Now we have all the tools, not like in the past where you’re getting out large maps on your bike, with the advancements in technology related to GPS (satellite navigation systems) we don’t need to even ask locals to advise on cycle routes as they’re all there for the picking at a click of button.
As an example, I went to visit a beautiful part of Wales, Llantwit Major, up the coast from Cardiff, a few junctions further up the M4, definitely a hidden gem; amazing rolling roads, with breath taking views.
This ride was made easy to find, all I had to do was go on. to Strava (strava.com) or Garmin Connect (connect.garmin.com). Depending on what device you have, you can easily find a route near where you are. When you’re registered with say Strava or Garmin Connect you can save your ride and compare to other riders who have done the same route, so you can find a route near you and the mileage you fancy, download and follow the course using a gps device.
I followed this amazing coastal course, which I just wouldn’t have discovered if it wasn’t for local riders putting it on Strava. I followed the coast along St. Brides Major then down Ogmore –by –Sea with breath taking coastal views mixed with rugged untouched cliff line country side, then looping back through Ogmore into tree lined twisty roads passing old stone built country pubs, with smells of pub food in the air, which triggered that appetite you get when you’ve done a bit of exercise, incorporated with a mix of sea and country air. Then back into the village of Llantwit Major.
The ride was 37k and great for an evening ride, stop at leisure, or of course if you’re a bit of a racer a great workout at speed.
The amazing thing about of all of this is that you’re taken on cycle friendly routes, as they are created by cyclists, and it’s a great way to explore when someone else has already prepared it for and if you.
I had to see what else was around while I was still there; I’ve heard of a range of Mountains near Cynonville near Afran ForestPark, Mid Glamorgan.
Downloaded a course 72 k out and back, elevation 500m, this consisted of alpine-like climbs through amazing quite baron countryside, where some point reminded me of France, just over an hour from Cardiff, a must if you are in that area.
Going through Abergwhnfi following the 4107 along winding assent progressing around 8% at some points, then on to the A4061 descending down it to Treorchy with beautiful backdrops of the valleys, where after going through the town following the A4061 climbing again, then just breath taking views once more just gets better and better, just couldn’t believe it! I’m in Wales, no wonder they are such good cyclists! And I came across friendly groups of cyclists, all seem to be locals on their evening ride. But did I say, in the winter the weather can be bad!
After the climb then you descend, still following A4061, where at the bottom you come across a roundabout then go back the way you came. Depending on your speed but around a 3 hour ride, a must if you are in that area, also a great place to go if you’re doing a sportive abroad for pre training ideal for a long weekend. I was just blown away by the riding and the experience.
The views shared are that of the author and are not necessarily that of Lexham Insurance Consultants Ltd.