Contrary to popular belief, cycling in Wales isn’t all about mountain biking, and the capital city of Cardiff has just as much to offer as anywhere else.
Cardiff is a very flat and compact city and can easily be explored by bike, with the majority of attractions, shops, restaurants and hotels all within a few minutes of each other. You don’t even need to worry if you haven’t got your own bike, as hire is easily available through Pedal Power – all you need is a few free hours!
Thanks to the National Cycle Network, Cardiff has hundreds of miles of wonderful cycling routes (many of which are traffic-free) that connect with holiday areas, country parks and historic attractions, allowing you to combine your bike ride with a sight-seeing experience.
“I’ve worked in the centre of Cardiff for the last five years and part of the reason I took the job was because of the location. It’s 7km from my door to work, and I can cycle on trails all the way. I watch the kingfishers and herons along the riverside, acknowledge the dog walkers and runners, and in the summer enjoy the waft of barbecues in the park. Cycling helps me to prepare for work and switch off after work, changing the pace according to need, and the weather. The best thing about cycling in Cardiff is I beat the cars every time.”
Beverley’s favourite route:
> Castell Coch to Cardiff Bay on the Taff Trail – via national cycle route 8
“Start at the beautiful folly castle on the hill outside Cardiff and follow the Taff Trail along the river through the heart of Cardiff and out to Cardiff Bay. On the way you can stop to shop, visit Cardiff Castle, stop at several cafes and tea shops in the city centre parks, ride past the Principality Stadium and end up at the Bay. Here you’ll find pubs, restaurants and views out over the water. There is always something happening in the Bay and if you want a longer bike ride you can cycle right around the Bay itself before heading home. The route is flat and family friendly, unless you try to cycle back up to Castell Coch driveway – the best option here is to walk!”
Not only can you hire a bike from the fab folks at Pedal Power – the country’s largest accessible cycling charity – but you can also pop in to their cafe and enjoy a hot drink and some hearty, home-cooked food that supports the charity. We caught up with Kevin, Pedal Power’s Manager, to find out more.
Tell us a bit about Pedal Power…
Pedal Power focuses on enabling everyone to cycle, and we have a large fleet of bikes, from two-wheelers to trikes and side-by-sides. We provide assessments for people needing an accessible bike, offer lessons, confidence building, and a lot more. People can become members or just turn up and hire a bike from us seven days a week, 50 weeks a year.
Our café supports the charity in our core mission and offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere for people to come and enjoy a cuppa and cake before or after their ride. We pride ourselves on our homemade cakes, salad bar and fresh coffee. The café also has a room that can be hired, and fantastic views of Bute Park.
What else do you have going on?
Our cafe has a fantastic team of volunteers, including some with additional needs who work alongside paid staff. We’re also a venue for a number of events such as curry evenings, children’s parties, workshops, training days and meetings.
If we were planning a ride from Pedal Power cafe, where would you suggest that we go?
The Taff Trail can’t be beaten for off-road scenic cycling. You can get all the way to Brecon or to Cardiff bay for a coastal view of the city.
Signature dish: spicy bean soup.
Favourite cyclist: our members who constantly amaze us with their dedication to cycling.
Fun fact: we can get anyone cycling! The oldest cyclist we’ve had was 94 and the youngest was four weeks old on a bike with their mum.