Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Lon Las Cymru - Itinerary

Thursday: Holyhead - Caernarfon (30 miles - 3.5 hours)

Holyhead - Menai bridge - direct on the A5 - 22miles / 2.5hrs / 320m ascent
Menai bridge - Caernarfon - NCN8 - 8.5miles / 1h / 70m ascent

  • pretty flat and fast, mostly road surface.  
  • The A5 route will save us about an hour on the sustrans route and allow us to get into Caernarfon in plenty of time for dinner. 
  • Staying at Cartref Guest house

Friday: Caernarfon - Barmouth (51miles - 8-9 hours)

Caernarfon - Penygroes - Portmadog - 29miles / 4h / 480m (steep ascent out
of Criccieth) (shortcut 20miles /3h)
Portmadog - Barmouth - 22miles / 4-5h / 620m (some very steep gradients
before flatter ride to Barmouth)

  • there is 1100m of climbing today. 
  • Staying at Crystal House B&B

Saturday: Barmouth - Llandidloes (61m - 8-10 hours)

Barmouth - Dolgellau 10miles / 1h /20m
Dolgellau - Corris - Machynlleth - 28miles/ 3-4h/620m  (route now takes to
hills with significant cumulative ascent)
Machynlleth - Landidloes - 23miles/4-5h/780m ascent (mountain road climbs to 509m)

  • 1400m of climbing - it's the start of the big hills.
  • out of dolgellau 7km ascent first 2km steep followed by steep bits then 180m in 1.6km (10%+). Then 4km downhill, then up and down before run down into machynlleth.
  • from Machynlleth there is a gentle ascent for 4km, then starts in earnest with 400m climb in 7km. false summits and steep sting in the tail.
  • 5km descent is a joy
  • Staying at Unicorn hotel

Sunday: Llandidloes - Brecon (64miles - 11 hours)

Landidloes - Rhayader - 15m/3h/490m
Rhayader - Builth wells - 17m/3h/430m
Builth wells - Glasbury - 16m/2h/190m
Glasbury - Brecon - 16m/3h/360m  (one significant and steep ascent)

  • biggest day of climbing with over 1 mile today!  
  • A long day of cycling but not very far which means lots of hills.
  • Staying at The Beacons Guest House

Monday: Brecon - Cardiff (52miles - 7-8 hours)

Brecon - Merthyr - 23m/4-5h/540m (a major ascent and descent)
Merthyr - Cardiff - 29m/3h/90m (easy cycling)

  • A hilly start then a gentle 30 miles into Cardiff for a celebratory drink and the train home.

Lon Las Cymru - Cycling through Wales

On May the 24th three friends and I will be leaving Holyhead and cycling the 250 miles down to Cardiff.  Sounds simple enough, at least it did when I agreed to do it.

I've now read the guide book and this is what it says:
"From Holy island in the north to the waters of Cardiff bay in the south....opened in 1995....is a rollercoaster of a journey of 400km/250 miles....graded as a Challenge Route by sustrans, it is one of the toughest of all the routes on the sustrans network....is still short enough to be completed inside a full week... with a cumulative ascent of 5000m from North to South you'll need a strong set of gears, legs and lungs"

Unfortunately we don't have a week, we've got 4 days, and as for the strong legs and lungs......well I guess we'll find out.