I'm off to Huntington, Hereford this weekend (http://tinyurl.com/ynk9sm). Staying with friends and planning a hilly 100 miler. I understand that the Black Mountains are nearby, any good for cycling? Or does anyone know of any good cycling routes in the area?
I had a wonderful ride in Herefordshire/Wales last weekend, but I went from Abergavenny to Birmingham one way - around 120 miles - did it on a tourer over two days. Huntington is a great base. From there you could head up the wye valley and take in the gospel pass which is a great climb out of hay on wye, go up the usk valley to brecon, on to builth wells and then go east back to huntington. There are some lovely climbs throughout. Also there are bits and bobs of the lon las cymru between brecon and builth and so they're bike friendly. Best map to plan it is the OS 'Wales and West Midlands' tour map, unless you have GPS of course in which case you're laughing!
West from Kington towards Leominster etc is a lot flatter, so it's possible to do a ride around the Welsh Marches which are beautiful and not too demanding. You could do a triangular route taking in Ludlow and Hereford. There are plenty of lanes so it's safe and you clock up lots of miles. There aren't so many cafs though so take food.
Thanks Kirstie, I have a GPS and we must be able to get there and back on the bike, no use of the car at all. This is part of our Etape training so some good climbs would be a bonus, the more demanding the better as we're all mid to late 20's and in decent shape, it's just hard to find good hills when you live in London...
Well the gospel pass is a whopper, and really enjoyable. And the section between Builth and Kington is monstrous on the back lanes. The Marin rough ride (mtb race) goes through there, and it's a killer. You'll enjoy it.
I'd have said head over towards Hay on Wye if you want scenery, or (if you're not too bothered about busy ish roads), head down towards Abergavenny and go over one of the Welsh Valleys and back. If you're in Monmouth, do call in and I'll make you a cuppa!
Give the Ross cc at http://www.rossonwye.cyclists.co.uk/ a ping. What they do not know about the area is not worth knowing. But whatever do the Gospel pass.... Hay on Wye is bliss for good cafes too. The Black Mountains are impressive too. Or try the hills of the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley.
Whatever - be prepared to be impressed with the area. Stunning!
sssshhhh. We don't do stunning scenery, internationally known TV and film locations, award winning Ales, fantastic continental type climbs/decents, quiet lanes, ace pubs, best local music scene, home of mega famous rock and pop stars in this bit of Monmouthshire/Gloucestershire (The FoD is in England)/Powys/Blaenau Gwent/Torfaen and Herefordshire(England). No not us. Never.......
Wow! What a beautiful place, London seems so grimy and smelly after a weekend in the hills. Had a fantastic ride on Sat. We headed from Huntington to Hey on Wye then followed the river to Talgarth, Llangorse, Crickhowell and up over Gospel Pass straight into some serious wind! I was on a compact 50/34 with a 23 on the back and coming up the last 1/2 mile of the summit was struggling to even make headway - never worked so hard on a bike in my life! Great views for the top though. The descent was fun but spoiled by the headwind that kept us to a max of 40mph and it was very hairy at times with gusts threatening to yank us off the road. I'd love to try that descent with no wind as you'd absloutely fly down. Anyway according to the Garmin we climbed over 6000 feet over 65 miles so very pleased all in all. Hit 35 on the flat at one stage with the wind blowing directly onto our backs, made the tough climb even more satisfying.
Here's a pic of us at the top, me on the right:
Had a lovely pint of St Davids Ale that evening as well.