There’s a lot to be said for an epic adventure, but sometimes the time isn’t right, or you don’t yet have the confidence to take one on. How about a short one instead?
Whilst out for a quick coffee and a short bimble on the bike this morning, a customer at the cafe asked about somewhere a couple of cyclists could go that wasn’t too challenging before returning to the cafe for a cuppa.
Now, “challenging” is a subjective term as everyone sits somewhere on a sliding scale of experience and fitness, but aside from staying on the Taff Trail and doubling back on yourself at some point there is inevitably going to be some challenge involved. However, here is route that may fit the bill. It’s all on country lanes and traffic-free paths, but there is a hill involved, for that little extra challenge that will only make you stronger. However, it comes in at just under 10km and shouldn’t take too long.
On the Taff Trail we finally have a cycle cafe, Plan2Ride that can also handle your repair needs as well as your caffeine, making an ideal starting point for this loop.
Leaving Plan2Ride, head up Mill Road towards Castell Coch but keep going up the hill until you reach the fork at Blaengwynlais. Take a left and continue up the hill, past the golf club and take a left down Blackbrook Road.
At the bottom of the hill, take a left before reaching the main road and follow the lane until you reach a wall and the start of the Penrhos Cutting.
Follow the cutting all the way down the hill until you reach Taffs Well train station. From here, follow the Taff Trail all the way back to Tongwynlais for a cuppa and cake in Plan2Ride.
If you are on a mountain bike, you may like to try some of the muddy trails that follow Heol-y-Fforest most of the way up. At the Castle it is possible to join a myriad of paths & bridleways that snake their way up to the last stretch of the lane. Check out the map to get an idea of where you can go, but note that the east side of Heol-y-Fforest is much flatter!
How do you rate this in terms of difficulty?
Have you tried this loop? Is there anything about it you would want to change? Let us know in the comments.