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  • 2-3 day predominantly off-road touring/gravel route in Wales?
  • Premier Icon core
    Full Member

    A friend and I are contemplating a bit of an adventure, I have drunk the kool-aid and have a gravel bike, he has a tourer, but would like to avoid roads as much as possible. I’m in the Welsh Marches, he’s North Wales so something to link the two perhaps, the top 2/3 of the country anyway.

    We’ve both rallied in Wales fairly extensively so know it well, and could just plan something from maps, but wondered if there’s any must-do sections of the national cycle network or particularly good ‘gravel’ type riding etc that we ought to incorporate rather than just plodding through forestry for hours on end?

    Premier Icon breninbeener
    Free Member

    Have you seen the Xdurowales route on the Racing Collective website. Im in Snowdonia and i really enjoyed it

    Premier Icon gruffj
    Full Member

    The area around Llyn Brianne would be perfect for this. Miles and miles of virtually deserted tarmac, with plenty of scope for gravel sections.

    Further north, I particularly enjoyed the NCN loop between Machynlleth and Dolgellau. There is a particularly tasty gravel section on the west side of the loop over the mountain. The mountain road south from Machynlleth is also stunning.

    Premier Icon Malvern Rider
    Free Member

    Again near Dolgellau maybe look at incorporating some of the Mawddach Big 8?

    http://www.mawddachestuary.co.uk/cycling/mawddach-big-8.html

    For a rider to be considered as one of the MB-8 elite, the journey should be done as two back to back 1-day rides, the North Loop and the South Loop. Double-Loopers will do them back to back on the same day.

    Top tip – I’ve been been working out a ‘big day’ gravel loop in the Cader Idris area. Am finding that Google Earth app is of late showing a few more unsurfaced sections at the ‘street view level‘ (if you click the little person and zoom in, looking for blue lines and also ‘photosphere‘ locations showing as blue dots) Currently only showing the odd section and often just the tarmac section up until it peters out into a track, yet I find very useful when scoping stuff out from the armchair.

    Premier Icon Malvern Rider
    Free Member

    What about the Trans-Cambrian Way? May have to tailor ie bypass some of the singletrack for your mates tourer

    https://bikepacking.com/routes/trans-cambrian-way/

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    We did the Abergavenny -> Shrewsbury national cycle route. Quite route mix of road and gravel but there was some extra more off road diversions. We did it very relaxed but I think 2 days would be a nice comfortable time with time for one lazy camp

    Premier Icon core
    Full Member

    Thanks for the suggestions, TCW is something I’d like to do, but I’ll save it for the Cotic Flare and have a proper go again I think.

    Aber – Shrewsbury is lovely I’m sure but I’m afraid I’d know most of it, that really is my back yard!

    Premier Icon burko73
    Full Member

    For everyone’s interest a couple of yrs ago here in the new forest the national park hooked up with google and google mapped the whole of the gravel track cycle network. That means you can drag the little man onto the network and see what the surface and scenery is like. I had an idea that other national parks did the same?

    Premier Icon fatmountain
    Free Member

    Defo the Trans-Cambrium. Start in Newton and cycle south to join the route if you want to drive (easy to park outside station and get train back from Mac).

    Premier Icon cloggy
    Full Member

    I’d not do do the TCW on a touring bike. Sure it can be done, but a fair few sections would not be pleasant.

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