Saturday, 1 June 2013

Welsh Coast 2 Coast Cymru Day 5 :- The Taff Trail

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Day 5 started in fantastic sunshine. Our hosts at the Bridge Cafe put on a delicious breakfast which included some home made bread and marmalade. 

We were kindly given the use of their track pump to prepare our tyres for what we were expecting to be a day mostly on tarmac. Whilst preparing I found a puncture in my back wheel which would explain why my tyre had needed topping up a few times since day 3 ! 

After swapping inner tubes and applying liberal  amounts of suncream we were ready for the off

From Brecon we began following the Usk and rode along a nice canal for a little bit 

The Taff trail headed up towards a reservoir where again it got a little crowded with riders. 

From the Tal y Bont reservoir the hill climb began. It was long and prolonged climb on a fairly gentle gradient. Was torture for my knee unfortunately. The others were churning through the miles however. 

Just over halfway up the climb.... Carwyn had another puncture.  Here's Joe enjoying another flapjack 

Here's a few shots for the view :- 

 Eventually and after ages. We reached the top. Here's a shot of us at the top of our last climb. All down hill from here :-

Following the Taff trail downhill from here,  we churned through the miles legs and bums hurting reached another reservoir 

From here the Taff trail was more tarmac instead of track, but featured a really annoying gate which needed to be navigated by getting off the bike because  our handlebars were too wide ! It got very tiresome. 

The trail followed an old train line which lead us over a bridge 

Pushing down the valley we headed towards Merthyr Tidfyl with lunch in mind. 

Following lunch we had around 25 miles to go to Cardiff.  Admittedly for a cycle track it was harder going than expected purely in terms that the trail just kept going. 

This sign provided a welcome indication of how far we had to go

Was very hot in the afternoon so joe decided he needed to cool down :)

Crossing over the a470 a few times as we kept heading for Cardiff. 

Approaching Cardiff and whilst going through the suburbs.. Conversation stopped as we became more and more determined just to get to the finish line. 

We went through and over  Bute Park bridge

Stopped for some photos for at the stadium 

On we went to reach the Celtic ring

Here we all are exhausted and in total disbelief that we've eventually arrived!!! 

Thanks for reading the blog. Ill update the blog further later ! 

Friday, 31 May 2013

Welsh Coast 2 Coast Cymru Day 4 :- Fords Aplenty

Starting off from Pontrhydfendigaid at 10am we headed towards the Abbey and  had some photos quickly before setting off

From here we headed up into the mountains and started climbing up a single track which ran parallel to a road used by logging trucks  so we were glad to avoid those. 

Weather was overcast and reminded us of 'Gorillas in the Mist'   Here's a view from the top

From the top if the climb, the tracks were amazing!!  Miles and miles of fast flowing track which was peppered by lake like puddles and interweaving crossings with the river 

Including one section where both river and road ran together

I even managed to fall in and got soaked on the last crossing

As the road and the river finally parted ways things continued to improve with the track continuing to descend quickly as we began the approach to Llyn Brianne which involved a lot of climbing. The views were amazing however. 

From the top of the viewpoint we headed down towards a big hill climb. Here's a picture of the hill climb looking back from the top

Continuing around the lake, we started up a logging road which mountain bikers were not supposed to ride along. Oops !

From here we started our approach to Llanwrtyd Wells down and along some tracks with horses and views

We even received a fly past by a Tornado  jet

Arriving in Llanwrtyd Wells we stopped for lunch and a short rest and started off for Brecon before the legs got too cold on the second half of the day. 

This half contained a section that we were a little concerned with, that was due to the fact that we were going through a military training ground.  Here's where we started

The tarmac on this road was superb, totally smooth & better than any other road we've been on. Passing a few soldiers here and there. Lots of landrovers and army trucks too. 

Carwyn impressivley charged ahead in this section and lead the way all across the training area. The rest of us had time to enjoy the view a bit. 

From Sennybridge we made our way down the valley towards Brecon. Views were still good too 

The road to Brecon seemed to go forever and after a while we eventually got there. 

Arriving in the B&B, we were impressed with how welcoming and accommodating out hosts were. the Bridge Cafe in Brecon is HIGHLY recommended ! 

Again. Thanks for reading. Remember to sponsor us on this  adventure by following this link  

Update on day 5 to follow ! 

Welsh Coast to Coast Cymru Day 3 :- God's Country and birds of prey

Again thanks for reading. Please remember to donate as much as possible on 

Left Machynlleth at the start of day 3 later than planned with good weather. 

Headed up to the mountains and the views were amazing.  Here are some spectacular panoramas. It got crowded at the top of the mountains too. 

Peter managed to find a tick on his leg. Here's the evidence and his success at pulling the bug out of his leg

From here we traversed the valley  and started riding up the side of a prolonged climb up one side to reach the next plateau which was pretty amazing.  It reminded us of Mongolia. Riding was tough going over fire roads, some bog and challenging grassy single track. It provided some spectacular panoramas 

Coming down from the plains of Mongolia. We headed downhill towards the Nant yr Arian area. Coming down a single track we had the first casualty of the day when Carwyn had a puncture on his rear wheel. This time Joe and I helped ! 

From here we rode for what seemed like ages over grazing land, dotted by lakes and dominated by spectacular views

After a while, we reached Nant yr Arian visitor centre for lunch. It was very busy with bird watchers as the nearby lake had a few dozen red kites flying over it. Very cool ! 

This is where we had a spot of lunch 

From the Centre we had about 15 miles to go after completing 20. Skirting a windmill area we saw a typhoon & f16 fly by.

Riding the bridle ways the landscape had changed completely from desolate plans to rolling hills and lush farmland. 

Approaching the valley for the Devils bridge we started a decent down a crazy and muddy single track it was a lot of fun. :) 

The fun decent however lead towards a very tough ascent. What was meant to be a bridle way was actually a footpath mostly @ 45% or more.  Here are a few photos that I hope made it justice :- 

80% of the way up. We reached the devils bridge railway and were met by the train :) :- 

From the top of the climb it was a quick decent down to joint the road that would begin leading us to Pont'. 

Our path took us through a precarious field populated by a bull and some long haired horned cows who were rather protective of their young. 

Having got out of the hairy situation we pressed on 

The last stint as on the last few days took longer than expected to finish.  We're all starting to feel the effects of this trip now, either through saddle sore, painfull knees or sunburned scalps. 

We reached Pontrhydfendigaid finally and got settled in. 
After cleaning out bikes in the river :- 

Food was good at the pub we were stating at. But there's no phone reception to speak of. Which is why this update is a little late I'm afraid.

Again thanks for reading. Please remember to donate as much as possible on 

Here's the track of the days riding :-