in the dark and rain with a reasonable headwind. It was a bit of a relief once I picked up Abergavenny Road - perhaps I should have taken this road anyway, although it had pretty fast traffic on it, so in retrospect I'm happy with the goat track!

    Total distance 35 mile with an average of 12mph - not very fast, but had a few naviguessing moments in the dark, and the downhills were slow, due to dark and strong winds. Oh, and it rained the entire time. Receptionist at the hotel was a bit surprised when I splodged my way in, muttering "It's wet out there". :)

    Thanks to all for the input. From Pross's comments, I think I'm glad I didn't come back via the reserviors!

    you went over Gilwern Hill, which is a rough old road, correct that my suggestion was the road you joined at Keepers pond, traffic isn't normally a problem due to the wiggly nature of the road.

    Glad you had a good ride!