There is an
amazing range of cycling opportunities in the UK. For a long time the focus in
Scotland and Wales has been mountain biking – and rightly so. These small but
stunning countries boast a huge network of off-road trails to ride. Yet Scotland
and Wales also have a wealth of road cycling, which is all too often overlooked.
Many of the tarmacked routes are family friendly and follow mostly traffic-free cycle paths.
This summer why not get out and explore on a road bike?
Bikes and clothing
for road cycling
The kind of bike
that you would want for road rides is a hybrid or a road bike, which
boast smoother tyres. Mountain bikes are fine but their chunkier tyres can be
slow-going on tarmac. Why not swap knobbly mountain bike tyres for a smoother
tyre option? Ask at your local bike shop for advice.
If you are simply
heading out for an enjoyable ride with the family you don’t need any special
cycle clothing apart from a safety helmet. For added comfort, you could wear padded
shorts or fit a comfy bike seat to your bike. A waterproof jacket is a great asset for our fickle weather!
baselayer will also help to keep your skin dry if you sweat a little. This Regatta
Elixir t-shirt for men is a great active and technical tee, while for women
Tamsin t-shirt is also high wicking and quick drying.
Three great places for cycling in Wales
A 14-mile return riverside
ride along the Taff river with the fairytale-style Castell Coch attraction en
route. The route is on tarmac and mainly traffic-free. There’s a café in
A spectacular 19-mile
return route from historic Dolgellau to the beach at Barmouth. On either side
are the foothills of Cader Idris and the beautiful Mawddach estuary. Tarmac and
traffic-free. Refreshments in Penmaenpool and Barmouth.
Coastal Cycle Route
A wonderful 14-mile
return seaside ride along a promenade extends from Rhos-on-Sea to Prestatyn. You’ll
enjoy beaches and piers and ice-cream stops in Colwyn Bay. Tarmac and
traffic-free. Refreshments in Colwyn Bay.
Three great places for cycling in Scotland
West Loch Lomond
Cycle along the
western shore of fabulous Loch Lomond in central Scotland. The 15-mile route is
from Balloch to Tarbet, or vice versa, with a train ride to return. The view of the mountain Ben Lomond across on the eastern
shore is stunning. Tarmac and mainly traffic-free. Refreshments at one of numerous
small villages on the banks of the loch.
Union Canal bike
Seven miles from
Linlithgow to Falkirk (return by train or bike) on a smooth, flat and
traffic-free route. You’ll cycle alongside the picturesque Union Canal
finishing at the popular tourist attraction of the Falkirk Wheel. Café at the
Katrine steamboat and cycle outing
love the adventure of catching the SS Sir Walter Scott steamboat from Trossachs
Pier, near Brig o’ Turk and Aberfoyle. Take your bike on the boat and then
disembark to cycle back along a 10-mile traffic-free tarmac road. The SS Sir Walter Scott is the only such
steamer boat providing regular passenger services in Scotland and has been
sailing Loch Katrine since 1900. The cycleway stays
close to the side of stunning Loch Katrine. Take a picnic and make a day of it.
The reward is at the end with refreshments at the Captain’s Rest café. To avoid
disappointment phone ahead for steamboat sailings on tel: 01877 376 316.
Tell us about
your favourite road cycling trips.