Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority launched a brand new touring route for cyclists as part of its celebrations for National Parks Week. Visit Wales Year of Adventure Ambassador – Maria Leijerstam, the first person to cycle to the South Pole, was among the first to try out part of the new route.
Maria was joined by a group of local cyclists excited about the new route which takes cyclists on a 56 mile (90km) ride across the park. Starting in Llandeilo in the west and ending at Abergavenny in the east, it takes in some of the most breath-taking scenery the park has to offer along the way.
Mark Davis, owner of a Glanpant Bach self-catering accommodation in Bwlch is a trained National Park Ambassador and acted as Guide for the group, Mark said:
“Cycling is getting more and more popular and Beacons have so much to offer – I really hope the route will attract more cyclists to the National Park, our business is particular interested in catering for cyclists and I would be happy to show them this new route while they are here.
Mel Doel Chairman of the National Park Authority said
“I cannot think of a better way to launch National Parks Week than by launching a new cycle route across the Park – Cycle Across the Beacons is a great companion to the walking route The Beacons Way – enthusiasts could walk one way and cycle back. The clean air and tranquil but diverse landscapes of the National Park offer so many opportunities to pursue healthy activities. ”
Born in Aberdare, Maria is the first person to cycle to the South Pole, a freezing 396mile journey from the Antarctic Coast. She also ran across the Sahara Desert and cycled across frozen Lake Baikal in Siberia. Maria is founder of the Burn Series events (www.burnseries.co.uk ) and Wales has been a training hub for her international expeditions. Although more used to the high adrenaline world of extreme sport Maria enjoyed her ride and commented
“The character of the Cycle Across the Beacons route changes all the time, the stretch from Sennybridge to Brecon was really unique –it was so quiet and peaceful it reminded me of my journey across New Zealand. I cannot think of a better way to see the Beacons than on two wheels.”
For families, the section running from Brecon to Abergavenny follows the beautiful Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal and is perfect for those cycling with children. For more experienced cyclists there is an alternative option to continue along the road. The route is designed to be accessible by rail at each end and is available to download online broken down into five easy to follow sections. Development of the route was part funded by Visit Wales. To download the map, visit www.breconbeacons.org/cycleacrossthebeacons