Riding in North Wales

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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Wanlock Dod
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Riding in North Wales

Postby Wanlock Dod » 12 Mar 2019, 6:51pm

I will be having a bit of a holiday in North Wales in a few weeks time. It’s not somewhere I have cycled but I am hoping to use the time to build my fitness up to be able to ride a 300 km Audax a week later. I will be based near Llanberis and Bangor. Can anybody recommend any nice routes to ride? I have seen some stretches of cycle path by the dual carriageway coast road heading towards Englandshire, is it any good?

brynpoeth
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Re: Riding in North Wales

Postby brynpoeth » 12 Mar 2019, 7:03pm

Couple of old railway routes, Bangor-Bethesda and Caernarfon-Bryncir by the WHR, rode both on 59" fixed, the Horrors of Penmaenmawr (old road high up above the sea) is good too
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pwa
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Re: Riding in North Wales

Postby pwa » 12 Mar 2019, 7:17pm

A circuit of Snowdon taking in Llanberis and Beddgelert might be a nice little leg stretcher. The roads are not too busy at this time of year.

rotavator
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Re: Riding in North Wales

Postby rotavator » 12 Mar 2019, 7:25pm

If you are looking for a safe and almost traffic-free route, there is a cycle path along the north coast that is traffic free from Rhos on Sea to Prestatyn. From there, you can head along another cycle track, on an old railway track to Dyserth, then mainly traffic free to Rhuddlan, then along the estuary back to Rhyl on the coast.

The B5113 from Colwyn Bay to Pentrefoelas (cafe) is a nice fairly quiet road to cycle which you could include in a route around the Denbigh Moors.

A good circular route for a fine calm day is Pentrefoelas-Ysbyty Ifan via lane-B4407 (over Migneint, very exposed) to Pont yr Afon Gam (summer cafe)-B4391 to Arenig-Bala via Rhyd uchaf-optional cicuit of Bala Lake-return to Pentrefoelas via lanes and B4501.

If you are looking for big hills, try Bwlch y Groes (south of Llanwchllyn), there are three ways up it with the hardest being from Dinas Mawddwy. If that is not hard enough, there is a steep climb up from Trefriw (in the Conwy Valley) to Llyn Cowlyd but it is a dead end unless you are on a MTB.

reohn2
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Re: Riding in North Wales

Postby reohn2 » 12 Mar 2019, 7:55pm

pwa wrote:A circuit of Snowdon taking in Llanberis and Beddgelert might be a nice little leg stretcher. The roads are not too busy at this time of year.

And back via Waunfawr,Ceunant to Llanberis.

From Llanberis take A4086,left at Pont Rug,head for Bontnewedd,pick up the cycle path at the narrow gauge railway station head south on the cycle path to Penygroes when take the B4418 for Nantile,joining the A4085 at Rhyd Ddu.From there you can head back via Waunfawr,Ceunant.Or head for Beddgelert then take the A498 for Porthmadog,but take the left for Nantmor taking the minor road for Nantgwynant to rejoin the A498 where you can take a right to the top of the pass then the fast descent back to Llanberis.

From Llanberis to the top of the pass,then turn left,head for Capel Curig,left head for Bethesda(it's NSL with fast traffic),at the visitor centre there's a nice minor road running parallel to the A road,in Bethesda take the B4409 for Tregarth but turning left on a minor road head for Deiniolen,head for the B4547 turn left down the hil to A4086,left into Llanberis.

Deliqium of this parish may be along shortly to advise on some longer rides he no doubt knows well in the area
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PDQ Mobile
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Re: Riding in North Wales

Postby PDQ Mobile » 12 Mar 2019, 8:28pm

Tip! Always expect best driest weather in the lee of high ground. The effect can be very pronounced.

So when a moist SW is blowing and the West has drizzle Llandudno and the N coast can be quite sunny and warm.
West is best in an Easterly.

Good routes already have been suggested by others.
Llandudno also offers (shopping and) the Great Orme as a short (4m) but very spectacular ride. Toll free for cyclists and sparse traffic off season. Recommended.
Can be shortly extended along the coast and bridge to walled castle town Conwy on cycle tracks. And from there West on cycle track but near busy main road.
Bangor -Caernarfon (castle walled town) on cycle path for the most part can be greatly extended to Porthmadog again mostly on (tarmac) cycle track and some minor roads.
Futher South is the beautiful Mawddach trail, Barmouth to Dolgellau all cycle track.

Myriad minor roads are mostly quiet. Local drivers on them are fast but pretty considerate.
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julianm
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Re: Riding in North Wales

Postby julianm » 12 Mar 2019, 9:29pm

It's a long time since I've been but the place to eat used to be http://www.petes-eats.co.uk/ in Llanberis.
Huge portions & a good atmosphre for outdoors types.


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Re: Riding in North Wales

Postby PH » 13 Mar 2019, 10:34am

I've only cycled in the area a few times, so others will have better knowledge, but those times I've really enjoyed it. Worth looking at the Lon Las Cymru route, in both directions from Bangor. I don't think Anglesey has been mentioned yet, some lovely roads and a complete circuit is around 100 miles, plus you get to cross the wonderful Menai Suspension Bridge. Thinking of bridges - following the LLC down to Barmouth might be a suitable distance.
The NCN route along the North coast is variable, it's a few years since I did it (Chester - Snowdon) and I'm not sure which sections, but some of the coastal paths are very sand covered. Rideable with care, though I couldn't maintain Audax type speeds, I abandoned the DIY I was on and enjoyed the ride. It's pretty flat easy riding, other than when you zig zag over the bridges to avoid the tunnels where cycling isn't permitted. It passes through what I thought looked like some nice seaside towns, though they have been mentioned in the "most boring town" thread!
I'm a bit dubious that anything you do a week or two before an Audax is going to get you fit for it, take care you don't overdo it.

reohn2
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Re: Riding in North Wales

Postby reohn2 » 13 Mar 2019, 10:46am

I agree about Anglesey some lovely rides on quiet lanes,and if the OP's interested in prehistory some lovely sites.
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Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Riding in North Wales

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 13 Mar 2019, 11:35am

The Llyn peninsula has great little lanes, too - I prefer it to Anglesey. 50ish miles from Bangor to Aberdaron.
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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Riding in North Wales

Postby Wanlock Dod » 13 Mar 2019, 11:59am

Thanks for the suggestions folks. As I first started cycling to get to work at Kwik Slave perhaps I will take a trip to Prestatyn for a (hopefully) not too hilly outing. I would also rather like to visit Parys Mountain, although it’s probably not everybody’s idea of a great day out, if anybody can suggest nice routes across Anglesey. I see that there might be a traffic free route from near Newborough (which if I remember correctly might have some nice forest and beach) to past Llangefni on route 566. Does anybody know what the surface is like on this route? I have come across several of their routes which are definitely dry weather only except for mountain bikes. Caernarfon and Porthmadog also sounds like it could be a nice day out if the weather is nice. Also a trip into the mountains would be nice, although I usually avoid trunk roads. Is Capel Curig to Beth’s-y-coed likely to be OK? That might make a nice circuit with a visit to Llandudno too. I assume that the B road down the Conwy Valley will be OK.

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Re: Riding in North Wales

Postby PDQ Mobile » 13 Mar 2019, 2:15pm

There is a pleasant minor road option for part of the way Capel Curig - Betws.
Starting just on the edge of Capel over a bridge it re-enters the A5 at Ty Hyll (Ugly House bridge) and from there there is a, sometimes leaf strewn, narrow pavement option.
Conwy valley b road although fairly quiet has very fast local traffic one needs to keep ears and eyes open,many cyclists choose the wider straighter A470, sadly. Personally I would use the B road. Longer quieter much hillier routes are available on the East side of the Conwy valley

S2L
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Re: Riding in North Wales

Postby S2L » 13 Mar 2019, 3:39pm

Wanlock Dod wrote:I will be having a bit of a holiday in North Wales in a few weeks time. It’s not somewhere I have cycled but I am hoping to use the time to build my fitness up to be able to ride a 300 km Audax a week later. I will be based near Llanberis and Bangor. Can anybody recommend any nice routes to ride? I have seen some stretches of cycle path by the dual carriageway coast road heading towards Englandshire, is it any good?


Do you want the GPX file? In my opinion one of the best rides in the country and not too hilly

https://www.strava.com/activities/1074990618

rotavator
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Re: Riding in North Wales

Postby rotavator » 13 Mar 2019, 6:57pm

I would also rather like to visit Parys Mountain, although it’s probably not everybody’s idea of a great day out, if anybody can suggest nice routes across Anglesey. I see that there might be a traffic free route from near Newborough (which if I remember correctly might have some nice forest and beach) to past Llangefni on route 566. Does anybody know what the surface is like on this route?


Parys Mountain is definitely worth visiting. I had a great trip down some of the shafts and saw some of the Bronze Age workings still complete with hand axes.

The cycle path from Llangefni to Malltraeth has a good tarmac surface and is flat but is a bit monotonous so it would not be my first choice for Anglesey. The section from Llangefni to the Cefni Reservoir is more interesting and hilly but short. There is a seasonal cafe on the riverside at Malltraeth. The paths and gravel roads around Newborough Forest are more interesting and Llanddwyn Island is a worth visiting, on foot only, and check the tide times because it gets cut off at high spring tides.

The B5106 down the Conwy Valley is OK but there are several blind corners and cars going around them too fast for the comfort and safety of cyclists. The B5113 is a much nicer parallel road to cycle IMHO but you will have to climb up to it first. The A5 from Capel Curig to Betws y Coed is OK for cycling but obviously will be busy at Easter. The bridge by the Ugly House is currently being repared incidentally, still open with traffic lights. As PDQ said the minor road from Pont Cyfyng to Ugly House is a nice detour.