Tourists encouraged to see North Wales by bike

by Micheal Smith (Veshengro)

Sustrans has just released a new map by means of which holidaymakers can combine a personal challenge with a low carbon trip of discovery in 2009. This new map is highlighting the National Cycle Network through North Wales.

The Lôn Las Cymru North challenge ride stretches from Holyhead on Anglesey to Llanidloes and the Severn Valley in the heart of Wales. It takes riders through Snowdonia National Park and the Cambrian mountains along traffic free railway paths, minor roads, forestry tracks and ancient coach roads.

Sustrans’ new map details how to undertake the entire 137-mile route – and accompanies the Lôn Las Cymru South which continues to Cardiff and Chepstow - as well as providing numerous options for a day ride. The map also highlights most of the other walking and cycling paths in north-west Wales and includes all the major tourist attractions.

Welsh Assembly Minister Alun Ffred Jones will ride part of the Lôn Las Cymru North at Waterloo Port, Lôn Las Menai, near Caernarfon, on Wednesday, August 12 at 11am.

Alun Ffred Jones said: “Wales has a well-deserved reputation as a destination for active holidays and the country is full of places perfect for exploring by bike. This new map also links to the Welsh Assembly Government’s wider commitment to make it easier for people to be more active and healthy as part of daily life.

“I hope it will encourage both visitors and locals alike to get out on two wheels on Lôn Las Cymru North, but remember, you don’t have to do the whole route in one go!”

Cllr W Gareth Roberts, Environment Portfolio holder at Gwynedd Council, said: “Encouraging local residents and visitors to Gwynedd to make the most of the fantastic cycling opportunities the county has to offer is a priority for the Council. We hope people from across Gwynedd and beyond will get on their bikes and enjoy the various cycling routes.

“There are a number of interesting cycling routes to enjoy across Gwynedd, and we hope more and more people will get active and make the most of these routes with the help of the new Sustrans map.”

Sustrans Area Manager for North Wales, Glyn Evans, said: “There are few other rides which offer such a variety of landscapes in such a short space of time, whether cyclists zip through it in three days or enjoy their surroundings at a more leisurely pace over the course of a week. The route is fully signed and easy to follow when combined with the new map, so riders will be able to devote all their effort tackling the odd steep hill or enjoy soaking up the views.”

It would be nice if the little bike ride that will be undertaken by the Assembly Minister may lead him and his colleagues to take up cycling, including cycling to work. The bicycle has indeed a great deal going for it as a vehicle for commuting and, often, it is faster than the cars that chug along at a snail's pace and which at times even get overtaken, I am sure, by some snails.

© 2009