Bike Hiking on the Trans Cambrian Way

11 07 2011

First up, what is bike hiking? Well its like normal hiking but instead of walking you ride a mountain bike across the countryside with you camping gear strapped to the bike or in a rucksack.  Suppose you could also call it off road cycle touring.

I’ve long wanted to ride the Trans Cambrian Way, a 100 mile  off road route across mid Wales from Knighton to Dovey Junction. However, its not waymarked so navigation can be slow so I’ve put it off, until now that is thanks to the GPS. So Simon and I made our plans and on Friday 1st headed out of Knighton for a few days of biking, camping and some cheeky beers.

So the route. If you do it then expect to ford streams, go the wrong way, to not see a sole for hours maybe even all day, to get muddy, see lots of sheep, ride up and down some hills, some rather big, but mainly expect to enjoy yourself and want to go back again.

We had a great weekend of talking and riding and the weather was very un Welsh, we often mistook ourselves as being in Spain or the Slovakian Tatra. We even visited the trails at Nant and wondered around the centre for alternative technology. I’m in love with bike hiking, where next?

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4 responses

17 07 2012
Chris Goodman

Great photos. I’m thinking about doing this route and wondered how easy you found it to wild camp (if thats what you did)? Or did you use campsites? Any advice how where you camped would be great! Thanks, Chris

17 07 2012
jamesrach

Hi Chris. We split the route over two days and camped in the garden of the Miners Arms in Pontrhydygroes https://plus.google.com/104242194588986294878/about?gl=uk&hl=en. However, there are plenty of places to wild camp on route and I would of done this if I’d not been riding with that particular friend. Have a good ride.

6 08 2012
bicyclenomad

Hope you’re going well with the baby, and don’t mind my pestering you for a route idea or two.

I live in Fremantle, Western Australia, but was brought up in Malvern. I’m visiting for a couple of weeks in September/October, and am hoping to ride (off road as much as possible) from Malvern to Porthmadog. I’ll do the TransCambrian trail linked onto the the Welsh Coast to Coast, which just leaves how to get from Malvern to Knighton off road. Any ideas? Once I arrive in the UK I’ll have access to lots of OS maps with bridleways marked etc and can sort something out, but that’ll be pretty last minute.

The bikes (my wife too) will be pretty slow on-road, hence the off-road desire. We’ve just finished an Americas off-road trip so are happy with a bit of walking trail hike-a-bike if it’s required.

Many thanks
Tom
http://www.bicyclenomad.com

6 08 2012
jamesrach

Hi there. Adam is cool but currently taking up a lot of time normally used for cycling. I’ve never ridden in the direction from Malvern to Knighton but I’d look at linking together the first 10-12 miles of the Worcestershire Path with the Three Rivers Ride which starts to the east of Martley. That would get you close to Leominster. Then look for the sections of the Mortimer trail further to the north east of Leominster and then the offa’s dykes trail.

You will have to cobble something together with bridelways, some cheeky footpaths and quite country lanes and with summers rain you might encounter a a lot of mud! I’d recommend looking at the 1:50,000 OS maps on http://www.bikehike before leave or even sign up for OS get-a-map that have 1:25,000 maps. If you do find a way through please let me know as I’d like to give it a go myself.

Have fun

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