South Wales - Biking routes with a trailer?

Thorski
Posts: 3
Joined: 2 May 2018, 4:51pm

South Wales - Biking routes with a trailer?

Postby Thorski » 2 May 2018, 5:00pm

Hi everyone, I signed up in hopes someone can give me an in depth answer or point me in the direction of one.

Basically, we have just purchased a bike trailer so my 2 year old son can be carted around in while we bike. We have gone for the deal that was in Aldi the other day as it was a great price and we wanted a 2 seater so he could have plenty of room to lul about in.

I have tried to find a definitive answer to this via Google but honestly, I haven't found the answer I was looking for.

We need a number of family friendly routes that don't have a set bollards or gates that are designed to stop motorbikes or cars from getting in that are in the south wales area.
I live in the pontypridd area and use the taff trail and it is an impossibility to use it with the little one in a trailer as it simply would not fit through the miniscule gap they give you, short of taking the child out and lifting it up and over the gate every half a mile or so. Honestly, I hope there are some trails out that have a mammoth size gap to get through as we're probably going to be stuck otherwise

Any information on this would be very much appreciated!

User avatar
Cunobelin
Posts: 7886
Joined: 6 Feb 2007, 7:22pm

Re: Biking routes with a trailer?

Postby Cunobelin » 2 May 2018, 7:29pm

There is no easy answer, as most routes do not offer this information.

Thorski
Posts: 3
Joined: 2 May 2018, 4:51pm

Re: Biking routes with a trailer?

Postby Thorski » 3 May 2018, 10:25am

I was hoping from people's experiences maybe.

If it's just one gate to get into the area that'd be okay... But if we have to stop every half a mile or so to take my child out, detach the trailer and lift it over that is just not going to be good.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 10111
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Biking routes with a trailer?

Postby mjr » 3 May 2018, 12:05pm

One problem is that I'm still occasionally surprised by how tight some of the barriers are on routes I know really well once I attach the trailer or ride with someone on a tricycle, let alone things on the other side of the country like south Wales. :(

I suggest editing the topic title to mention the area, else you'll get a load of unhelpful foreigners like me looking at it. I don't think I can tag @pwa who I think is nearer that area on this site but anyway I think he doesn't believe barriers are much of a problem so maybe he won't know any accessible routes.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Tilley
Posts: 95
Joined: 19 Jun 2016, 4:54pm
Location: Nailsea

Re: South Wales - Biking routes with a trailer?

Postby Tilley » 3 May 2018, 7:22pm

Can I suggest that you copy this topic into the recumbent section. Riding a recumbent trike I have similar problems with some of the barriers on trails. But living in Bristol I have no experience of South Wales. However I do know quite a few trike riders in the area and I am sure they could point you towards some suitable routes.

Bowedw
Posts: 243
Joined: 22 Feb 2011, 10:26pm

Re: South Wales - Biking routes with a trailer?

Postby Bowedw » 4 May 2018, 1:56pm

Llanelli coastal path will give you what you are looking for, it links with Pembre Country park and possible to cycle to Tumble with trailer and maybe Cross Hands.
Maybe a bit far for you but well worth the effort weather permitting.

User avatar
LinusR
Posts: 126
Joined: 24 May 2017, 7:27pm
Location: London

Re: South Wales - Biking routes with a trailer?

Postby LinusR » 7 May 2018, 3:16pm

Thorski wrote:I live in the pontypridd area


Even on a touring bike the Taff Trail is a challenge because of the barriers.

However, if you head south from Ponty along Wood Road and then wend your way through to Meadow Street and head south down the (dead end) Old Tin Works Road (which is also referred to as the "feeder road") along the west bank of the Taff there are some tracks which were blocked off to motors in the 1970s. Then you can cross an old bridge into Rhydfelin. Not a very long route, I know. I used this in the 1980s and it is still there so no "sustrans barriers".

There is also a new route off the Lantwitt Road (just south of Treforest) that doesn't appear to have the barriers, here https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27437051 I suggest a recce on your own (with a tape measure) before taking the trailer. [edit] I can see there are some barriers but what appears to be a better design than the Taff Trail ones.

Beautiful countryside around Ponty but it is a challenge because of the terrain and of course lots of busy roads funnelled into the valley to cross.

User avatar
downstream
Posts: 17
Joined: 8 Dec 2016, 10:23am
Location: South Pennines

Re: South Wales - Biking routes with a trailer?

Postby downstream » 8 May 2018, 3:27pm

I don't know about South Wales, but this is a problem I've had over the last three years or so; almost all of my cycling over this time has been carrying or towing the kids, mostly off-road. I use a Burley D'Lite two-seater trailer, which is quite wide. One tip is that I look for bridleways, and trails suitable for horses, as (around here anyway) they are less likely to have any narrow access restrictors. If there are restrictors, these tend to be sleepers laid along the ground perpendicular to the path, which are a pain with the trailer but can be traversed with care, and are certainly more manageable than those sustrans bollards or local authority A-frame width restrictors. I also replaced the tyres on the trailer with fatter BMX tyres, run at lower pressure, to provide more comfort to the little 'uns.

User avatar
fausto copy
Posts: 2110
Joined: 14 Dec 2008, 6:51pm
Location: Pembrokeshire

Re: South Wales - Biking routes with a trailer?

Postby fausto copy » 8 May 2018, 9:00pm

Bowedw was on the right lines above, with the Llanelli Millennial trail
He's referring to the Swiss Valley route which goes from Llanelli up towards Tumble.
There are a couple of restrictions at the top end near to Tumble, but otherwise OK.

However, the main cycle track from Pembrey to Llanelli is all perfect for bikes with trailers, or recumbents etc.
Last week we cycled it and continued on to the Wetlands Centre near Loughor and that section would be fine too.
What's more it's mostly flat with just an occasional gentle humps. There are a couple of good cafes, one at Pwll Pavilion, with a great kids playground alongside and one on the seafront (estuary actually) near Llanelli (I think there's another playground beyond).

You can always venture into Pembrey Country Park (there is a charge unless you cycle around the coastal bit) which is all suitable too and if you're feeling adventurous there are a few forest trails beyond too.

fausto.

User avatar
bigbloke
Posts: 140
Joined: 13 Apr 2010, 8:15am
Location: Upon my saddle! - in South Wales or wherever work takes me this week

Re: South Wales - Biking routes with a trailer?

Postby bigbloke » 13 May 2018, 10:12pm

a few local observations

Newport (14 locks) to Cwmcarn - forget it! - really stupid road crossing systems I couldn't even get through with a trail a bike or rear panniers.

Newport to Caerleon -forget it - same problem as 14 locks to cwmcarn

Cardiff Bay trail - circular route around 6 miles - no real access control but getting through the area by the sennydd can be tricky at busy times

Monmouth - Peregrine path - straight level trail ride from Monmouth to Symonds Yat. the far end gets VERY busy on hot days but a nice run

Newport - Wetlands - mainly good with one calming access which is stupidly narrow (have to do a wheelie with just
bar ends !!) - you need to make sure you have bought a car park exit token from the RSPB centre / cafe before you ride if near the end of the day as getting your car out can be a pain . half coastal trail. half country lanes.

+ 1 for Fausto copy's suggestion of LLanelli to Pembrey - a very nice wide coastal path - just watch the car park at the Llanelli end. its a hot-spot for "hit and run" parking (he observed bitterly and knows of 3 others who have had similar experiences parking there)

Those are the open runs that spring to mind here

regards

BB

User avatar
bigbloke
Posts: 140
Joined: 13 Apr 2010, 8:15am
Location: Upon my saddle! - in South Wales or wherever work takes me this week

Re: South Wales - Biking routes with a trailer?

Postby bigbloke » 13 May 2018, 10:26pm

further thoughts:

Margam family trail - theres a 10 mile loop , disused railway line . I dont recall any traffic calming on there but its a long and slow but gentle climb followed by a long bumpyish descent followed by a bit of a climb back to the carpark. Steepish slate bed path from the car park to the trail - be careful of lockups when wet

pedalbikeaway family loop - Forrest of Dean another upcycled railway line with a long / gentle but slow climb followed by a bumpyish long descent, before a gentle uphill slope to the car park again. only one calmed crossing from memory -

I would say both of those were not really suitable for a road bike - definitely hybrid /mountain bike terrain

Regards

BB

Thorski
Posts: 3
Joined: 2 May 2018, 4:51pm

Re: South Wales - Biking routes with a trailer?

Postby Thorski » 19 May 2018, 11:20am

Sorry for the long delay in replying to this thread. We've had a bit of a nightmare last few weeks in and out of the hospital.
Anyway, thanks so much for all the replies to this. A lot of serious routes to look into now and I really appreciate it.
I understand the reasons for making the routes difficult to access (to stop motorbikes and cars etc). But they honestly could have gone about this so much better, some of them are completely inaccessible with a trailer.

We have a double seat trailer and out of curiosity we tried the taff trail yesterday to see if it would fit, as its literally a stone throw away. Much to our surprised it fit with about an inch to spare.
We did need to fold the sides down slightly to make it fit at the top, but that's a 2 second job and not hard work at all.

I'm really gutted about the canal cycle routes as I feel these are some of the best routes Wales has to offer(atleast what I've seen over the years).
But I'm going to bookmark this thread and try all of these suggested routes over time.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 15378
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: South Wales - Biking routes with a trailer?

Postby Vorpal » 19 May 2018, 4:04pm

Thorski wrote:Sorry for the long delay in replying to this thread. We've had a bit of a nightmare last few weeks in and out of the hospital.
Anyway, thanks so much for all the replies to this. A lot of serious routes to look into now and I really appreciate it.
I understand the reasons for making the routes difficult to access (to stop motorbikes and cars etc). But they honestly could have gone about this so much better, some of them are completely inaccessible with a trailer.


Sorry to hear about the hospital. I hope it's going better, now.

Illegal access is an enfocement issue, not an infrastructure issue.

By blocking routes, they make inaccessible to the most vulnerable users; the very people the routes should be designed for. We've had some lengthy threads on these barriers in the past.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom