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PEDAL Issue 2 March 2011







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7-25 March 2011

Register now: (deadline 4 March)

Are you ready to race? The Big Pedal is your chance to race against thousands of pupils at hundreds of schools in efforts to be crowned the UK’s fastest cycling school.


An unforgettable day with ‘Team M.A.D’ (Europe’s best-known mountain bike team), including incredible displays and hands on skills workshops. PLUS two brand new Land Rover bikes for your school!


Have you got what it takes? With each day its very own Tour de France-styled ‘stage’, just get as many friends and classes as you possibly can to take part and one of these awesome prizes could be yours. See for full race details.

One colourful Minipod to hold eight cycles and eight scooters or three Streetpods that hold six cycles. Delivered and installed and valued at £1,000+!

To take part in th Pedal reg e Big ister you r sc www.the hool at bigpedal. Entry is F REE. Cho o s e to take part in the wh or a single ole race stage. Th e Big Ped al is open to p and seco ndary scho rimary ols. Deadline for entries: 4 March (full race) 16 March (daily st

Regional and daily stage prizes There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs for those schools taking part in the daily stages and for the best schools in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English regions. The Big Pedal is funded by the British cycle industry under the Bike Hub levy scheme. Bike Hub is an industry-wide initiative developed by The Bicycle Association of Great Britain and the Association of Cycle Traders. The objective of Bike Hub is to generate funds through voluntary contributions from within the cycle industry to invest in projects in order to safeguard the future of cycling.

Bikeability is the national cycle training scheme, based on the National Standard for Cycle Training, which is shared by all UK governments. More than 300,000 children learn to cycle the Bikeability way each year, and this number is still increasing as it spreads to all parts of the United Kingdom.


In Scotland the Big Pedal is also supported by:

The Big Pedal is powered by Sustrans. Sustrans is the charity that’s enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of the journeys we make every day. Our work makes it possible for people to choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys, with better places and spaces to move through and live in. It’s time we all began making smarter travel choices. Make your move and support Sustrans today. Sustrans is a registered charity in the UK No. 326550 (England and Wales) SCO39263 (Scotland)

h t n o m This News 4 Debate: Cycle Helmet? 6 We Try: Oy Bikes 8 Rules of the Road 9 Interview: Geraint Thomas 10 Paths to Pedal 12 Events 13 10 Minutes with... 14

lso AGeraint’s Diary 6

Cycle Fit


Contributors/Thanks Gayle Howells Seren PR, UK Cycle Rules Leigh Marshall, Sustrans Cymru, Geraint Thomas, Richard Seymour and SW Police


r’s L etter

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It’s fun to ride at the YMCA with the Cardiff Bike Club C

ardiff YMCA launched their Bike Club at The Walk in Roath. The club, YBike, will give young people aged between 10 and 20 the chance to have fun whilst learning new cycling skills and get young people cycling around Cardiff. The launch event took place during the February half term and was attended by young people from Cardiff who had the opportunity to design their own t-shirts and take part in quizzes and competitions whilst observing the advantages of cycling. Magnus Backstedt, professional competitive cyclist also visited the launch with other members of the UK youth cycling team to show his support for the initative. YMCA’s Youh Worker, Caroline Ryan said of the club. “YBike will support more young people to take up cycling as a way of keeping fit, as a means of ‘free’ sustainable transport and for a social activity, helping them gain independence.” Cardiff YMCA held an official launch, but the club has been operating for the past nine months club thanks to a grant from national development organization Bike Club, which is a consortium of charities including the UK’s national cycling organization CTC, youth work charity

Ryan Lewis (left) with the YBike team at Cardiff YMCA

Youth Cymru and education advocates ContinYou. Funding from the Asda ‘Pedal Power’ project has also enabled the club to come to Cardiff. Ryan Lewis, part of the youth team at Bike Club described the club, “Some people can’t ride a bike, so we come up with ideas to help people ride their bikes. We do it to get fit and our aim is to go on a big trek, maybe go up the Taff Trail.” All young people who join the YBike will get the opportunity to get qualifications in cycling and be able to lead Bikeability

rides in Cardiff. For more information on YBike call in to the Cardiff YMCA in The Walk, Roath.

Designing t-shirts at the launch

Tremorfa cyclists have a brighter future T

remorfa neighbourhood police officers have tackled local cycling problems by holding a community bike safety event in Splott Play Centre. 63 sets of bike lights were issued and 40 bikes were safety checked and repaired by Mr Fix It from Cycle Training Wales. The issues were brought up in the local PACT meeting and officers are beginning to help residents tackle the problems. Cycling on pavements and without lights were problems that residents wanted solved. Shaun Kerwell, 10, took part in the session along with his brothers, “We had a lot of fun, and the lights will help keep us safe when cycling. The police were friendly and I think it’s a good idea that I can get my bike checked.” The family event also included a BMX display and training session with refreshments available and music. 4


PCSO Louise Blackwell collected information about the bikes to be stored on a bike database and ensured all bikes were security marked with ID tags donated by Bike Revolution. “It was a bike extravaganza. We wanted to address community concerns and at the same time engage local youngsters in an exciting way. It was a good example of what can be done by working together to make the local community safer. I don’t think the BMX track has ever been so packed!” PC Claire Saltmarsh said, “We will continue to work in partnership to solve the issues that our community tell us they want addressed. We are always looking

Shaun gives the thumbs up with PC Steve Davies

for new ways to get the community involved and ensure they have a say on what matters most to them.” Communities First, Cardiff Council Road Safety and Cycle Training Wales all supported the event. The next Tremorfa PACT meeting will be held on Wednesday 9th March at Tremorfa Community Hall. Follow @swpolice on Twitter for upcoming events.

Blue Bike helps Cardiff businesses to reduce their carbon footprint

Alastair Baglee and BenAllen with the unusual Big Blue Bike


ig Blue Bike, the Cardiff based cycle courier operation, has launched a new initiative which tracks the carbon emission savings made by companies using their services. The scheme, the first of its kind in Cardiff, calculates the monthly saving of CO2 a

company makes by switching motorised deliveries in the city to Big Blue Bike’s cargo bicycles. The calculation, made by climate change consultants Acclimatise, using Government official figures, has allowed Big Blue Bike to estimate that its clients could save, on average, 70kg of

CO2 emissions per year. Ben Allen, Director of Big Blue Bike, said “It is important for businesses to track the carbon savings made by using our service, not only because it helps them reduce their carbon footprint, but it also helps them stand out in the marketplace as supporters of low carbon initiatives.” Alastair Baglee, Technical Director of Acclimatise said of the scheme, ”We are very glad to support Big Blue Bike in Cardiff. It is great to see Ben’s company lead the way in highlighting this very important issue. Acclimatise understands the risks that unchecked climate change may represent for business and society, and schemes like this should be applauded for helping to reduce the potential effects of a changing climate. I hope that many businesses in Cardiff switch to Big Blue Bike’s excellent, low carbon, service”. Acclimatise operate from America with three offices in the UK, one in Cardiff Bay. Ben hopes that this scheme can assist in Cardiff Council’s commitment to a 26% reduction in the city’s carbon emissions from business by 2020.

Lessons in BMX over the school holidays School pupils in Cardiff were still taking lessons over the half term, but in something that’s more fun than maths and science. Welsh Cycling hosted a Track Attack week at Maindy Leisure Centre where under 16s were able to learn about the different disciplines of cycling by trying them out themselves. Ben Simmons, Go Ride coach and professional cyclist, hosted the sessions in Mountain Biking, Fixed Wheel, Free Wheel and BMX giving tips and advice to young cyclists on how to perform best. At the BMX track, the boys were shown how to ride the track, where to pedal fast and when to take it easy. Bikes and helmets were supplied at each session, so there was no excuse not to take part.

Getting around the BMX pump track in Maindy

The boys started by controlling the bikes down the start hill and getting around the first burm. As they built up confidence, they picked up speed and by the end of the session were racing each other around the BMX pump track. Ben (pictured right) enthused about the session, “It’s great to see the boys engaging in cycling and learning new skills on the bike. We will be bringing it back to Maindy in the Easter half term, where more people will be able to come and take part.” Visit the Welsh Cycling website for the latest on the Track Attack sessions. PEDAL CARDIFF


Geraint’s Diary Geraint Thomas fills us in on events at the Track World Cup in Manchester where he managed a few podium finishes alongside his Team GB team mates.

Cycle helme


ell that was a pretty successful weekend! I was a bit gutted after the individual pursuit, mainly because of the way I rode it; smash it and die! But it was a good ‘hit out’ for the team pursuit today. We were really happy to ride a 57 in qualification and a 55 in the final especially after the limited amount of time we had together on the track. I must say though the crowd was mega. I don’t usually hear much when I’m racing but the crowd this weekend was deafening. As I write this, we are on the way down to Heathrow. Not quite the


ss ld succe after Go rs e d ri it Pursu

Team Sky bus, it’s GB’s van, but the banter is good! We have a 7am flight tomorrow to Sardinia, where we will be racing a 5 day stage race. I’m not too sure how it will go… We haven’t exactly done many miles the last couple of weeks but it will definitely bring some road form back. I’ll be racing for Team GB so I will be alongside Ed Clancy, Steve Burke, Andy Tennant, Luke Rowe and Sam Harrison, as well as my Sky teammates Ben Swift and Peter Kennaugh. It’s not often we get to race in the same race on the road let alone the same team so we should have a good laugh if nothing else! My welshcakes that ‘Fabulous Welshcakes’ kindly sent me are going down well anyway, so I’d better stop writing and get one before they are all gone! Geriant w with ie v r e t r in Read ou 9! e g a p on 6



t has been a long standing debate in the cycling community and now it has reached the Assembly in Northern Ireland, but will it be a topic for discussion at the Senedd? The compulsory helmet law is being proposed in Northern Ireland by Assembly Member Pat Ramsey, who has seen the second reading of his private member’s bill passed by just two votes and is awaiting progression through the next stages before it can be made into legislation. Mr Ramsey encourages a three-year probationary period to see the effects on cycling numbers. Riders would be fined £50 for not wearing a helmet, but first offenders would have their fines waived if they produced a helmet within a set timescale. However, there has been mixed views on making the wearing of cycle helmets compulsory for all cyclists. In Northern Ireland, CTC and Sustrans have joined forces to oppose the bill, they say the number of cyclists will decline as a result of making helmets compulsory. However, politician Pat Ramsey claims to have the support of the medical profession. Dr Paul Darragh, Chairman of

the British Medical Association is quoted on the 4NI website, “As part of a range of measures to improve cycling safety, BMA has advocated that cycle helmet wearing should be made compulsory.” But would such legislation be welcomed here in Cardiff? CTC Cymru share the views of their counterparts in Northern Ireland. They claim there is international evidence that making cyclists wear helmets leads to reduced cycle use, particularly among teenagers. On the CTC website, there are strong arguments to enforce that wearing a helmet shouldn’t be made compulsory; you are more likely to be killed walking a mile than cycling a mile and pedestrians and car occupants suffer far more injuries which may have been preventable through helmet wearing than cyclists do. They also suggest that compulsory helmet wearing laws in Australia and New Zealand have not led to detectable safety gains for cyclists. When we asked our Pedal Cardiff Twitter follows their opinion on cycle helmets, we had a great response. @beicio, Gwenda Owen, suggesting that compulsion is not the way forward, signposting the CTC

et, yes or no?

TWITTER TALK The latest tweets from the wheels of Wales

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argument, with @IHphoto, Ian Homer, agreeing as he feels it is wrong to force people and it shifts the focus away from the root causes of fatalities, principally poor driving. He also suggests that similar laws in the US and Australia have reduced cycle miles; reduced health gains and fewer cyclists means a worse attitude. However, James Reichelt is all for it, as he believes a cycling helmet saved his dad’s life after an accident on icy roads led to him being airlifted to hospital. “His helmet was wrecked, which would have been his head. It’s enough to keep the plastic on my head anyway.” Policing this law would add another task onto police forces across Wales, Student Liaison Officer PC Tim Davies expressed his views on the helmet law potentially coming to Wales. “Helmets obviously could save your life. If they were introduced as being compulsory then the police would enforce any law made by Parliament. Police cyclists have to go on training courses and have to wear a cycle helmet to be able to use the cycles. The only issue that may arise is when dealing with children.” The main governing body for competitive

cycling racing, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has made helmets compulsory at all events and many cycling facilities across Wales encourage its’ users to wear helmets when on the track. Ashley Ransom, a competitive BMX cyclist from South Wales, thinks it is important to wear a helmet when travelling at speed, such as racing on the track and when competing in cycle sports as it offers extra protection. “I’ve seen many crashes on the BMX track, many where wearing a full face helmet may have saved someone’s life. My local track makes it compulsory to wear a helmet when you’re riding it. I also wear all over body protection in races because when you hit the deck, it hurts!” Non-cyclists also have strong opinions on the matter. Michael Morgan, a music coach and motorist in Cardiff, feels that cyclists should wear helmets, “Some motorists are not as patient as others, and cyclists should wear helmets for their own safety as it can be dangerous riding in any city.” As Cardiff is making significant plans and developing strategies to improve cycling in the city as the number of cyclist’s increases, we will have to wait and see if the issues of compulsory helmet wearing are discussed in the Senedd.

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Pedal Cardiff tries... s e k i B Y O Hiring


his month, Pedal Cardiff wanted to get out and about in Cardiff and what better way to get around the city on an OY Bike, the bike hire scheme endorsed by Cardiff Council across the Welsh capital.

Clare Williams, a student at the University of Glamorgan, donned her daffodil hat in support of St David’s Day and took the bike on a test ride from Cardiff Central train station to City Hall, passing some famous landmarks on the way. Clare reports on her experience with the OY Bike, as a student who wants to cycle more. “Before I could rent one of the OY Bikes, I had to sign up on their website for the scheme, which involved paying a subscription for one day, one week or one year. As I was only going to try it out for the day, I pegged for the one-day option which cost £5. This allowed me to use the bike for the whole day without



any additional hire and the bell on the bike was handy to let charges, which seemed walkers know a bike was coming through. quite reasonable. You I passed Cardiff Castle and rode around have to supply your Coopers Field. It was a great traffic free name, e-mail address route to take to City Hall. Coming out of and mobile number the park, just opposite City Hall, there is for the hire process to a busy multi lane road, with some fast work. The website also moving traffic. Thankfully, the subway has a map with all the enabled me to cross the road safely, even different rental stands if I did push the bike, as it seemed a on it so I could plan bit steep to ride down, and back up the my route in advanced. other side! I picked up my bike Returning the bike to the stand was at Cardiff Central also quite easy. I simply plugged the station, where there lock in and my rental was registered. I were lots of bikes clocked up 59 minutes, but that included on the stand, all a few stops to admire the scenery and in working order, a more leisurely ride than the average even if they were a cyclist. I would definitely use the OY Bike bit weathered. I had to switch the point again, it’s a much cheaper alternative to on and then choose if I was hiring or ride in the city without purchasing your returning a bike. You can then choose own bike.” which bike you want and the stand releases it from the secure bike tions Subscrip al hire fees) e k I B lock. It was an easy process, I OY dition 5 (no ad could see myself using this more 1 Day £ £5 often. 1 Week 18 £ r a I then pushed the bike along the e 1Y taxi rank to get to the Millennium ntal s per re Stadium, so I could ride along Hire fee utes Free min the side to get to Bute Park. The First 30 0 ins £0.5 m taxi rank was busy, so I felt too 30 -60 .00 1 £ s min intimidated to ride along the road. 60 - 120 2.50 0 mins £ When I got to the path, I also found 120 - 18 3.50 £ s 0 min that you could only cycle for part of 180 - 24 nd above £5.00 sa le the embankment. Pushing the bike 240 min o availab nce is als got a bit tedious, and it was quite ra u s in l theft heavy, but the basket on the front was Optiona ore useful for putting my bag in. om for m .oybike.c ! w p w u w n it sig Eventually I got to Bute Park, which Vis on and to looked great in the winter sunshine. informati And I could at last ride my OY Bike. The paths were smooth and easy to ride,

Rules of the Road What happens when zebras are crossing? Jorren Knibbe, a London barrister, discusses the issues with zebra crossings.


little while ago I rode up to a zebra crossing which someone was crossing on a bike. I cut in front of them and kept going. It turned out that one of the cars behind me was an unmarked police car. They buzzed me over and gave me a telling off, but they didn’t give me a ticket or a fine. It made me want to find out why. The basics of zebra crossings If you’re on a bicycle, you have to accord precedence to a pedestrian who is within the limits of the crossing before you are. You don’t have to stop – just accord precedence. This seems to mean give way. So, as long as you let the pedestrian go in front of you, so ride behind them rather than in front, you should be ok. That said, you won’t need to give way if; they’re not a pedestrian. Someone who is walking while pushing a bike is a pedestrian, but someone who is riding their bike across the crossing isn’t a pedestrian. It might be a good idea to get out of the way, but you won’t commit an offence if you cut in front of them. Also, if they’re not within the limits of the crossing. The limits seem to mean the black-and-white stripe lines. If you get onto the stripes before the pedestrian does, you don’t have to give way. Thirdly, there’s a central island, and the pedestrian isn’t on your side of the crossing. The rules say that where a zebra has a central island, you can treat each side as a separate crossing. So you only have to give way to a pedestrian who is within the limits of your side of the crossing. So I think I wasn’t booked because the person on the crossing was on a bike. But it might also have been because they were in the central island of the crossing when I cut through, so not within the limits on my side. Special situations

ulations and reg s le ru t u ore abo om Read m st at press.c li c s.word y le u r for c le kcyc itter for www.u s on Tw ns le u r le c UKcy and discussio Or follow updates t s te la the

If the pedestrian does get onto the crossing first and you don’t give way, there aren’t many excuses. It’s not enough to say you didn’t see them, you have to approach the crossing in a way which enables you to give way to pedestrians if they happen to be there. You might have an excuse if you have a sudden loss of control, through no fault of your own, which prevents you from giving way. But anything less probably won’t be enough. One other thing to note is that if the crossing is being controlled by a police officer or traffic warden, the rules above don’t apply. Instead, cyclists have to obey the officer’s or warden’s directions, as do pedestrians. The Penalty If you fail to accord precedence when you need to, you commit an offence. If you’re stopped by a constable in uniform or a vehicle inspector who produces his authority, you can be given a fixed penalty of £30. If you don’t pay within the period stated, which will be a minimum of 21 days, this will normally go up to £45, which will be enforced in the courts as a fine. This might be another reason why I wasn’t given a fixed penalty, the police who stopped me weren’t in uniform. Alternatively if you’re not given a fixed penalty, or you dispute it, you can be prosecuted in the courts, in which case the maximum penalty is a fine of £1,000. This will only be possible though if you can be identified. So if you haven’t been given a fixed penalty, and haven’t been required to give a name and address, it‘s going to be unlikely. If you’re caught, you can always hope for a verbal warning, or just a ticking off. When I was stopped, a tough Eastender got out of the police car wearing a stab-proof vest, colleague at her side, looking like she expected a ruckus. I just apologised lots. Not sure, but this may have helped! Disclaimer: This article is for general discussion, and nothing written here is legal advice. Your legal position depends on the facts of your own case. If things get serious and you want answers (or the truth), you will need to consult a lawyer properly.

Cycle Fit Part Two

Richard Seymour is a young cyclist form Cardiff who suffers from Spondylolisthesis. We follow him on his quest to be race fit for the 2011 season.


t’s been about a month since I saw the doc, and it’s been great! I’ve started riding on the road again and I’ve pretty much finished my physiotherapy. Apparently I’ve made an outstanding recovery so that’s really motivating and a good start. Totally been worth the time off, I’ve got to think of my future health and not get caught up in trying to be a superstar overnight. It feels amazing to ride on the road again. Nothing compares to riding in all the elements. I’ve already had my fair share of riding in the wind, rain, cold and even all three combined. I shouldn’t over do it but I can’t help but jump on the bike when I’ve got a bit of free time. One of my first rides was a casual ride down to Cardiff Bay with a few of the adults and youth from Maindy. A little race across the barrage, and I find myself being beaten by 10 year olds! But I deserved the hot coffee and a 30 minute rest. I’m not as strong as I was a few months back but the turbo work has kept me in arms reach of everyone else. I’ve now got to get my head down and work hard and most importantly, look after myself! My goal of being race fit is not that far off. I have a race at the end of February with my training plan already worked out. Hopefully in the next month I’ll be back up to speed and training like I was this time last year. I’ve also got a ride of 100 miles as an optional test to see where I lay in terms of fitness. I think I’d be able to manage that in a few weeks. I can really concentrate on the bigger goals now, namely Welsh selection. I would love to be selected for Wales again this year in the Junior Tour of Wales. It’d be an honour to have done it twice, both times in Welsh kit. From now I’ve got around 6 months to prove I’m deserving of wearing the Welsh colours. This year could be one of the biggest challenges of my career. I’ve got a lot to prove and even more work to do. Bring it on I say, I’ll take the challenge with open arms! PEDAL CARDIFF


Picture: Team Sky

Geraint Thomas

The Welsh wonder takes us back to his time with Maindy Flyers and ahead to his 2011 season with Team Sky Rebecca Ransom


he British Road Race Champion, born and bred in Birchgrove takes time out after a successful Track World Cup in Manchester to talk to Pedal Cardiff about his cycling career as it continues to develop ahead of the 2012 Olympics in London. Growing up in Cardiff today, there are many opportunities to take part in a variety of sports at many different levels. Football and rugby are dominant in school and as leisure activities, so what made 10


cycling stand out to Geraint? “I was about 10 years old, going swimming down Maindy, the local leisure centre. I saw an advert for a kids cycling club, went along, and the rest is history! I was winning races, which I liked. With rugby the other lads started growing before me so I started to get hit harder. I decided I would stick to cycling. I played football but our team wasn’t that good so just thought I’d race my bike instead.” Now, at the age of 24, Geraint is an Olympic Champion and holds an MBE, a role model for many young cyclists across

Great Britain. But who inspired him to get on his bike and race? “Bradley Wiggins on the track, as he was a few years older than me and had won the junior worlds, broke into the senior team and had won Olympic medals, all of which I wanted to do. Also Nicole Cooke as she was the local girl who was winning world titles all the time. On the road I always like Jan Ullrich, probably because he was the underdog. I see myself as a role model, but I always try to have a quick chat and be nice. So don’t be shy, just come and say

Picture: Rex Features

hello!” He won his Olympic gold on the track, but is also the first welshman to ride the Tour de France since Coin Lewis in 1967. So what’s best, track or road? “I love the track and road as both are great when you are winning! The Tour de France was amazing to compete in and wear the white jersey but also winning an Olympic gold medal was something I had always dreamed of!” In 2010, Geraint joined Team Sky, home to Bradley Wiggins, and one of Geriant’s best mates Ben Swift. “Being in the team Geraint at the Tour de France 2010 is great fun. There’s a good group of guys who all speak English “There’s a lot of volume, just which helps a lot! riding my bike, the closer you I’m probably closest to Ben Swift and get to the season the more Ian Stannard, as we lived together in the efforts you start to do and Olympic academy and I grew up racing the shorter more intense they with them as U12’s. It’s weird we have all become. come this far. The best will be to ride the I like to balance my training Tour de France together. And there’s been and be able to take a break no arguements, yet! when I want to. A little bit of This year, I think we will grow and get everything is good I think. So better as a team for sure. We learnt a lot if I fancy a couple of beers about each other last year, for instance to switch off I will have some. our strengths and weaknesses on the We make a lot of sacrifices, like bike as well as how we cope in different being away from home, diet situations. The staff also learnt a lot as etc so a treat once in a while well so hopefully we can keep improving!” is good! Geraint’s first attempt at the Tour de I also like to switch off with my France was in 2007 where he was the girlfriend Sara. I just chat about youngest participant at just 21 and came anything other than cycling. I in 140th. but three years later it was a go out for food, see my mates, different story, riding for Team Sky he watch some television, anything held the white jersey for stages 3 - 7 and that isn’t cycling orientated really, but also managed to finish in 67th. doesn’t take a lot of energy. When I’m “I have definitely got stronger and know back in Cardiff I just like to chill out with how the racing Sara and ride my is. How to train favourite routes. better and look I go and watch after myself and the rugby when also knowing I can as well. I what to expect love to watch helps a lot! it and there’s I am looking always a great forward to the Tour de France and the atmosphere in Cardiff. Classics in April this year. They are the When I am away from Wales, I always biggest races on the calendar.” have to have my supply of Brace’s welsh Looking ahead to London 2012, Geraint cakes their a great treat!” bagged a gold in the Team Pursuit on the As a youngster Geraint trained on the track in Beijing, will there be more next roads around South Wales, so what routes year? does he ride when he comes home to “Hopefully and hopefully it will be gold! Cardiff? I would love to win gold in London at your “I love the climbs of the Rhigos and home Olympics, it doesn’t get any better the Bwlch but also the lanes in the Vale than that!” of Glamorgan and the coast road around Training is essential for success in any Ogmore by Sea. It is great for training sporting event, but how does a pro-cyclist around there!” prepare at the start of the seaosn. Riding around the world brings

Our football team wasn’t that good, so I raced my bike instead!

Geraint and Sara in Paris

experience of cycling in different cities and varied environments. Cardiff has started to improve it’s cycling strategy and the services around the city, but there is still a long way to go before it reached the standards of cites like Amsterdam on the European continent. “I think we need to get more interest in cycling and eventually get more people on bikes and watching races. Once the demand is there, then more things can happen.” And some tips for young up and coming cyclists? “You just need to enjoy it, that’s the main thing. If you love to ride your bike then you will do the training and put the effort in. Find a local club with people the same age and make new friends. Enjoy going out for rides and then race if you want to. It’s also a great way to stay fit!” You can get all the latest info on Geraint and what he’s up to on his new website PEDAL CARDIFF


Paths to Pedal Recommended rides in Wales from Routes2Ride at Sustrans A438



When you are on the National Cycle Network you will see these signs.



) 0(T

01 B46

Supermarket/ Archfarchnad St Mary’s Church/ Eglwys Santes Fair


0(T )

Brecon/ Aberhonddu

Danygaer Rd/ Heol Danygaer

Brecon (Ty'n-y-Caeau) Youth Hostel/ Hostel Ieuenctid Aberhonddu (Ty'n-y-Caeau)


Pan fyddwch ar y Rhwydwaith Beicio A4 Cenedlaethol fe welwch yr arwyddion hyn.

Picture: Sustrans


Taith Taf / T he Taff Trail

B4 061 Wa


Rich Way

Start/End of the Taff Trail Dechrau/Diwedd Taith Taf


Mon Cam mouth las Si shire r Fy and nwy Br ac Abecon Ca Theatre/ erho nal/ nddu Theatr


Canal Rd/ Ffordd Camlas 0(T) A47

National Park Visitor Centre / Canolfan Ymwelwyr y Parc Cenedlaethol




Pencelli Talybont-on-Usk/ Tal-y-bont ar Wysg

Cefn Coed y Cymer

B45 58

79 A4

Llwyn y Celyn Youth Hostel / Hostel Ieuenctid Llwyn y Celyn

(T) A40(T )

Trefechan Storey Arms


Talybont Reservoir/ Cronfa Ddw ˆ r Talybont

Monumental 60 B45Terrace


Nenadd Reservoir/ Cronfa Ddw ˆ r Nenadd

Cefn-coedy-cymmer/ Cefn Coed y Cymer


A40 1

Cefn Coed Viaduct/ Traphont Cefn Coed


High Street/ StrydFawr


A47 0

Taff Fechan B455 8 Nature Reserve/ Gwarchodfa Natur Taf Fechan


0(T) A47


f Ta Llw

ybr f Trail Cer Wa dd

rs R

lke r Taith Taf wy


Pontsticill Reservoir/ Cronfa Ddw ˆ r Pontsticill

River Taff/ Afon Taf Llwyn-on Reservoir/ Cronfa Ddw ˆ r Llwyn-on

Garwnant Forestry Centre/ Canolfan Goedwigaeth Garwnant

Ebbw Vale/ Glynebwy

Brecon Mountain Railway/ Rheilffordd Fynyddig Aberhonddu

(T) A465

A4047 B4248




Merthyr Tydfil/Merthyr Tudful 47 A40

048 A4

25 6


4 05

B4 276




Ebbw River/ Afon Ebwy

New Tredegar/ Tredegar Newydd


A4 049


255 B4

Afon Cynon

Taff Bargoed Climbing Centre/ Canolfan Ddringo Taf Bargoed

Cyn Loˆn on Tr Cyn ail/ on



B42 75


Merthyr Vale/ Ynysowen

Gilfach Fargoed

Mountain Ash/ Aberpennar

Mountain Ash/ Aberpennar

A42 33

Parc Taff Bargoed/ Parc Taf Bargoed


B4 25 4

72 A4

5 25 B4

Abercynon Afon Rhondda Fach

A40 58




Ystrad Rhondda



Quakers Yard/ Mynwent y Crynwyr

Ton Pentre


B4 51 2


Abercynon Station



Ystrad Mynach

3 B427

(T) A470

Trail/ idd Celticn Gelta Y Loˆ

Ynysybwl Llwynypia


A405 8

Senghenydd/ Senghennydd Llanbradach


Rhondda Heritage Park/ Parc Treftadaeth y Rhondda




Porth/ Y Porth





3 26 B4



Pontypridd A4093


A470( T)

Pont Sion Norton

4 405

Thurston Rd

Nantgarw Pottery/ Crochendy Nantgarw

8 A46 A469


West St

Ely River/A 70 Afon Elai A4




Treforest Estate/ StadTrefforest

Height in metres 95

B45 Middle St



Taffs Well/ FfynnonTaf

0 - 100m

Taffs Well/ Ffynon Taf

100 - 200m


200 - 300m

A4 70 Pontyclun

8 05 A4 Pontypridd

400 - 500m

Rhiwbina/ Coryton Whitchurch Rhiwbeina

A4119 500 - 600m 600 - 700m


A40 22 58

Radyr/ Radur

700 - 800m


62 B45

Llanishen/ Llanisien

300 - 400m

B42 64


Ynysangaharad War Memorial Park/ Parc Coffa Ynysangaharad


Lisvane & Thornhill/ Llysfaen a Thornhill

Castell Coch



A405 8

Caerphilly/ Caerffili


0 B460

Church Village/ Pentref Eglwys


Bonvilston Rd


The Parade

Caerphilly Castle/ Castell Caerffili

A4 68

River Taff



Sirhowy River/ Afon Sirhywi




A4 23 3

9 11 A4

Porth/ Y Porth

9 A46


Graigwen Muni Arts Centre/ Canolfan Gelf y Miwn


Aberdare/Aberdaˆ r

3 A423



il/ Tra ick k vith ithic Tre h Trev Tait

Dare Valley Country Park


Merthyr Tydfil/ Merthry Tudful

4 A405

Coed Morgannwg Way/ Fford Coed Morgannwg


Heolgerrig Pontlottyn

Rhymney River/ Afon Rhymni

Aberdare/ Aberda ˆr

B42 75

Sirhowy River/ Afon Sirhywi 0 A47

A405 9

Merthyr Tydfil/ Merthyr Tudful


Rhymney/ Rhymni

Merthyr Tydfil/Merthyr Tudful

12 A40

Cyfarthfa Retail Park/ Parc Manwerthu Cyfarthfa

Rhymney /Rhymni

7 A46

7 B425

Merthyr Tydfil/ Merthyr Tudful

Cyfarthfa Castle/ Castell Cyfartha


54 A40

Cefn-Coed y Cymer A465(T)


0(T) A47

Gurnos/ Y Gurnos

T) A465( A465(T)

Forest Farm/ Fferm y Fforest

The Taff Trail The Taff Trail is a 55 mile waymarked route for walkers and cyclists, from the market town of Brecon, to Cardiff, the Capital City of Wales The Brecon Beacons National Park provides a fine start (or finish) to your journey, starting gently alongside the canal, followed by country lanes and onto the disused Merthyr Railway, climbing steadily up to Torpantau pass. The market town of Brecon offers many attractions including a cathedral, museums, canal basin, and a theatre. As one of the towns forming the Heads of the Valleys, Merthyr Tydfil is rich in culture and landscape. Once the iron capital of the world, life is breathed into Merthyr Tydfil’s history at Cyfarthfa Castle Museum & Art gallery, Joseph Parry’s Cottage & the Brecon Mountain Railway. The trail in Rhondda Cynon Taf follows former railway lines with gentle gradients through attractive countryside. Pontypridd is a hub of other cycling routes, including the Celtic Trail. Visit the museum and distinctive old bridge, Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, or take a short detour to Rhondda Heritage Park. In Cardiff the Taff corridor extends 8 miles, from Tongwynlais, through parks and green spaces, via the city centre to Cardiff Bay’s waterfront. Many of Cardiff’s premier attractions, including Cardiff Castle, Castell Coch, Techniquest, the Millennium Stadium and Millennium Centre are located in the Taff Corridor.

Ty Glas/Tˆy Glas


A47 0

Heath Low Level/ Lefel Isel Mynydd Bychan


Radyr/ Radur

A41 19



Featured route Taith dan sylw



Millennium Stadium/ Stadiwm y Mileniwm

60 A41 B42 67



Cardiff Bay/ Bae Caerdydd


Oval Basin/

JAM ES STREET Basn Hirgrwn

A422 6

Parking / Museum Parcio / Amgueddfa

Dinas Powys

A4 23


Tourist information / attraction Gwybodaeth twristiaid / atyniad

Taff Trail Start/End Dechrau/Diwedd Taith Taf

Camp / Viewpoint Gwersyll / Golygfan

Dingle Road

0 1 2 Kilometres Cilomedrau



50 A40






Cadoxton/ Tregatwg

B42 65

Dinas Powys

A4 05 5

Miles Milltiroedd 1 0

Barry/ Y Barri A

67 B 42

Yn seiliedig ar fap Arolwg Ordnans gyda chaniatâd Rheolwr Llyfrfa Ei Mawrhydi Hawlfraint y Goron 2008. Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru. Rhif Trwydded: 100017916



Eastbrook Penarth

Based on Ordnance Survey map with permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. Crown Copyright 2008. Welsh Assembly Government. Licence Number: 100017916


1 A416

Cardiff Central Caerdydd Ganolog

Grangetown (South Glamorgan)/ Trefaerdy (De Morgannwg)

er Ta ff/A

Public toilet / Post office Toiled Cyhoeddus / Swyddfa bost


Atlantic Wharf/ Glanfa Iwerydd

Butetown/ Tre Bute


Ninian Park/ Parc Ninian

34 A42

A41 19


34 A42


0 A47



Cardiff Queen Street/ Heol y Frenhines Caerdydd

A416 1

Grangetown/ Trefaerddy

Public house / Cafe Tafarn / Caffi Bike shop / Shop Siop feiciau / Siop

Waun-gron Park/ Parc Waun-gron


Central/ A4160 Ganolog

Railway (station) Rheilffordd (gorsaf)

0 B427

Queen Street/ Heol y Frenhines

Central/ Canol


Footpath Llwybr troed


61 42

Riverside/ Glanyrafon


Linking routes Llwybrau cysylltu

Cathays/ Waun Ddyfal

Fairwater/ Tyllgoed

67 B42

National Cycle Network on-road Rhwydwaith Beicio Cenedlaethol ar y ffordd


Danescourt 61 A41

Cardiff Castle/ Castell Caerdydd

National Cycle Network traffic-free Rhwydwaith Beicio Cenedlaethol di-draffig

Visit more cycle routes in Wales.



What’s going on in Cardiff this month for you and your bike? 5th March 2011 MTB Uplift Day Rheola Forest, Merthyr Tydfil £27.99 Uplift days are organised by the Welsh Downhill Mountain Bike Association across Wales. They provide stripped out coaches that take both bikes and riders to the top of the mountain ready for the decent to the bottom. Using a coach provides a much smoother ride than a trailer or quarry lorry! For more information visit

7th - 26th March 2011 The Big Pedal UK Wide This three-week-long event is organised a bit like the Tour de France. Each day is a different time trial, with different stages from long flat ones to hillier mountainous ones. The more people that cycle in to school on that day, the quicker the time your school will get for that stage. The winning school is the one that gets the lowest time overall. Simple! 11 Schools around Cardiff are already registered, so let’s get pedalling! For more information visit

26th March & 16th April 2011 Beginning Bike Maintenance Cardiff Cycle Workshop CF5 4AQ £60 (£50 concessions) Learn how to keep your bike in tiptop condition. This one-day course starts from the basics and will teach you how to complete safety checks and tasks like wheel removal, gear tuning and puncture repair as well as other maintenance needs. Persons completing this course and an associated workbook can be awarded OCN Bike Maintenance Level 2 (additional accreditation fee £35). For more information visit

26th & 27th March 2011 WDMBA Series Round 1 Rheola Forest, Merthyr Tydfil Entry Fee £58.00 The first event of the 2011 Downhill MTB Race Series in Rheola Forest. The fee covers both days and participants will obtain BC ranking points from each of the rounds. For more information visit

10th April 2011 Betty Pharoah Memorial RR Vale Cricket Club Entry Fee £15 It’s the 13th Year of the Betty Pharoah Memorial Legstretchers Road Race. The race is run as two events and is open to all senior and junior riders, from Elite to 4th cat. Cardiff Ajax is looking for members and non-members, to volunteer as race officials and marshals. For more information visit There are lots more ccling activities going on in and around Cardiff. Here are some useful websites: PEDAL CARDIFF


10 Minutes with...s e m a J Becky ales y, W Nam 9 n n e 1 v Age: Aberga ck lth : a r m T o wea r : n F s o e n pli mm Disci ace: Co a r riell t 0 s 1 Be 20 sic: Gab s e Gam tion Mu ission M va Moti - On a i m l i C

What is your background in Cycling? I started cycling in year 6 in primary school, where I took part in a rally challenge, and went to an after school cycling club. The man who was taking these sessions, Gareth Walker, told me he thought I was really talented so took me mountain bike racing with his son. It all developed from there, and when I was 13 I got on to the Welsh Talent Team, at 15 on the Olympic Development Programme, and at 17 on to the u23 Academy. How long have you been involved in the sport? I’ve been cycling since I was 11 years old (8 years ago), where I started mountain biking. Then as I got riding more, I got into different events such as cyclo cross, road and track. What are your aims in the next 5 years? This year is all about gaining experience as a senior rider, and riding in races such as the World Cups, World Championships and Commonwealth Games. My biggest aim would be to get selected for 2012 Olympics, but it’s going to be a really tough challenge between myself and the other girls. After this, I’d like to become a senior world champion and aim for the 2016 Olympics. These are my biggest dreams, but I take everything as stepping stones and in small steps. What are your strongest points? My determination to always do my best, learning from my mistakes and be able to make sacrifices to be the best cyclist I can be. What would you class as your best ride or position to date and why? 14



Picture s: Brit ish

le ky James Profi ec e: B

Winning two gold medals in the Junior World Championships in Moscow in August 2009, and breaking the junior world record for 200m, in a time of 11.093. Breaking a world record was a complete surprise to me, as I knocked half a second off my PB, so this meant a lot to me.


Becky James is one of Wales’ top female cyclists, competing in the track at internatinal level. She returned from the Commonwealth Games in Delhi with two medals and last month finished XYZ at the Track World Cup in Manchester. Leigh Marshall of filles-a-velo caught up with Becky.

Who is your favourite sports Becky person? at the Track It’s pretty simple, Chris Hoy. He’s World Cup such an inspiration; I really look up y o u r to him after winning three golds in the Olympics in 2008. It’s such a fantastic next target. achievement and I’d really like to follow in The 2009 World Junior’s more than made up for it. his footsteps one day. How do you relax after a race? I watch films (I’m a bit of a film geek!), and listen to some really chilled out music, it helps me to take my mind off racing and wind down. How did you feel representing Team Wales in the Commonwealth Games? I was so excited that I got selected to represent Wales. The Commonwealth Games is a huge event in my eyes, and a big stepping stone towards the Olympics, but to represent Wales really means a lot to me, as being a sprinter means I don’t very often get chance to represent them. Seeing the Welsh flag hanging above the podium really was a proud moment for me.

Have you got any advice for any young people thinking of getting involved in cycling? The most important thing about cycling is enjoying it; and if you enjoy it, you’ll love training, and all this will make you better in racing. But the main thing is to go out a n d have some fun! You can read more about Becky James and other female cyclists at filles-a-velo. com

What do you enjoy most about cycling? The best thing about cycling is I just love riding my bike and I can’t believe it’s my job! I get to see so many different countries around the World, which is great, as many of these places I’d never think about going to – like Belarus! What has been the toughest point in your career? The toughest point in my career to date was just before the European Junior Championships in 2008 when I got glandular fever. I was so upset I couldn’t compete, but when you are ill or have an injury you have to try and move on quickly and concentrate on

Pedal Cardiff Issue 2  

Magazine about cycling in and around Cardiff, Wales

Pedal Cardiff Issue 2  

Magazine about cycling in and around Cardiff, Wales