Within the third instalment of our Bridgestone Coast to Coast Routes, Bryn Davies particulars an unimaginable one-day motorbike route in Wales, from Golfcliff to Aberystwyth.
We’ve been working with Bridgestone to create a collection of coast to coast routes all through the British and Irish Isles. Our first journey took us throughout Scotland’s Southern Uplands, taking in a few of the most picturesque roads and least-populated areas of the UK. Our second route, which began in Dublin, took us throughout the guts of Eire earlier than heading north up the spectacular west coast. For our third act, we determined to go to Wales to create a coast to coast experience that’s received the makings of top-of-the-line one-day rides you are able to do on our shores.
Once I set about designing this route, I initially needed to start out on the south coast of Wales and end on the north, however we’d be venturing into mileage that may take two days to finish. I purposely needed to maintain this one shorter, providing a show-stopper of a experience that anybody with a spare day can do.
Making a splash on the previous Roman street by Trecastle.
With that in thoughts, we kick off in Goldcliff, on Wales’s south coast just some miles from junction 24 of the M4. From right here we experience by way of the economic valleys of South Wales earlier than looking for solitude on the unimaginable mountain roads of the Brecon Beacons and Mid Wales. After 189 miles, you’ll end up on the seafront in Aberystwyth, your thirst for journey quenched and your starvation about to be glad by nice fish and chips.
All through this experience, there are many alternatives so as to add extra miles and inexperienced lanes or, in the event you’re a bit brief on time, much less miles (head from Manmoel to Ystradgynlais, quite than Manmoel to Brecon). No matter you do, comply with in our tyre tracks to some extent, and also you’ll uncover simply how lovely Wales could be.
The journey begins
The experience begins at Goldcliff’s sea wall
As talked about, our journey begins on the south coast of Wales, just some miles south east of Newport in Goldcliff. Head to the underside of Sea Wall Street the place you’ll be capable of park just some metres from the Severn Estuary, a sea wall between your bike and the water. You’ll additionally discover the Seawall Tearooms right here, and I’ve been advised it’s a terrific place for a cuppa earlier than you begin your day. Sadly, on the time of scripting this, the tearooms are at present closed because of bereavement. Hopefully they’ll be again open quickly.
From Goldcliff, the route will take you alongside busy roads till you cross underneath the imposing Celtic Manor Resort and switch proper in the direction of Caerleon. As you stand up the hill your environment develop into extra inexperienced, and it’s value stopping for a couple of minutes on the Roman amphitheatre in Caerleon to admire how nicely preserved it’s. Centuries in the past, Caerleon was house to a Roman fortress and baths, and the amphitheatre would have been the centre of leisure.
Having fun with the gravel of Manmoel Street
South Wales, between the Brecon Beacons and the south coast of the nation, is densely populated, so that you’ll need to put up a little bit of visitors till you attain Manmoel Street, however from right here on in, issues take a flip for the particular. Manmoel Street is, on the face of it, a route of little curiosity to most individuals. However for journey bike riders, it’s an exquisite stretch of tarmac and gravel that follows a ridgeline in the direction of the Brecon Beacons.
It’s a disgrace that the street is usually lined with dumped garbage, however the views to your left and proper are spectacular. For those who’ve by no means ridden gravel earlier than, don’t be postpone, this street is doable on all bikes, even with street tyres – simply take it straightforward.
After Manmoel Street, we head into the Brecon Beacons Nationwide Park the place the roads and the views are lovely. As I hinted at earlier, for those who’re wanting pushed for time and need a shorter journey, skip out Brecon and head straight to Ystradgynlais, house to Touratech UK, alongside the Head of the Valleys Street. It’s received a 50mph common velocity for its period, however that’ll take you straight to Black Mountain Street, the place you’ll discover beautiful surroundings and an unimaginable experience.
Black Mountain Street
Superb bends of the Black Mountain Street.
When you carried on to Brecon, the remainder of this journey is sort of merely excellent, and it begins off with an exquisite dip south, down the A4067, earlier than we experience the well-known Black Mountain Street. Accessing the Black Mountain Street by means of Brynamman, you’d be forgiven for considering you’d taken a flawed flip. There’s little or no on the strategy by way of the small village that hints on the fantastic stretch of tarmac to return. A 40mph velocity restrict is in place for the size of Black Mountain Street, however that does little to remove from the enjoyment.
As you crest the summit of the cross, Mid Wales stretches out in entrance of you in all of its glory, and also you dip right down to Trecastle on the northern boundary of the Brecon Beacons Nationwide Park. Right here, there’s the chance to experience an previous Roman street within the type of a inexperienced lane. It takes you over the summit of Trecastle Mountain, the place the keen-eyed may be capable of make out the stays of two Roman marching camps (reputed to be a number of the best-preserved in Wales).
When you’re eager to hit the dust, grasp a left instantly after becoming a member of the A40, down a slender road, after which left once more. You then take the primary proper and comply with that street till the tarmac disappears. When it comes to problem, you’re going to need to be snug with some knee-deep puddles and some steep descents on rock. Our Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross AX41 tyres have been perfect. Ultimately, you’ll come out in Llandovery, the place you’ll be able to be a part of the street route once more. These sticking to tarmac will take pleasure in a flowing part of the A40 to Llandovery.
Wild and distant motorbike route in Wales
The gorgeous Llyn Brianne.
North we go, heading into Mid Wales, and as you journey to Ystradffin, the surroundings is lush, inexperienced and fairly. Press on and it quickly turns into epic as you ascend up a valley wall. The views throughout demand your consideration and also you’ll be very happy to offer it to them. This part of the journey is certainly one of my favourites and it got here as a most welcome shock. As you spherical bend after bend, the wild and distant shores of Llyn Brianne come into sight and the street clings to the aspect of the flooded valley because it follows the earth’s contours.
I ended time after time right here merely to take in the magnificence of the surroundings we have been driving by means of. Maybe one of the best half is that the one visitors we handed was within the type of some logging automobiles. When you’ve reached the top of Llyn Brianne, a deal with awaits. Spherical a bend and the Satan’s Staircase, a collection of alpine-style switchbacks, sits in entrance of you whereas the distant street to Abergwesyn stretches into the space.
The journey up to now has delivered on unimaginable views and little-travelled roads, however as you flip ignored of Beulah and onto the B4358 you’ll hit a rollercoaster of tarmac that lets you get right into a sweeping rhythm. This stretch of B street as much as the A470 at Newbridge on Wye is a delight, as is the remainder of the experience to Rhayader.
Steep drop offs round Claerwen Reservoir
Steep drop offs alongside the Claerwen Reservoir.
From Rhayader, our route presents you with two choices. When you’re sticking solely to tarmac, then we head north to Llanidloes and from right here experience the magnificent mountain street to Machynlleth earlier than dropping south to Aberystwyth on the A487. Should you’re pleased driving dust and gravel roads, then we head into the Elan Valley, the place we hunt down the Claerwen Reservoir and the unimaginable gravel street that skirts its lovely and wild shores.
For me, this monitor was one of many highlights of the journey – the large, open expanse of nothing however uninterrupted Welsh mountain surroundings (typically referred to as the Welsh desert) is heartbreakingly lovely. To entry the path, head to the Claerwen Reservoir higher degree automotive park, as you strategy it, you’ll see a mud monitor lifeless forward of you skirting the right-hand aspect of the water. That is the street to take. For miles you experience alongside the shores of the beautiful reservoir that provides Birmingham with its water.
Off the crushed path
River crossing by the Claerwen reservoir.
There’s nothing tough about this primary part of the path, save for the steep drop-offs into the water in conjunction with the gravel street. After a couple of miles you’ll come to a farmhouse, the place the legality of driving on is in query. An indication signifies that the path forward is personal property, but when the farmer’s about, ask his permission to experience it and he’s often joyful to oblige.
Should you do get the go-ahead, you enter the ‘authorized’ part of the route once more just some hundred metres down the monitor. Should you don’t you’ll need to retrace your tracks again to Rhayader and comply with the street route. A irritating obstruction to such an exquisite journey. After driving the path alongside the aspect of the Claerwen Reservoir, you’re deposited onto the lonely roads of mid-west Wales, the place the surroundings is barren, abandoned and spectacular. Pink Kites (the birds), disturbed by the sound of your bike, typically take to the sky to point out off their spectacular measurement, and the experience from right here to Aberystwyth is a wonderful and thrilling solution to finish the day.
The tyres we rode on
Our Battlax Adventurecross AX41 carried out fantastically off street.
We rode this route on Bridgestone’s new Battlax Adventurecross AX41 tyres. The tyres have been designed to supply an awesome mixture of on and off street efficiency, they usually definitely obtained their share of each on our Wales Coast to Coast experience. I used to be pleasantly stunned by simply how nicely the knobblies carry out on the tarmac, providing a reassuring quantity of grip, they usually felt sure-footed on the inexperienced lanes as properly. We’ve put round 2,000 miles on one set, they usually’ve nonetheless received a good quantity of life in them! We’ll hold you up to date with how properly they’ve carried out, together with what number of miles we obtained out of them, within the subsequent difficulty of Journey Bike Rider.
Your Bridgestone Wales Coast to Coast route
Put the next waypoints into your SatNav to comply with as close to as dammit, the ABR and Bridgestone Wales Coast to Coast route. NB: This route can also be out there as a gpx. file with the intention to obtain it and stick it straight in to your gadget. Head to www.bit.ly/ABRroutesWales and enter the thread titled ‘ABR and Bridgestone Wales Coast to Coast route information’ to obtain it.
- Higher Brynamman
- **Inexperienced lane choice between Trecastle and Llandovery**
- Elan Valley
- **Inexperienced lane alongside Claerwen Reservoir**
In the event you’ve obtained no want or intention to journey off street, that’s high-quality! With a couple of deviations you possibly can nonetheless have an unimaginable experience (marked inexperienced on the map). Primarily, comply with the waypoints within the field to the left to Rhayader, however quite than heading to the Elan Valley, add:
We’ve created these coast to coast routes with a view to have fun the launch of Bridgestone’s new Battlax Adventurecross AX41 tyres, which have been revealed earlier this yr. All through the collection, which continues within the subsequent problem of ABR with a coast to coast journey in England, we’ve teamed up with Bridgestone to give you the prospect to get your arms on some really unimaginable prizes value upto £1,500!
After every of our coast to coast routes have been posted, we give you the gpx. information to be able to go and experience them your self. When you’re driving, be sure to take some footage, as a result of it’s these that may enter you into the competitors. Merely ship us your greatest snaps out of your Scotland, Eire, or Wales Coast to Coast experience, and also you’ll be in with an opportunity of profitable some wonderful prizes. The breakdown of prizes appears like this:
With Bridgestone tyres fitted:
1st: Full, head to toe RST package, together with an AGV helmet – approximate worth £1,500
2nd: In a single day keep for 2 on the Lake Vyrnwy Lodge, adopted by a day on the Mick Extance Off Street Expertise – approximate worth £1,000
third: AGV journey helmet – approximate worth £500
With out Bridgestone tyres fitted:
1st: AGV journey helmet – approximate worth £500
2nd: A day on the Mick Extance Off Street Expertise – approximate worth £250
third: Pair of RST Journey Boots – approximate worth £125
How you can enter:
Get your self over to the ABR discussion board to obtain your gpx. file and get driving. When you’ve received your footage of your bike on the route, ship them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the topic line of ‘Bridgestone Coast to Coast competitors’. Good luck!
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