Riding up Cwm Teigl from Llan Ffestiniog on Cycling UK’s Traws Eryri route. As befits a landscape that has been regularly repurposed and reimagined over millennia of dynamic human use and interaction, Eryri (or Snowdonia) is woven like a Welsh blanket with a multitude of tracks and paths. There are Neolithic ways leading to burial mounds, Roman roads past stone forts, snaking trails through coppiced woodland to abandoned mineral workings, drovers’ roads over bleak moorland, old narrow-gauge railway tracks and slate paths haunted by the ghosts of miners walking home from slate quarry to slate cottage. Somehow, Traws Eryri (Trans Snowdonia), a new 140-mile (225km), mainly off-road bikepacking route from Machynlleth to Conwy across the great mountain fastness of north-east Wales, manages to follow them all.
The route, which launches on 23 August, was developed by Cycling UK, which is making a habit of creating excellent long-distance, multi-day cycling adventures. Traws Eryri follows King Alfred’s Way , West Kernow Way and the Great North Trail, among others, and will be on the hot list of “must do” British exploits for two-wheeled explorers. It is distinct, though, and more of an adventure than its predecessors. One moment you are easing along an old railway line; the next, you are gripping your handlebars, skidding down rock slabs The most recent reimagining of this mountainous landscape, 30 or so years ago, saw the introduction of singletrack trails for mountain bikers through cathedral forests of Douglas fir, western red cedar and Sitka spruce. These […]