North Wales Cycle Routes – guidance for trikes, recumbents, tandems, and adapted cycles.

The following is a general guide to the suitability of popular North Wales cycle routes for tricycles, recumbents, tandems,and adapted cycles of various designs, with or without trailers  trailers.

Problems arise where infrastructure does not make allowance for non-standard cycle designs. As machines come in a range of shapes and sizes  and riders vary widely in their abilities and expectations, it is recommended that users supplement the following information with inquiries of their own.

1. Coast Cycle route from Conwy Quay to Bangor – generally good. Narrow section along quiet Penmaenbach Headland is just passable when meeting an oncoming bicycle. Short Steep hill at Pendalar Llanfairfechan.  Also beware the  badly configured entrance to the ramps leading to the off-road Pen y Clip highway built by Thomas Telford.

Llanfairfechan. Raised and transit kerbing directly in line with left side of the bollard.

Care needed on the narrow lane between Abergwyngregyn and Tal Y Bont, few passing places for a wide trike and a very occasional oncoming car. Ignore cycle route signage between Tan Y Lon and entrance to Penryn Castle and stay on quiet main road. Thereafter cycle route excellent to Porth Penryn (dismount at one wide gate). Route around headland past Bangor Pier OK. Only busy road options thereafter.

2. Cycle route between Porth Penryn and Tregarth – Excellent – highly recommended. Dismount needed for a couple of wide gates

3. Cycle route from above Tregarth to Idwal Cottage around side of Quarry Tips –  Gates a pest at lower level and problematic surface around the tips – otherwise good road surface to Llyn Ogwen.  A5 an alternative but heavily trafficked.

4. Lon Las, Y Felinheli to Caernarfon – Excellent – highly recommended – The first exit when entering Caernarfon is blocked by a difficult barrier into a carpark. Continue along the Victoria Quayside to connect to the carriageway at the Doc Fictoria cul-de-sac mid-way along Balaclava Road. Use the same route in the opposite direction to avoid a narrow footbridge impassable to wide trikes. The ‘official’ NCR8 follows the roadway.

5. Lon Eifion from Caernarfon Generally excellent – highly recommended. However, there are centrally located bollards capable of causing serious injury if riders’ attention is deflected, even momentarily. There are also several wide gates to be negotiated.

6. Dolgellau to Barmouth Mawddach Trail – Excellent – highly recommended. Narrow footbridge over Afon Wnion soon after leaving Dolgellau. If necessary, bypass on road and join route further along. Gravel surface, some potholes. Can be muddy in places. A few wide gates, narrow gap in front of toll booth on bridge. Bridge currently threatened with closure.

7. Conwy Quay to Deganwy – Impassable on Conwy Bridge unless rider ignores “advisory” cycle prohibition signs and pedals with care. A recumbent trike cannot be pushed and can only be dragged backwards a short distance. With mutual understanding space can be negotiated with sympathetic pedestrians. There is no access to the cycle path on the Llandudno Junction end of the cob carriageway. This is a matter of contention between CyclingUK and Conwy CBC.

8. Deganwy to Llandudno West Shore Cycle Route – Often impossible to cycle at the West Shore end due to long sections of deep sand drifting after storms. Deganwy promenade wrecked in a storm but now restored.  Route usually accessible from Deganwy as far as the ‘fish groyne’. Path is periodically cleared of sand from fish groyne to Llandudno west shore, but you need to check. There is no easy alternative exit beyond Deganwy. If through access required to Llandudno, leave the cycle route at the Deganwy level crossing and follow the A546.  But even if the path is blocked, do ride along as far as you are able.  This is surely one the most stunning coastal views in the UK.

9. Rhos-on-Sea to derelict Colwyn Bay Pier – Poor – difficult access/exit and obstructed by “cycle dismount signs”, if sufficiently confident in traffic, exercise right to use the public highway.

10. Derelict Colwyn Bay Pier – Abergele Pensarn – Generally Good. Dangerously narrow section of pavement and high curb opposite the new Porth Eirias Restaurant and Water Sports area. Short but straightforward climb and decent where route goes over the Quarry Jetty conveyor. Short but very steep climb and descent opposite LLandulas. Warning – the ascent at this location coming from the Pensarn direction is particularly steep. There is a tendency for wheel spin and difficult progress when pedaling up in the lowest gear available!

11. Abergele Pensarn – Prestatyn – Generally Very Good. Beware centrally located bollards – Inattention whilst admiring sea views can cause serious injury. A matter of contention between Cyclinguk and the local authority. Care needs to be taken in the presence of numerous pedestrians – and sometimes their four legged companions.

12. Prestatyn – Telacre Very Good across the golf course.  but can be impassable to wide tricycles. Two metal crush barriers, one at the boundary of the caravan site (nearest Telacre) the other where the route joins the road in Telacre make an otherwise excellent route almost impassable. Tip – if your trike has two front steering wheels, dismount and with the wheels on full-lock push trike diagonally through barrier. If all else fails (with help) drag trike through on its side!

13. Connah’s Quay – river crossing to Hawarden Bridge Railway Station. Use of ‘A’ frames prevents access to other than standard cycles. Depending on the width of your cycle it may be possible to negotiate these barriers by dismounting and maneuvering through, particularly if you have help.  The problem of high tide flooding and storm damage has been alleviated with a new path on high banking thanks to Flintshire CC..

14. Queensferry – Chester (Dee riverside route) Excellent all the way into the center of Chester but obstructed by metal crush barriers near the Dee Crossing. See 12 & 13 above.

15. Hawarden Bridge Railway Station – Chester via Blacon. Excellent apart from steep cobbled path adjacent to the canal locks at Chester.

16. Prestatyn – Dyserth – Excellent but one very difficult barrier at Dyserth end. Rider must dismount and drag/maneuver pedal cycle by hand. May be impassable to a long wide hand trike.

17. Afon Clwyd Cycleway – Rhyl – Rhuddlan – Excellent Riverside Path. Dismount for several wide gates. A difficult barrier at Ruddlan end needs care due to unprotected steep drop. Rider may need to dismount and drag/maneuver pedal cycle by hand through gap.  Also there are the occasions when cattle are grazing on the path. Recumbent riders do need to be careful with their timing – otherwise no reports of problems.  The west bank needs to be upgraded for cycle use.