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PEDAL Issue 1 February 2011







h t n o m This News 3 Rules of the Road 7 Interview: Big Blue Bike 8 Feature: UWIC BUG 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 Neil Wollacott UWIC, Ben Allen Big Blue Bike, Steve Castle, Sustrans Cymru


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Brothers ride into Rhiwbina bike store S

am Lawrence has become the new owner of Muddybum Bikes in Rhiwbina.

Inside the newly stocked Muddybum Bike Store

are exclusive to the Cardiff store. They are developing the track and triathlon sides of cycling that are growing in popularity. “At the back of the shop we are looking to build an exclusive road and triathlon room for high end bikes with a rolling road set up so customers can come and try the bikes before purchasing. We also want to introduce a bike fit system that allows us to measure a rider’s body geometery so that a bike fits perfectly.” Sam doesn’t want to restrict the store to specific disciplines, and has developed relationships with other Cardiff stores so customers can always get what they want. This summer they will look at BMX, being the only Stereo BMX dealer in Wales. There are only a few BMX tracks in Wales

Pedal Power win Natwest Community Award


riends of Pedal Power Cardiff have won the NatWest Community Award.

They faced competition form other community groups in Cardiff, but thanks to public votes were awarded £3000. This has matched the £3000 awarded from Help a South Wales Child to purchase two bikes needed at the project. The first is a Swedish 3-speed tricycle from Skeppshult. They are used to teach small children to ride and have a back-pedal brake which is important to assist children who have poor grip and have difficulty using brake levers. The second is a Draisin Quest 88, a tandem for adults and children to use together. The mission for Pedal Power is to make cycling accessible for all. They are a registered charity with cycle hire locations in Pontcanna and Cardiff Bay with specially adapted bikes available 4


for adults and children of all abilities. In 2010, they raised over £12,000 to support cycling for all in Cardiff. Pedal Power has many fundraising initiatives active this year; with volunteer web master Keith Underdown pioneering the Cycle for Cycles campaign. For every pound donated, Keith will cycle a mile. There is also a fundraising quiz night on Friday 18th February, for more information visit the Pedal Power website

as it is mainly a street and park sport, but interest in the bikes has been picking up. You can follow Muddybum Bikes on twitter and like them on Facebook, or visit their blog at www.muddybumbikes.

Next Month Interview with Cardiff Olympian and Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas, fresh from the Tour Down Under

Pictur e: Tea m Sky

Sam, along with his brother Ben, are breathing new life into the bike shop with plans to expand and bring it into the 21st century. The store, on Beulah Road, originally started out specializing in mountain bikes, but a greater calling for road bikes has led Sam to balance his mountain bike passion with the demand for road bikes. Being mountain bike riders from a young age, the brothers are keen to push the sport and get involved with local clubs to develop a mountain bike presence in the city and return the community feeling of cycling to the store. Ben is a qualified Cytech Level 3 mechanic, and with a background in aircraft engineering there will be little he cannot fix. The workshop plans to expand this year due to the high level of interest and become a Shimano Service Centre. Muddybum Bikes are the main dealers of Marin, Mondraker and Whyte in the city with the Italian brand Wilier and Transition


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Enjoying the bikes from Pedal Power

We look at the latest Cardiff Cycle Network Plan, what are the council doing for cyclists?

Bike Club pedals in to Cardiff

TWITTER TALK The latest tweets from the wheels of Wales

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ike Club has finally arrived in Cardiff with the help of funding from Asda’s ‘Pedal Power’ project.

Bike Club works with local youth and community groups, schools, voluntary and statutory organisations to help young people be creative and explore their cycling interests. It offers young people, volunteers and youth workers support in a range of ways including training, funding and help to ensure they are confident and equipped with the right resources to lead cycling activities. Cardiff YMCA and Llamau are two of the groups that have successfully set up Bike Clubs with the aid of a Bike Club grant and support of the Bike Club Development Officer for Cardiff Melanie Davies. “Bike Club offers a great opportunity for children and young people to engage in fun, interesting, bespoke cycling activities and in doing so provides the opportunity for young people to keep fit, healthy and

Cardiff YMCA meet Nigel Mansell

gain independence.” With a wide range of Bike Club activities in Cardiff and the surrounding areas, young people will become healthier and more active, and have access to effective non-formal education, improving the community as a whole. Young people’s achievements will be celebrated and they can also gain valuable accreditation for their hard work through Youth Achievement Awards. Regardless of location, all areas in Wales can benefit from becoming a nongrant member of Bike Club, which brings together practical advice to support children and young people all over Wales. Bike Club will further promote the development of a sustainable approach to learning and exploring through cycling. If you want to find out more about help available to set up your own bike club in Cardiff contact Melanie Davies on 01443 827 842.

Dragon Ride breaks records


he 2011 WIggle Dragon Ride sold out in a record-breaking 22 hours. The ride, The cyclosportive takes place on Sunday 5th June. It starts in Pencoed, just outside Cardiff, and takes in some of Wales’ best coastal rides as well as some of the famous climbs in the Brecon Beacons. The popular sportive that attracts riders from around the worlda s well as British pro cyclists. International rider entries will be accepted up until the end of May. Organiser, Lou Lousardi, said: “Entries went live at midnight and 1200 places were filled in the first half hour, 3000 at

the 12 hour mark and all of the basic entry places were filled by the end of the first day.” This year there are new routes and a Pasta Party at the finish for all riders. There are training weekends in March and April taking in the 2011 route and a training schedule available from the website designed by Andy Cook, one of the top British Cycling coaches. The Wiggle Dragon Ride team is also encouraging all riders to use their place in the event to raise money for The Prostate Cancer Charity. Visit www. for information.

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Geraint’s Diary

Geraint Thomas is Cardiff’s own Olympic hero. Cycling to success in Beijing 2008 and with high hopes for London 2012, he gives us an insight into the life of a pro-cyclist. Well, the winter is pretty much over for me now. I will be jetting off to Australia for the Tour Down Under and I can’t wait! I’ve spent some good time at home with Sara my girlfriend and my family over the last couple of months but the new season is now underway! I feel like I’ve done some good training this winter. I’ve also been lucky enough to go to some of the Welsh rugby internationals, as a guest in the BBC Box at the Millennium Stadium with Nessa from Gavin and Stacey, that was cool! I was pretty star struck but Sara, my girlfriend, couldn’t even get a word out. That was funny! I also got to see the Arsenal and Tottenham match at the Emirates and Cardiff City take on Coventry. Unfortunately the only game that ended in the right result was Cardiff. The bad weather didn’t effect me too much though, I was really lucky when the first lot of snow came in as I could still train around Chester. I flew out to Majorca for the team training camp in December. I got some good steady volume ‘in the bank’, however with the second lot of snowfall I wasn’t so lucky. I trained on Picture: Re x Feature s the turbo in Sara’s garage (her dad doesn’t like me calling it a shed!) for a week or so. Fortunately, it soon thawed and I could train on the South Wales roads. There are some great climbs like the Bwlch, Rhigos and Tumble. It also has some lovely quiet lanes around the Vale of Glamorgan and the coast at Southerndown. Training back there reminds we of when I was growing up dreaming of riding the Tour de France so it’s great to get back. I also got some help from Darren Tudor, my coach while I was a junior, who braved the cold and motor paced me a few times. Anyway, now the trainings more or less done and it is time to get on with the important stuff, the racing, I can’t wait!



City Commuter wins Sustrans video competition: How did he do it? Steve explains S teve Castle from Penarth has won the Sustrans National Cycling Network video competition. Steve’s video showed his daily route home from work, Llandaff to Penarth. The two-minute film also featured his colleague Robin Fuller cycling the route. But how did they create this award winning film? Being a bit different I decided to make our video using a stills camera. It’s a technique I’ve used before at Flickr meets in the pub; shoot a lot of stills in high speed burst mode and then turn the sequence into video. This has the effect of making the frame rate less than that of normal video and gives a time lapse effect. It also sometimes reminds me of very old film that jerks and stutters through the sequence. We were able to include some shots that would have taken too long in ‘normal’ video and gives our piece an unusual effect. To get the maximum length of shot possible, I used medium sized JPEGs and high speed burst. The image size was 1880 x 2816; a lot lower than I normally shoot but this is still bigger than 1920 x 1080 full HD frame size. Focus and shot framing was pretty difficult on some of the shots but trial and error got us there in the end. To shoot the film I used a combination of handheld, normal tripod mounting and used a Joby Gorillapod, to mount the camera on several places on a bike. Another interesting method was to shoot from the water taxi in Cardiff Bay, whilst Robin rode across the barrage. We used walkie-talkies to communicate with each other when we weren’t within ear shot. We were able to mount the camera on the handle bars to get the view of the rider using the Gorillapod. We also mounted it facing forwards and I was able to ride behind Robin for what became known as a ‘chase shot’. One of the craziest shots was mounting the camera to face backwards, so I could shoot Robin riding behind me. For this shot I removed my seat and mounted the

Gorilla pod in the seat post and was able to ride up on the pedals, using a remote trigger to fire the camera. We got some funny looks on the barrage path! The route is basically part of my route to and from work. It includes a large section of Cardiff city centre and Cardiff Bay and also one of Sustrans own projects, the Pont-y-Werin bridge in Penarth. As the route progresses we pick out some of the latest developments to the national cycle network, which has changed a lot, making it much more accessible for cycling these days. The route was chosen, not because it is direct or the quickest but because it takes in some of the best sites and would give us the best shots! Using Quicktime 7 on the Mac I was able to open groups of JPEGS as an image sequence. I used a frame rate of 12 fps, which seemed to give the best effect. The image sequence was saved as a reference movie, which can then be imported into Final Cut. Here I was able to first crop the shots to 1920×1080 by scaling. This was then exported into true video, from which I was able to edit. R o b i n adapted a piece of music he had written and was able to make it fit early versions of the cut. From there, the cut informed the music and the music led to changes in the cut; it sort of evolved. The final cut was tweaked with a bit of colour correction and exported as a 720p movie and uploaded to the web. The most complicated shots were the ones near the Wales Millennium Centre and along the barrage. These were a combination of two shots; a time-lapse sequence, where there would be one shot taken every two seconds and another taken on burst. I then had to draw round Robin on every frame to include him in the time-lapse. It took a long time! It took just over two months to complete, shooting in our spare time and on the way home from work, plus a couple of weekend trips. Can’t believe it’s finally done, and we won!

Rules of the Road

The law of the car door


once had a colleague who was a real soy milk warrior. He didn’t just drink the stuff and overstock the work fridge, he tried to persuade everyone who ventured into the kitchen of the joy of soy. He never really told me many benefits of soy milk. He simply explained all the horrible things that he believed happened when cows are milked, and which apparently slopped out of the carton and onto my breakfast. I wouldn’t normally mind, but he explained all this while I was making my breakfast. Which I quite looked forward to after steaming in for half an hour on my bike. And which is in the running for my favourite meal of the day anyway. When I finally snapped that I had biked to work and was hungry, the same colleague told me he too had been a regular cyclist, until he rode one day into a narrow gap between a bus and some parked cars. Someone in a parked car opened their door. He crashed into the door and was hurt pretty badly. It never occurred to me that there might be rules about this sort of thing. But a friend pointed out that the person in the parked car might have committed an offence. I thought I’d check it out. Opening car doors It turns out that it’s an offence to open “any door of a vehicle on a road so as to injure or endanger any person”. If you’re cycling along and someone opens a car door in your path, they may commit this offence and be liable to a fine of up to £1000. (RVCUR r. 105; RTA s. 42; RTOA Sch 2) There are a few details which are worth bearing in mind. There doesn’t have to be a crash for the offence to be committed, it’s an offence to injure someone who is riding past by opening a car door, but it’s also an offence simply to endanger them. For example if s ulation nd reg a s le u out r om ore ab ress.c Read mlist at wordp . s e l c u y r for c .ukcycler itter fo on Tw ns s www e l u r io cycle nd discuss a ow UK Or foll est updates the lat

they have to swerve to avoid a crash. The offence isn’t limited to drivers, so a passenger who opens a car door so as to injure or endanger a cyclist could commit the offence. It also isn’t limited to cars, but seems to apply to any vehicle which is on a road and which has a door. If someone does open their car door and injures or endangers you on your bike, they won’t automatically have committed an offence it will depend on the circumstances. For example, it might depend on whether their actions caused the injury or danger, or whether there was some other cause. They might say that you were riding too close, or weren’t paying attention, and that’s what caused the accident. It also might depend on whether the person who opened the door looked behind them properly first. If they did check for cyclists, they might argue that they weren’t at fault. At the moment it’s not actually clear whether fault is required for the offence, the courts have so far ducked the question, but a no-fault scenario would probably make the case more complicated. What if this happens to you? If you crash into a car door on your bike, the driver of the car has to give his name and address if you ask for it, as well as the car’s registration number. If he refuses he will commit an additional offence, which is more straightforward and more serious than the car door offence and may therefore be of more interest to the police. If the police don’t attend the scene, but you want to take the matter further, you’ll need to report the incident yourself. It will help if you have as much detail as possible about the car and driver, and also the details of witnesses.

Picture: Rex Features

A trainee barrister from London discusses the rules of cycling in England and Wales, to get us all to think when out on the roads.

Cyclist wary of car doors in the cycle lane

Be aware though that it can sometimes be difficult to get the police to act, even with this information. The Cycling Lawyer has written at length about problems he’s had in persuading the police to pursue an offender, although it seems that his story might now have a happy ending. This is obviously one of those situations where prevention is better than cure. There’s no perfect solution, but it’s worth bearing in mind the risk and if you can riding far enough clear of parked cars to avoid any sudden surprises. Luckily my colleague who crashed into a door eventually recovered. He hasn’t ridden again though! Got an opinion? Visit 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. PEDAL CARDIFF


Biker boy in blue Ben Allen talks to Pedal Cardiff about his life as a cycle courier in Cardiff and cycling in the city by Rebecca Ransom


aiting in a cosy café in the heart of Cardiff, I see the Big Blue Bike pull up outside the Castle. It’s not your average bike, a specially adapted Dutch contraption built to carry parcels and large loads. The striking blue frame certainly adds to its presence on the city streets. Ben arrived, escaping the cold wet January weather. A true cyclist with his hi-vis jacket and safety helmet, a must for anyone on a bike. He cautiously eyed his bike as a large van reversed into the loading bay, had he seen the Big Blue Bike? “You have to be careful about vans, because people don’t expect to see the 8


bike or realize how big it is.” Ben comes from a cycling background. Growing up in Pembrokeshire, sense would tell you to drive a car because of the array of hills, but as a young boy, Ben cycled everywhere. “I used to race downhill on mountain bikes, which I really enjoyed but because I started the Big Blue Bike I had to stop. The injuries from racing downhill were to bad for me to then ride a bike during the week. Although, cycling amongst city traffic isn’t any safer, but you’re not hitting the same speeds as you have to do it all day, so you need to pace yourself. There is probably less chance of seriously injuring

yourself, but you have to know where to put yourself on the road and make yourself a safer cyclist. If you’re jumping red lights and cutting lanes without signaling, other people don’t know what you’re doing then you are likely to have an accident.” Being a cyclist in Cardiff is a rare sight, with only about 3% of the population cycling regularly compared to about 40% of the population in places like the Netherlands. So being a cycling courier is even more of a novelty. “Cycling couriering is an alternative mode of transport and mode of business operation which could help to encourage seeing the bike as a good alternative rather than weird or slow because in a

busy city, it is a lot faster. In a business sense, there is little terms of efficiency in sending a large van to pick up a small box. Sending someone form the office, taking them out of the role, is a waste of resources so outsourcing to a private company, like myself, can save money and help the environment.” With fuel prices rising daily, and the lengthy journeys of van couriers sitting in traffic ad then having trouble to park, cycle couriering seems to be the way forward. There are similar schemes operating in Hereford, Dublin Coventry and London, and it is popular overseas in bustling congested cities like New York. But would cycling the same roads each day get repetitive? “There’s the cliché, that no day is the same, but in my case it isn’t strictly true. I have some scheduled work and plan the day early on so I know what I have to do. I can get random phone calls, but I fit them in. I usually start about eight to pick up post for the solicitors. That’s about 10-15kg inside big boxes, so the bike is ideal for that. I can pick up most items; I deliver flyers for evening performances at St David’s Hall and have carried a few dissertations across Cardiff, but nothing outrageous yet! There is the perception that cycle couriers whizz across the city all day, but I try to make my day as streamlined as possible.” Cycling all day clocks up many miles, on average Ben cycles 150 miles a week, in all weather conditions.

“It keeps me fit, I’ve ditched the gym membership. All you need is a comfy saddle and remember to pace yourself. Compared to the cyclists that do the Tour de France, 150 miles a week is nothing! I go a lot slower though, around 15-20 miles per hour.” “I use my weekends to relax and turn off from cycling, enjoying what Cardiff has to offer. I’m passionate about using local products and am friendly with many of the market traders, and have done some veg box deliveries in the past. Cycling advocacy is also important to me. Cardiff isn’t the best city for cycling, but it’s getting there. There have been some good ideas with the speed restrictions in Cathays, but the council has to make the effort. Basic changes like cycle lane segregation would be good. The Taff trail is a good ride, but needs to be maintained by just cutting back trees or cleaning up. The winter weather caused some difficulties too. The snow made it difficult to balance the bike, but it is purpose built for delivering so wasn’t too bad. The rain makes the day depressing too, but you just carry on! If I expand, I’ll go to England; there are too many hills in Wales for me to contend with. The geography of Cardiff is perfect to get to big clients, so I’ll be staying here for a while. Visit for more information on the Big Blue Bike service and go green today.

150 miles a week is nothing!

Bike Blue Bike taking a rest outside Cardiff Library

Cycle Fit Part One

Richard Seymour is a young cyclist form Cardiff who suffers from Spondylolisthesis. We follow him on the road to recovery after the operation on his spine.


wo months have passed since my operation that left me with six metal screws and a removed disk in my spine, but I think I can comfortably say I’m on the mend. I have lost a few months of training but I’m confident I’ll get that back very quickly. After that? Who knows, I might return stronger. It’s been really weird having such a life changing procedure but now it’s out the way, I think everything will fall into place. I saw the doctor today and he said I can use a static bike but nothing is the same as training on the road. I love wet and windy weather for training because you know you’re getting better and working harder! Using the turbo day in day out for the same amount of time really plays with your head but as it’s the only thing I can do for the next few weeks, I might as well play ball and see it through to the end. The recovery is pretty simple, don’t go hard on the turbo and do the physio exercises three times a day! Simple as that even though it can tire you out quite a lot, which isn’t surprising after being laid up for two weeks. Long term recovery is just shy of a year but after about three months, I can return to things like cycling, swimming (if you’re a swimmer... which I’m not!) and light activities. I should be going back to school soon and hopefully returning to a semi-normal life! I’ve got a few simple aims for the next few weeks, the main one is quite simply, get race fit. It’s going to be tough and it’s going to be a long old ride but it’s manageable and oh boy will I do it! Next time I should be riding! PEDAL CARDIFF



“The cycling facilities at UW

he University of Wales Institute Cardiff is well known for it’s sporting excellence, with many Great British athletes passing through it’s doors. So it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the cycling facilities are recognised not only as the best in Cardiff, but the best in Wales. UWIC is a medium size university with 10,000 students studying on campus plus 1,400 staff, who are mainly based on the Llandaff Campus. Back in 2004, Neil Woollacott, the deputy accommodation services manager began a bike user group with just four members of staff taking part. Now, in 2011 there are over 260 members of BUG, that is 20% of staff, the largest bike user group of any employer in Wales. There were many travel issues on the campuses. All campuses are located outside of the city centre with a lack of public transport options and limited amount of space for car parking. There was also a need for intercampus travel during the day. To be able to fund sustainable activities to encourage staff and students to think more about how they travel to work, managed car parking was introduced. Some of the proceeds were ring fenced to fund sustainable travel plans. In 2007, the money started to be used and the posts of travel plan advisor and a travel assistant were created. Neil Woollacott led the way for sustainable travel on all campuses. Swipe access cycle stores (pictured) have been introduced on all three campuses with three on Llandaff, and one each on Cyncoed and Howard Gardens. These stores are enclosed shelters and can only be accessed with a staff or student swipe card. This was a vast improvement on corrugated sheds that were prone to thefts. Each year the Bike2UWIC breakfast incentives are held for four weeks of the year; in September, April and June. Neil explains the incentives, “Staff who cycle to work are able to obtain a free breakfast, and people



Nichola James and Alex Hales making use of the OYBikes at Llandaff Campus

vote with their stomachs. Initially a full English cooked breakfast was offered, but it became apparent that it wasn’t the healthy option. So staff can now choose to have a BUG bag, which has a selection of fruit, the healthy option or a breakfast baguette is also available from the café on campus. It costs a lot of money, but it was successful and staff who hadn’t cycled for years or never before have continued to cycle to work.” As a result of the breakfast scheme the user group membership rose by 200 members over the last 4 years, and each time a cycling event is held, the numbers continue to grow. In Summer 2010, OY Bikes were introduced onto the Llandaff Cam-

pus, and UWIC became the first university in the UK to have the OY Bike rental option on site. There are also stands at Plas Gwyn and Evelian halls of residence, encouraging students to travel sustainably to and from university. “The scheme has really taken off at UWIC. It attracts a lot of overseas students who usually buy bikes when they come to Cardiff, but now they don’t have to. And with the first half an hour free, students can cycle into town within 10 minutes, so it doesn’t cost for a small journey. We often run out of bikes on campus as so many students are using them, so a few times the OY bike guys have come to replenish them. We are looking to expand this Summer and have more stands on campus. The council have helped us a

WIC are the best in Wales!” lot too by providing cycle racks free of charge. Hopefully, it can only grow.” There are grants available in Cardiff for sustainable travel plans, and UWIC received £4500 as a result. This was used to build a cycle lane around the Llandaff campus for staff and students who cycle to have their own entrance away from cars and delivery vans and lorries. This lane then takes them all the way around campus to the cycle store and the newly installed portable showers. The showers allow cyclists to freshen up after a long cycle into work and are hopefully going to turn into a permanent fixture over the next year. The Bike User Group often go out on social rides along the Taff trail or into Cardiff Bay, which creates a sense of community for the cyclists and another advantage of cycling to work. Cycle courses are also offered to staff in maintenance and also in cycle proficiency. As a result, a ‘Cycle First Aider’ is always on site to fix a puncture or a replace a chain for staff and students. “If a student or a member of staff needs assistance with their bike, there is always someone trained who can come and help. And if they have any queries

about cycling to university or the facilities they can use, they just have to ask.” Since more money has been invested in sustainable travel, cycle crime has decreased on campus. However, with an estimated 1000 cycle thefts involving students in Cardiff over a year it is important to be aware of safety measures. “If someone wants something bad enough, they’ll get it. And you have to consider that if you have a £1000 bike, a £20 lock, it doesn’t make much sense. Also, I would recommend when you are out on your bikes you wear fluorescent colours to be seen and don’t use dark lanes on your own.” Even though cycling is the smallest part of the UWIC sustainability plan, it is the greenest way to travel and is increasing every day. “If everyone changed how they travelled just one day a week, we could reduce the numbers of cars on the road by 25%. The only problems we have are that bikes aren’t allowed on buses in Cardiff and there is limited use on trains, so it makes it difficult for staff and students who live further away to be green. But we are always improving. I would say we have the best cycling facilities in Wales.”

Elsewhere in Cardiff

Our trains have limited capacity to carry bikes, but we aim to make things as easy as we can for you. On some Valleys and Cardiff local routes bicycles cannot be taken on trains during peak hours. It is strongly recommended that you make your reservation as far in advance as possible and reserve a cycle space at the time of purchasing your ticket.

Arriva Trains Wales

Police forces across the country are encouraging students and all members of the public to register their bikes on This site can be accessed by police across the country and, if your property is stolen and is then recovered we can find your belongings on the site and return them to you. Register your bike and other valuables today.

PC Tim Davies Community Safety Student Liaison Officer

If you can’t afford to buy a brand new bike, and need to get around Cardiff, the Cardiff Cycle Workshop in Ely Bridge recycles unwanted bikes and sell them for as little as £40. We also offer cycle training and maintenace and Dr Bike can visit you at work or at school to ensure your bike is road safe.

Many cyclists turn out for theBicycle User Group social ride

Ryan Evans is 22 living in Cathays studying BSc Sports Biomedicine & Nutrition at UWIC

I cycle to university because it is cheaper and quicker than catching the UWIC Rider bus and a good way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I live on Colum Road in Cathays and mainly attend lectures on the Llandaff Campus. I cycle up Colum Road, which is quite busy, then cut onto Bute Park and across Pontcanna Fields which is traffic free, so that bit is good. There are decent paths and quite a lot of people cycle it each day. On the downside, it gets really dark in the night during the winter. It takes about 1520mins in cycle there.

Jon Howes Cardiff Cycle Workshop

Cycling to Cyncoed Campus is different. The roads are a lot busier, I cycle along Cathays Terrace and through Roath Park then up the steep hill towards Cyncoed. I’m on the road for most of the journey and it takes about 30 minutes. The bike facilities on campus, both Cyncoed and Llandaff, are pretty good. There are plenty of places to lock your bike up if you bring your own lock. I think it is relatively safe, you don’t hear of many bikes being stolen or damaged which is good so you don’t have to worry when you are in lectures. PEDAL CARDIFF

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Paths to Pedal Recommended rides in Wales from Routes2Ride at Sustrans

Route Info Start: Cardiff Bay Finish: Cardiff Bay Barrage Distance: 1.5 miles Classification: Easy Traffic: Traffic free Surface: Tarmac NCN Route: 8

Cardiff Bay Barrage T

he Cardiff Bay barrage, although controversial when built, is a spectacular piece of engineering. Holding back a huge expanse of water that provides Cardiff with fantastic boating families and Cardiff Bay with its picturesque backdrop, the barrage also helps control flood risk from tidal surges and high river levels. A ribbon of land heading out from the port area of Cardiff takes you to the barrage, over which you can cross to reach Penarth and the Vale of Glamorgan. Fantastic views of the Cardiff skyline can be found along the full length, and once the new pedestrian bridge over the Ely is built, a large circular route around the entire inner harbour and wetlands area will exist. The barrage route is open daily until 8pm.



Jai Kirby is 25 and lives in Penarth. He commutes between Penarth and Cardiff on his bike.

Well, its a very efficient and direct route between Penarth and the Bay area and even Cardiff in general as it is usually so quiet, has no traffic lights of course and is almost flat! However, it has one downfall, the lack of segregated cycling lanes which are needed on busy weekends and public holidays when the crowds of pedestrians can render it nearly impassable or dangerous for a cyclist to proceed without risking collisions with excited children and dogs. I hope that it’s improved once the redevelopment of the Port area moves forward and the temporary path is replaced.

Visit more cycle routes in Wales.



What’s going on in Cardiff this month for you and your bike? 29th January 2011 Round 1 26th February 2011 Round 2 26th March 2011 Round 3 Icebreaker Series Wales National Velodrome, Newport £10 per round £25 for series The Icebreaker Series will be back in 2011. This series is aimed at endurance to help give the Youth ABC riders only the opportunity to build on their fitness before the season fully gets underway. Spaces for the events will be limited, so get your entries in early. Closing date sfor each round will be 2 weeks prior to the event. For more information visit 29th January 2011 Bike Sale Cardiff Cycle Workshop CF5 4AQ Whether you’re looking for a classic retro bike or a just a reliable workhorse to get you around, Cardiff Cycle Workshop has a wide variety of refurbished bikes for sale. There will be a selection for gents, ladies, and children. All bikes are fully safety-checked and reconditioned by our mechanics before resale. All bikes come with a 3 month warranty. For more information visit

6th February 2011 MIJ Christmas Cracker Push Up Llantrisant Woods £20 Enjoy a fun race day racing in Lantrisant Woods for the very first time. There is a short push to the top with a good fun track. There will also be BCF Points, the first oppitunity to gain points for the 2011 BDS series. For more information visit

18th February 2011 Quiz Night Pedal Power, Cardiff A fundraising quiz night is being held by Friends of Pedal Power to help raise money for more bikes and equipment. For more information visit 19th February 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

21st - 24th February 2011 Instructer Training Chapter Arts Centre, CF5 1QE £450 Learn how to train as a National Standard Instructor. National Standard instructor training will equip you or your staff with the skills to teach cycling to children and adults. This course covers all the skills required to deliver cycling courses. This is a four day course. 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...our m y e S d r a Rich Richard Seymour was born with Spondylolisthesis, a condition that causes chronic back pain because of a slipped vertebra. He was told to take up cycling to keep himself fit, and is now competing as part of Team Wales.

I started cycling in November 2008, due to the condition on my back. I was told cycling or swimming were the only ways to keep properly fit due to them being the sports that are non-weight bearing. I gave up athletics and rugby, which I had only just started playing. My condition is known as Spondylolisthesis and for me was a slight birth defect. In simpler terms, it is a slipped vertebra. I suffered with chronic back pain for quite a while when I played rugby and decided to get it properly looked at. I had an operation that lasted over four hours with a 3 month recovery period afterwards. So no school or road cycling. It left me with six pins and a bit of metalwork! I have been denied of riding on the road since late October up until mid January, something I could have done without but luckily I have a turbo which kept me in arms reach of those training on the road. I strongly believe that it will help me develop further due to it fixing my limit of being able to push myself. When totally fit, I train six days a week with one rest day. Long weekend rides are good for mileage and mid week rides are for specific training such as speed work, hill climbing and track bikes for leg speed. My first race was back in January 2009 as an U16. It was a small crit race at Parc Bryn Bach and I managed 5th place out of, what I would now

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rd icha e: R m a les N 17 , Wa Age: Cardiff High : k ff From l: Cardi ad, Trac CC x o o a o j R h A c : S ines Cardiff Dolan l p i c Dis /Club: on a Carb Ultegr Team e: Full l l u id af My r os and h t y M



consider a pretty small field, about 20 people. I had always promised myself when I saw the Welsh kit for the first time that I would get such kit. I did also make a personal mental note that if I were to get it, I would earn it. I believe this motivated me these past years to really reach for the sky in terms of the possibility of being able to ride for Wales at the Junior Tour of Wales. It was a real privilege and honor to wear the kit and I hope to be wearing it again in the future. The Junior Tour of Wales was an experience greater than any I had gained in the past two years. It was a phenomenal race to learn from and nothing I had done before compared to it. The Tour was my first ever junior race, my first stage race and first time riding for Wales. It doesn’t get much more memorable than that. I would love to do more stage races, perhaps elsewhere in Europe at a later date, but for now I will be riding the Tour again later this year. My two most memorable moments so far have got to be the Junior Tour of Wales and my result in the Wasp Race. The Wasp is still my best result to date. I rode it in the summer of 2010 and found myself in second place to some of the best second category riders in Wales. It was meant to be a race for experience and preparation for the Junior Tour but I found myself crossing the line second. The race taught me how to prepare properly for races which I still use now.

Richar d on t he tra ck befo re

his op eration

stretch of open road that is completely flat and usually very quiet. From there, I cross over the A48 through the lanes around St Mellons and return to Cardiff from the north through Lisvane. This ride is perfect for a gentle 30 miles with flat bits, hilly bits and some pretty awesome descents! For the best long ride in Cardiff, I head for the hills. I ride up Bwlch, Rhigos, Maerdy and The Tumble, or even combination of a few of them make a decent ride of around 60 miles. If you’re looking for a long and relatively flat ride, routes to Chepstow and back are also usually around the 60 mile mark with undulating dual carriageways. For a peaceful route, follow the coast! If cycling proves to be a future career path then I will follow it. If not, I have ideas of going to University to study Dentistry and continue riding at a domestic level. I thoroughly enjoy riding and racing and hope to gain further experience and continue to get such great opportunities which will take me on to make it professional.

For the best short ride in Cardiff, I head to ‘The Flats’. It’s an 8 mile

Pedal Cardiff Issue 1  

The first issue of a three part series looking at cycling in Cardiff. Pease note that this is part of an ongoing University module.

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