Grade 4 Pontardawe figure 8 Nov 24 2021
Grant Duncan 07971 620999
Set off 10:00am 24 Nov 2022
Bring a Picnic for lunch:
Car Park is on right side of A4067 when travelling north from Pontardawe towards Ystalyfera, opposite Swansea Valley Exhaust & Tyre Centre. (Approx 2 miles N of Pontardawe and 2 miles S of Ystalyfera).
National Grid Reference: SN753065
Google Maps Click for map
Route 42miles, 4428ft
Hilly. Grippy. Rolling ups and downs first third, a good climb up second third, downhill last third (with an option to finish on a good climb!
You can look at the route there and download the gpx file (or fit ): The big orange button on the left marked “export” is the one.
To Brynaman then via the [steeply] rolling old Llandeilo Road through Trapp to Ffairfach. Then up the old road to Gwynfe and join the Black Mountain Road below the Viewpoint. Sweeping descent to Brynaman, to Pontardawe then the old road (there’s a theme here) through Cilmaengwn to the start.
We’ll stop for a picnic break about halfway – you’ll need to bring it! No other planned stops apart from ‘breathers’
Working lights are a good idea – it’s getting darker earlier now. Road surfaces – vary from smooth tarmac to narrow and muddy country lanes.
I’d avoid skinny or smooth tyres.
Discussion on route options
There’s an ‘escape point’ if anyone wants it at Ffairfach to return on main road via Ammanford. Still a nice route, road is generally OK. Near the end, if there’s energy in the tank and the weather good, we have option of turning left at the Traveller’s Pub and going up the hill on the Gwrhyd Road. Option to be agreed on day.
You must review weather conditions yourself and decide if it is safe to travel to the start & to ride.
Autumnal cycling on the Brecons should be fun provided you are prepared for the terrain and take sensible precautions eg:
- Hills often steep, narrow and slippery, ride within your ability, make allowance for others & for reduced braking in wet
- potholes – not too many but be alert of likely rough surfaces & potholes
- bends – we have plenty of them on this route, and some are sharper than they look: if you can’t see around it, neither can the approaching car / tractor
- cattle grids – various types and qualities to be crossed, can be slippery & uneven and/or have gaps at the centre of the road. One is on a steep hill after 10miles – best to dismount unless the first person has opened the gate..
- animals – may be on the road, they can be unpredictable, especially in the presence of cyclists
- horses – make sure horses know you are coming to avoid startling them (as this can be scary for horse, rider & cyclist)
- cold – the moor is exposed and is usually noticeably colder and windier than the start – carry suitable clothing
- Autumn – leaves, hedge cuttings and debris should be expected, resulting in both slippery conditions and creating a greater likelihood of punctures.
- NB: Weather conditions can change rapidly on the moor
- mist & fog – beware of animals that will be barely visible on the road, and use your lights
Weather (as of 20 November 2021) (caveat emptor – just a guide!!)