Birmingham to New Quay Wales

Discussion about any other rides & touring

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slogfester
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Birmingham to New Quay Wales

Post by slogfester » 15 Apr 2014 12:42

I'm thinking of doing this :shock: (friends live there) and need a route.

Looking at the route of the recent Elenydd (http://www.audax-salop.talktalk.net/ele ... e_map.html) I could pick it up at Mortimers Cross and follow the route as far west as possible. Cyclestreets fast uses the same route as the Elenydd with mainly A roads to get out there (not such a bad thing- get the first bit over and done with), but at least it keeps it to 'just' 200 km.

http://www.cyclestreets.net/journey/40312892/[/url]

Whats the section between Abergwesyn and Tregaron like?

Or are there better (read easier/faster, but still off-A-road) routes to get past the mid-Wales mountains, without big detours?
Belt up, we're going for a ride

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 15 Apr 2014 13:19

Believe it or not, I have ridden this exact route albeit a few miles short of New Quay.

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4453723

Hills are unavoidable, with the worst sections coming within the last third of the route. However, it is a lovely fell route.

Between Shobdon and New Radnor, you can go either via Kington or Presteigne. The link shows Kington but Presteigne is a much quieter route for traffic and preferable.

Beyond Builth, avoid the tedium of the A483 by taking the slightly hillier parallel lane on the opposite side of the valley. After Beulah, you enter a gorgeous valley before turning right towards The Devil's Staircase, after which the climbs become savage for approximately 10 miles, and there are three of them: The Staircase (short but very sharp and best to push) the long drag up The Gamallt and Telephone Box Hill. If you are loaded with luggage then this section will be challenging. See the following Youtube clip of the Milk Race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-qCNTlFTGM

Tregaron to New Quay is not easy. After Felinfach, there is a pretty stiff long ascent before the road sweeps down to the coast.

Cafes:

Tenbury
Shobdon Airfield (just off the route)
Kington or Presteigne
Builth Wells
The forestry cafe http://www.visitmidwales.co.uk/Llanwrty ... ue=1013903
Tregaron (although I have never found either of the two to be open). There is a Coop
Rhayader (on the northerly route)

Alternatives:

The southerly approach is via Llandovery and Lampeter but considerably longer. Although you don't reach the same amount of ascent as going via the Staircase, this diversion is far from flat and it uses a moderately busy and boring A road. If forced to use an alternative to the Staircase, the only other option is the northerly approach.

The northerly approach can be made via Rhayader and the Elan Mountain Road. This route is rewarding in terms of scenery but still requires climbing. The ascents are less severe but they are very long and Alpine in style. You will still have to suffer the hills inland of New Quay.

Don't use the coastal A road, it is unpleasant and congested with traffic. It is not flat either!

The other alternative is to catch a train to Builth and cycle the remainder.

slogfester
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Post by slogfester » 16 Apr 2014 10:40

Many thanks for detailed reply Phil. I'm not in the least surprised you have done the route and have a encyclopaedic memory and analysis of the details.
I may now ride it West to East on Monday, weather permitting (its looking dodgy at the moment), so would that have a significant effect on route selection? Hopefully I might get a tail wind.
Belt up, we're going for a ride

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 16 Apr 2014 13:47

I guess that it is an 'easier' direction although I have only ever gone east-west Clearly, you will still have to pass over the same summits but the gradients are slightly less severe. The 'nasties' include the climb out of Tregaron and after the second junction just before reaching the summit above the Devil's Staircase. Just make sure that you have decent pair of brake blocks!

The cafe which opens at 11am in the forest just beyond Abergwsyn (LH side) serve decent coffee, as does the Coffee Shop in Presteigne.

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Neil Compton
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Post by Neil Compton » 17 Apr 2014 13:35

I was out in that neck of the woods last week. I caught the train to Hereford though and cycled from there to Rhandirmwyn near Llandovery. Was still 86 mile and bloomin tough. I wouldn't fancy cycling all the way from Brum to New Quay.

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