Best Cycling Routes in North Wales to Celebrate National Bike Week

Forget ‘life in the fast lane’ as the world returns to normal: life on two wheels is the way forward! Join us as we gear up for National Bike Week alongside a wonderful discount location provider, The Bike Hub Rhyl…

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Show of hands: how many of us at some point during lockdown revisited a new fitness hobby, or tried something completely new and rejuvenating? Well, according to a study compiled by GlobalData, a whopping 1.3 million Brits purchased a bike over the course of 2020’s pandemic – that’s almost 5% of all UK consumers opting for the two-wheeled life.

Sofie Willmott, lead analyst at GlobalData, said that this boom was due to the fact that over half of the working population in early June were doing so from home. This meant that travel costs and commute fares were slashed, and many discovered the freedom of cycling in a time when gyms were closed and government local travel restrictions imposed.

What does this mean for local businesses?

This year, it’s one of Lyons Holiday Parks’ many missions to support local. Not only to keep the region’s tourism sector afloat but to ensure our valued owners and holiday guests have plenty to look forward to on their travels. In light of this recent surge in cycling, we teamed up with the Rhyl-based independent traders, The Bike Hub, – meaning there’s a little incentive for you to get out and explore the beautiful region of North Wales from behind the handlebars.

Rob, who works at the social enterprise hub, said the boom in cycling sales has been incredible for them over the past 12 months. He said: “It’s been extremely busy. We didn’t shut during the pandemic as we’re an essential retailer. Bike shops were allowed to stay open as they were classed as an emergency retailer – if people needed bikes fixing, we had to be open. During the whole pandemic we’ve been available – we’re open from 9am-5pm, 7 days a week.

“One of the busiest things last year was the tourism side of things. Last summer, we did four times more bike hire than usual! It shows how busy Rhyl can be in the summer. It’s already looking pretty chokka this summer as people cant go abroad and they’re looking for things to do. While lots of places were closed last year,  we remained open and we’ve been so busy.”

What’s the Bike Hub all about?

The Bike Hub is a Social Enterprise Retail business based in Rhyl’s Beautiful Foryd Harbour, Denbighshire, North Wales. The Bike Shop has an extensive workshop area that allows the team to provide a comprehensive maintenance service to customers – and also a valuable source of employment. They also offer bike hire throughout the summer, so now there’s no excuse not to explore the beautiful North Wales coastal cycle path. Owners, use your Discount Location Guides to get great offers year-round at this wonderful local business!

Rob said: “We’ve kept people mobile and that’s brilliant for us as a charity. When we’re busy, it’s good for the community as we are at the end of the day a social enterprise retail business. We support people with disabilities, and provide work opportunities and jobs for people in the area. We’re a not-for-profit organisation so the work we do benefits the community, and has done for over 30 years. We offer accessible cycling projects for those with disabilities as well as tourists, locals and anyone who loves to cycle.”

Will cycling stay popular in 2021?

Expert Sofie Wilmott said that despite the lockdown boost, bike retailers will still benefit from the uptake in cycling in the future as “current bike owners may choose to upgrade now they have reignited their interest in cycling.” She added that with almost 3/4 of homeworkers expecting to continue these working conditions post-crisis, changes in commuting habits and public transport will continue to appear.

Cycling could live on longer than a lockdown phase according to bike expert Rob. He said: “Cycling will definitely stay popular this year, most definitely. People are going to cycle more and carry on the popular pandemic activity. It was one of the few things people could do throughout the pandemic – as a form of exercise, and something to do in general! More and more people have got hooked.”

Why is North Wales popular among cyclists?

If it isn’t the region’s wide-open coastline, boasting miles upon miles of breathtaking flat terrain with the freshest air, then it’s the undulating hills and godlike mountains that attract thousands of cyclists each year. According to Denbighshire Council: “A short journey brings you our panoramic views across mountains, lakes, forests and valleys where you can cycle our challenging climbs, technical singletrack and swooping descents. Quite simply, this area is a world-class cycling & mountain biking destination, for all the family and for all grades of cyclist.”

Rob from The Bike Hub likened their enterprise to a North Wales tourism ambassador. They aim to encourage locals and tourists to make the most of the beautiful North Welsh coastline, utilising the Active Travel routes and cycle path.

Which route is best for me?

With 33 unique cycling routes in North Wales alone, there’s bound to be something for everyone. Try any of the six cycling routes in the region’s most popular area, The Clwydian Range, or the six equally famous routes in Hiraethog and Llyn Brenig. Next, try Llandegla Forest’s four picturesque routes, or any of the Dee Valley’s three cycle paths. There are also two popular routes on the Marsh Tracks and Coast, or there are seven other challenging treks further afield. 

Keen to find the perfect route for you? Visit Ride North Wales and use their route checker tool to discover the range of options available at your fingertips – or your pedals!

Top 10 cycling routes in North Wales this year

Stwlan dam – Stwlan Dam Climb in Ffestiniog Loop from Llanberis (SMR)

Easy to ride surfaces and well-paved roads but this 61-mile path is not for the fainthearted!

2. The Horseshoe Pass – Ponderosa Cafe Loop from Wrexham Central

Slightly shorter at 32.3 miles, this intermediate tour is well-paved in some spots but tricky in others.

3. Nant Peris – Llyn Cwellyn Loop from North Llanrwst

Another difficult 60+ miler but with rewarding views of Blaenau Ffestiniog’s mountain range

4. Menai Bridge viewpoint – Holyhead Road Bridge Loop from Bangor

A whopping 80 miles around the isle of Anglesey – tackle this if you dare, but remember to take the camera.

5. Climb out of Bethesda – Llyn Ogwen Loop from Llanfairpwll

With an elevation of over 3,000ft, this 47-mile route proves difficult but worth it.

6. Llyn Cwellyn – Loop from Tryfan Junction

This intermediate road ride is just over 35 miles and boasts picturesque views of Snowdonia and Llanberis.

7. Cleopatra’s Bistro – Queens Park Suspension Bridge Loop from Cefn-y-Bedd

Good fitness is required for this 41.5-mile ride, but you’ll get to see an unseen side of Wales from the bridge!

8. Marine lake Rhyl – Kinmel Bay Harbour Loop from Llandudno

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Take in the stunning North Welsh coast with this 33-mile route close to Lyons Robin Hood. 

9. Conway bridge – Conwy Loop from Colwyn Bay

Perhaps the easiest of the lot, this 24-mile ride should only take around two hours.

10. The Chester Greenway – Dee banks Loop from Hawarden

Easy road ride. Great for any fitness level. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

 

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