Epic day ride with a top 100 UK climb as an added option, a grimpeur’s idea of fun. Beico gyda’r grug a’r adar man
Llyn Brianne loop 112km (70 miles) 2069m elevation
A long day in the saddle to get you out into the hills, test your climbing legs with good coffee and cake stops. A hard route but with spectacular scenery taking you from Aberaeron to Lampeter past Dolau Coyhi Gold Mine and around Llyn Brianne reservoir, one of the most remote places in Wales. Make sure you carry spare tubes and fuel up big style on your breakfast. Not much phone signal for a big chunk.
From the Harbourmaster you cycle on the A487north for a mile, as you climb out of the village of Aberarth you turn right for the Treagaron road. A steep climb follows for half a mile then it’s a gradual climb through the villages of Pennant, Cross Inn (shop and pub), Bethania and Pen Uwch which gets you to over a 1000ft. Keep on going all the way to Tregaron enjoying the splendid views of the Cambrian mountains and back to the coast.
Tregaron 17miles into the journey is a good place for a coffee and cake. There is a cafe, the famous Talbot Hotel and shops to stock up.
After Tregaron it gets wild. Take the Abergwesyn road, which is my favourite road in Wales. It is a single track old drovers road which meanders through spartan mountain scenery. It is a road made famous in cycling by the Milk Races of the 70s and 80s. You climb all the way to over 1500ft with challenging ramps. After the climb there’s a well-earned descent (watch out for dull sheep) all the way down to Soar y Mynydd – keep following signs for Rhandirmwyn. Once you cross a metal bridge you turn right for Llyn Brianne reservoir that was built in the early 70s. (If you turn left it takes you in a couple of miles to the Devil’s Staircase climb, only 1.3km long but ramps of over 20%. You have to be a masochist to add this to your ride – but each to his own !) Just past the kiosk turn right for a couple of miles and then a cork takes you left towards Rhandirmwyn.
This road is quite stunning and is undulating for 8 fabulous miles miles following the damn. It really is spectacular.
By this time you are in the upper reaches of the wooded Towy and Cothi valleys. From here you make your way through the small hamlets of Cwrt y Cadno, past the Dolau Cothi Gold Mines (cafe with good cakes and filter coffee) to Pumsaint where you get to the main road. Turn right towards Lampeter, and a steady climb up to Tafarn Jem then a fast descent down towards Cwm Ann and Lampeter.
Once in Lampeter lots of cafes, pubs and shops to get you fuelled for the last 13 miles home along the A382, although an A road never gets really busy. Once back in Aberaeron shower or a bath straight down to the bar where you can boast / bore both locals and visitors alike about your epic trip to the mountains.
River Aeron route / Dilyn Afon Aeron 65km (40 Miles/Milltir) Elevation 746m
This is a lovely route that takes you from the mouth of the river to its source and back again,following the Aeron valley. It gets you up to about 1200ft but there’s only one steep Head north out of Aberaeron to Aberarth as you go up the other side turn right for the road signposted for Tregaron. A steep climb for half a mile then its a gradual climb through the villages of Pennant, Cross Inn, Bethania (source of Ty Nant water) and up to Pen Uwch. Half a mile past the school turn left on the road marked Llyn Fanod. Now your in mountain country where in the 70s most of Europe’s LSD was made and distributed. Pass Llyn Fanod to your left and keep on going till you hit a t junction, hang a right and in about 3/4 mile you will see the sign for Llyn Eiddwen. Its worth the mile detour to get to the vantage point above the lake. There is a famous stone monument to four bards from the area who have won the Chair to our National Eisteddfod. From here on a clear day the views of Snowdonia and the whole bay is spectacular.
You now have to go back to the junction where you carry on to the left. Throgh the hamlet of Bontnewydd and to the main Tregaron road. At the village of Tyncelyn turn right on a nasty bend (be very careful) take the road that goes sharply uphill. After half a mile turn right and now its a lovely descent to the village of Llangeitho. Here there’s a coffee stop in the local shop and cafe. This is the village by local folklore where Handel had the idea for the Messiah after hearing legendary local preacher Daniel Rowland preaching to the masses.
From Llangeitho you follow the river to Talsarn, an undulating scenic ride. Left at the junction then its over Talsarn bridge and in three hundred yards its right to Felinfach. From here turn right and its eight miles back to the Harbourmaster. A very nice ride which will build an appetite but not too strenuous.
Great half day ride with stunning countryside. Cyfle i weld y wlad ar ddiwrnod braf.
Mynydd Llanybydder Mountain 75km (46miles) 1250m elevation
This is a great ride to do on a sunny day with plenty of options for stops. It takes in the Aeron and Clettwr valleys and a good climb to a height of over 1300ft over Llanybydder mountain. The views from the top are breathtaking and has the bonus of no traffic and brand new tarmac. The only hazards are sheep.
The ride takes you through back roads with plenty of villages with shops and pubs so you can refuel as often as you want. Taking it leisurely with a stop the ride will take you around 4 – 5 hours.
Aberaeron Tregaron Llambed – lovely inland route with plenty of coffee stops if needed 66km. 909m elevation (2900ft)
This is one of my favourite routes as it is quite challenging but has a variety of terrain from hills to following both the Teifi and Aeron river valleys.
From Aberaeron go north on the A487 through the village of Aberarth (there’s a cycle path most of the way). Awkward right turn once out of the village (signposted Tregaron) and then a sharp climb for half a mile, then steady climbing all the way to over a 1000ft. After 16 miles you get to Tregaron with options for coffee and a stroll. The Talbot or Rhiannon’s Jewellery shop and cafe are the obvious choices for sustenance.
After Tregaron follow the old road to Lampeter, this is basically flat following the river Teifi and takes you through the village of Llanddewi Brefi (of Little Britain fame). Lovely ride to the market town Lampeter where again you can have a break (Conti’s directly on the square is my choice for coffee).
From Lampeter a 13m ride back to Aberaeron, bit of an uphill drag for the first 3-4 miles then a great downhill till you get to the Aeron valley floor. From the village of Felinfach easy ride back to the Harbourmaster, by when I’m sure you’ll have built up an appetite and a thirst.