More Tours: Planning

I have another mini-tour planned. I wonder what constitutes a mini-tour; I guess it’s anything less than a full stage-race with panniers. Over a week, full tour? Or is it over a fortnight? Less than a week is definitely mini though, so on that premise I’m not going full tour bongo any time soon.

The plan is a loose following of the Lon Las Cymru. I won’t go right out to Anglesey because they eat their young and it’s kind of primeval, but I will roll down from my starting point in Llandudno, over Snowdonia and down towards Barmouth. From there, it’ll be through Machynlleth and along the Elan Valley, stopping at several places without so much as a vowel between them, Cwmystwyth and Ysbyty leading the charge. Swyddffynnon has a solitary vowel, a gorgon sharing an o in the absence of an eye.


It’s going to be hilly. The Elan Valley has an odd pull; I keep seeing pictures of it taken by the ultranutters whilst they sleep in the outdoors, sheltering beneath the udders of a craven heifer from a swirling storm, for around 13 minutes before pressing on, on, on into the darkness, both of the night and of the soul.

I have a queue of mini-tours in my head. I want to do the ridgeway, then back on the kennet and avon canal. I’d like to do some sort of Jurassic Coast ridings, but have always been put off by a probably misplaced fear of middle England. I’d like to do the Devon sustrans coast-to-coast, it’s supposed to be almost all traffic free. I then have a queue of longer tours I fantasise about. These might require camping though, which I am diametrically, ethically, politically and morally opposed to. Chief among these is any kind of epic tour in France, crossing mountains and taking in everything the country has to offer. Maybe one day.

12 thoughts on “More Tours: Planning

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  1. I’m looking forward to this, if only I could afford the time to take the time. Have a Welsh cake for me.

  2. oooooooo i like the sound of these …. maybe my cardiologist will give me the second green light
    at some point and i can table some epicness too πŸ˜†

      1. We did it over 2 starting in ilfracombe and staying over in Okehampton at a youth hostel which was good. 60 miles then 40 miles on the sunday to Plymouth. It can be done in a day – It was before I started doing proper rides so we just got the train back up to Barnstaple and drove back to Bristol. i’m sure someone from ACB can suggest routes to and from the route. There’s an awesome downhill bit at the end of the route into Plymouth.

  3. Cwmystwyth and Ysbyty both contain 3 vowels. They’re not English words, ya know πŸ˜‰

    How are you getting from Mach to Rhayader – the mountain road to Dylife, the gradually rising B-road from Llanbrynmair or the A489/A470? The last is the least pleasant for a cyclist.

  4. Oooh – you’ve singled out some interesting places to ride. The Elan Valley is a joy and the Sustrans route from Cwmystwyth to the Wye Valley is a must. I can also confirm there are some great ways to make long, mostly traffic-free loops around the Wiltshire and Hampshire Downs using the miles and miles of bridleway that criss-cross the hills. It’s a land of vast rolling bumps that have been walked, ridden and grazed for thousands of years. The Kennet & Avon is a useful avenue through the middle of it all. Be aware that chalk downs can be a rutted mud-fest in poor weather! Enjoy!!

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