Two things, canal tow paths, and carrying a bike on public transport.

ericmark

Well-Known Member
I am not into hills, so ideal cycling for me is old railway lines and canal tow paths, the old railway lines tend to be good maintained routes, just done the Dolgellau to Barmouth route, great day out, also done Shotton to Chester a few times, but the canal tow paths some are like roads, and others are in poor repair, and also some have bridges or tunnels which mean very close to water on slippery cobbles or no route through.

The other problem is recovery, if some thing goes wrong, how to get back, I can easy cycle 20 miles return on my bike, walking that would be some thing else, in the past I was able to drive, so returning for car was easy enough, although some routes were not accessible by car, so still needed to get bike to access point, but wife no longer drives, so can't ring her, so if some thing goes wrong, looking at public transport.

I remember the route Mold to Ruthin the buses had cycle racks, but seemed never used, so as buses were renewed the cycle racks went, and I remember travelling from Dolgellau to Wrexham by bus and some one trying to bring a bike on the bus, in the end the driver did allow him, but it seems not so easy to travel with a bike by bus.

The train worked well Shotton to Wrexham never stopped taking my bike, but Llanfair to Welshpool there is a small charge £3:50 but the getting of the bike on/off train not so easy, and Welshpool station closed due to Colvid19 so can't use train any more.

So is there some sort of map showing both flatish routes and ways to return if one has a problem? I have a folding electric which I suppose I could stick in a bag as luggage but bit on heavy side, non of our other bikes fold, really no need for electric on flat routes, except can't get wife to ride non electric now, at least hers is a little lighter at only 22 kg, think mine around 25 kg.

So live in Llanfair Caereinion mid Wales, looking for routes where it is flat, and if possible a way to get bike back to base if it goes wrong.
 

GuyBoden

Veteran
Location
Warrington
You've probably been there many times, the Elan Valley Reservoirs and dams are superb. There are some fairly flat paths around the dams, the roads around the dams are not busy too. I went a few weeks ago.

https://www.elanvalley.org.uk/discover/reservoirs-dams
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Recovery: consider taxi firms that use minibuses or wheelchair-accessible vans. Some market themselves as accepting bikes.

Or worst case, lock it up or stow it in a kind cafe or pub barn if there is one, travel back yourself by bus, then return with car to recover it.
 
So is there some sort of map showing both flatish routes and ways to return if one has a problem?
With the aid of online OS maps and contour lines, the cycle.travel map and its elevation profiles - and the wonderful service at traveline.info for bus routes - making up a suitable route when you have a folding bike that you can hoik onto a bus should be little problem. At least I'm not finding it so. I will be getting the bus to the coast next week and cycling along the flat path which runs along the edge of an estuary and along the coastline. Then I'll get the bus back home from a point further along the coast. It might be 10 miles further along the coast, it might be more or it might be less, but I have several possible 'drop-out points' along the route.

I also live near a canal which winds and winds its way along the contours, but I've mapped the bus routes in the area and marked where they run near to the canal - so I can either bike out and get the bus home, or get the bus out and bike home.
The canalandrivertrust.org.uk has quite a bit of information about towpath cycling and you can often check on the visible appearance, width etc of the towpath surface through Geograph - which can also be accessed through the cycle.travel map and which shows many of the thousands of km of non-motorised highways, both public and permissive, which aren't viewable via google street view.

ETA I appreciate that in rural areas there might only be one bus every three hours, or even only on Tuesdays - so if those are the buses you must rely on, then better and more detailed advance planning will be required.
 
Last edited:

cougie uk

Über Member
I am not into hills, so ideal cycling for me is old railway lines and canal tow paths, the old railway lines tend to be good maintained routes, just done the Dolgellau to Barmouth route, great day out, also done Shotton to Chester a few times, but the canal tow paths some are like roads, and others are in poor repair, and also some have bridges or tunnels which mean very close to water on slippery cobbles or no route through.

The other problem is recovery, if some thing goes wrong, how to get back, I can easy cycle 20 miles return on my bike, walking that would be some thing else, in the past I was able to drive, so returning for car was easy enough, although some routes were not accessible by car, so still needed to get bike to access point, but wife no longer drives, so can't ring her, so if some thing goes wrong, looking at public transport.

I remember the route Mold to Ruthin the buses had cycle racks, but seemed never used, so as buses were renewed the cycle racks went, and I remember travelling from Dolgellau to Wrexham by bus and some one trying to bring a bike on the bus, in the end the driver did allow him, but it seems not so easy to travel with a bike by bus.

The train worked well Shotton to Wrexham never stopped taking my bike, but Llanfair to Welshpool there is a small charge £3:50 but the getting of the bike on/off train not so easy, and Welshpool station closed due to Colvid19 so can't use train any more.

So is there some sort of map showing both flatish routes and ways to return if one has a problem? I have a folding electric which I suppose I could stick in a bag as luggage but bit on heavy side, non of our other bikes fold, really no need for electric on flat routes, except can't get wife to ride non electric now, at least hers is a little lighter at only 22 kg, think mine around 25 kg.

So live in Llanfair Caereinion mid Wales, looking for routes where it is flat, and if possible a way to get bike back to base if it goes wrong.
You can also ride the Wirral way from hooton to west Kirby. You can extend that round to Birkenhead if you use a road or two.
 
Are you hoping to get to the beginning of your chosen bike route by public transport, or are you able to drive to your start point? If so, what would you consider an acceptable distance to drive for a good route?
 
OP
ericmark

ericmark

Well-Known Member
Once either I get a licence back, or the station at Welshpool reopens I will not have a problem. I tried the route to Welshpool, and although some steep bits, the electric assistance means I can get up them. Did a test while daughter was over, and used about 3/4 of the battery, but the A458 is rather busy, the Golfa bank surprisingly out of Welshpool was not too bad, but bus arrive Welshpool 11:22 leave 14:10 there is only the one bus. The bus route is steep
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so it seems I will just have to wait until either the Welshpool station opens, or the DVLA get their act into gear and renew my licence.
 

Oldhippy

Veteran
Don't over think the things going wrong scenario. Take a spare tube and tools to fix that's it. Providing a bike is in good nick very little goes wrong. I don't remember when I last washed mine let alone fixed it. I keep chain oiled and clean that's it it is my only transport and until recently was doing sixty miles a week in commute with pleasure and shopping etc. Relax and enjoy.
 

Oldhippy

Veteran
Get rid of aerosol you just need a spare tube and at least learn how the wheels go on and off. That's my two pence worth. Can't be doing with all this modern frippery a tube is plenty. 😁
 
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