Wales is the most perfect place for cycle enthusiasts, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural beauty, quiet roads and amazing views being just a few of the things that make it so popular for cycle touring. If you don't have your own bike there are many places throughout the country that will hire either on a daily or weekly basis. From family friendly off road tracks for beginners at Pembrey Country Park to the more challenging 22 mile Mawddach Trail circular ride between Dolgellau and Barmouth in North Wales.
Popular with novices and the more experienced is the Celtic trail which bonds together Chepstow with Fishguard taking in 223 miles of hinterland and coastline through the Valleys, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. Some sections are particularly family friendly and pass through small towns and villages that offer good transport links so you can pick and choose how far you would like to go. The Beautiful Welsh Coastline is the reward for some of the more scary brake gripping down hills and lung bursting climbs.
The Mountains that make up the Snowdonia National Park give ample opportunity to cycling on or off road for all abilities. The National Cycling Network route 8 passes through the National Park with other routes skirting the fringes, world class cycling opportunities, mixed with family friendly routes can be found on the Llyn Peninsula's mountain passes and valleys.
Although the mountains of North Wales are famous for demanding mountain bike trails the Preseli Mountains (Mynydd Preseli) offer a gentler terrain and are perfect for a summer end-to-end ridge ride. These hills give great views over The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park but are not as scary as some Snowdonia trails. The added bonus of this ride is that at the end of the day you end up in the small coastal town of Newport where you enjoy a cup of tea in one of the local cafes, or sit on the beach watching the sun go down.
Another popular trail is The Brunel Trail between Haverfordwest and Neyland. This is a purpose built cycle path with some lovely countryside views, is traffic free and will take you through water meadows, woods, and nature reserves, a family friendly trail this is perfect for a day out with the children. The Welsh Wildlife Centre at Cilgerran offers a great family cycle as well with the bonus of seeing Water Buffalo and if you are lucky Ospreys. The cafe offers good refreshment and there are excellent trails and lots of activities for the family.
Just up the coast and into Ceredigion there is a short scenic route, just less than 2 miles, through the lovely Aeron Valley which links the Georgian town of Aberaeron to the National Trust owned Llanerchaeron. If this short hop is too easy then the Ystwyth Trail runs inland on a more challenging 21 mile route from Aberystwyth.
Whatever your preference there is something for everyone on the many trails that crisscross the coast, hills and mountains of Wales. World class to beginner friendly, a serious competitive ride or just a bit of fun on Sunday, next time you are on holiday give it a go, it might become a passion.
Cycling Joke - I say, I say, I say! My bicycle won't stand up on it's own because it's two tyred!!!