Welsh Cycling: So Close Yet So Far

If you haven’t yet seen my page entitled ‘The Manifesto‘, I encourage you to check it out now.

I talk about how in rural places like Wales, it the case that there will be a big flat highway running through the low ground, while the cycle route runs up hill and down dale. Rather back to front considering which has more power.

But I see it that way because bikes really are under used as a solution to carbon (and all the other dodgy gasses) emissions, traffic congestion, dependence on oil and other matters.

Yesterday my family and I went cycling on route 5 of the national cycle trail towards Llandudno instead of towards Bangor, and I couldn’t believe my eyes.

The cycleway, modelled by mum!

The cycleway, modelled by mum!

After racing down the promenade of Penmaenmawr, we entered what is in every sense a road for cycles. It had dividing lines, good width, new surface, but most of all, it was flat and ran in parallel with the A55 highway. Since this road is one of the most useful things that ever happened to North Wales, I hope that describes just how beneficial this is. A direct flat route that ran between Penmaenmawr and Conwy. That leg of your journey can be done quickly and comfortably.

People can commute very effectively using bikes over some distance (I’d say 15 miles or more) if the conditions are right. Contrast this with the route in the other direction, which climbs up into the hills for a long stretch, and is quite challenging when you’re also up against the prevailing headwinds. It removes the opportunity for cycling from the common man.

A fantastic upgrade to our cycle routes would be to snap up just a little more land on one side of the A55 expressway and continue this cycle road right the way to Bangor. And of course, follow the same train of thought into other cities. Market that properly and next thing you know, there might be traffic queuing on the cycle way.

Have a look at the route for yourself, see what you think. Google route 5 on the National Cycle Trail.

Are you a cyclist in North Wales? Do you think I’m barking mad or might I actually have a point? Discussion and comments are welcome below, or tweet @chrisjbarker89.

See also:
Riding Route 66, the British Way!

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