Trans Cambrian Way?

Questions and answers about routes.

Moderators: Bearbonesnorm, Taylor, Chew

User avatar
Escape Goat
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:41 pm
Location: Not nearly close enough to Scotland...

Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by Escape Goat » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:40 pm

Hey all,
I was originally going to do this as my first ride, though since speaking with John and joining you lot on this forum it's now not going to be my first outing as luckily it was the winter event this Jan, so thankfully I didn't start in the summer!
I was wondering who's done this route? It looks really fun and nice and remote in places too - any tips or advice would be great!

Thanks! :-bd
The faffer.

Check the stuff for sale;

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=14517

New Video;

https://youtu.be/DiUtghNljdY

User avatar
In Reverse
Posts: 699
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:08 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by In Reverse » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:27 am

Hi Escape Goat

Image

Couple of threads with write-ups and a lot of info here and here

If you're doing it at this time of year a lot of the trail will be a bag of sh!te. If you're doing it mid-summer there's a chance that some of it will have dried out a bit (although that's not guaranteed) and a lot of it will still be a bag of sh!te.

There's a cracking cafe-cum-bakery in Rhayader. :-bd

Cum-bakery :-bd

User avatar
Escape Goat
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:41 pm
Location: Not nearly close enough to Scotland...

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by Escape Goat » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:32 am

I may have just found my new profile picture!

Thanks for the links, off to work now so I'll have a read up tonight. A bag of poor show sounds interesting but the cum-cafe worries me more!! :shock:
The faffer.

Check the stuff for sale;

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=14517

New Video;

https://youtu.be/DiUtghNljdY

User avatar
whitestone
Posts: 4681
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:20 am
Location: Skipton(ish)
Contact:

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by whitestone » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:32 am

I did it a couple of years ago in April. Here's my report on it http://bobwightman.blogspot.com/search/ ... s-cambrian. I'd wait until the days are a bit longer and for a few days dry spell before attempting it.

There's really only Rhayader and Llangurig as resupply points so you need to be fairly self-sufficient.

Dyfi Junction probably isn't the best finishing point, guided trips finish in Machynlleth, but if you want to do the official route then head to Dyfi to tick it then zip along the road to Mach for shops and cafes.
Image

User avatar
RIP
Posts: 2183
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Location: Seat 23, 08.05 Leighton Buzzard - Euston

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by RIP » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:06 am

The cafe's ok - it's Welsh so it's a cwm cafe...
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

User avatar
Escape Goat
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:41 pm
Location: Not nearly close enough to Scotland...

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by Escape Goat » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:23 pm

Advice well taken. Thank you. I don't mind epics but don't really like thingsgowrongics due to poor planning. Like last October when I set off over the Bealach and the mountain tried to kill me with 74mph gusts when I was at the top. :roll:

..note to self. Check weather. :lol:
The faffer.

Check the stuff for sale;

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=14517

New Video;

https://youtu.be/DiUtghNljdY

slarge
Posts: 1432
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:49 pm

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by slarge » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:06 pm

Pick a dry spell - it will make a massive difference in your favour.

It's a cracking route, with Claerddu bothy at a good first night option......

Use the writeups above, and search this forum as there's lots of info kicking around

User avatar
Mart
Posts: 1238
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:57 pm
Location: Oot 'n' aboot

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by Mart » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:31 am

I did it in late autumn a few years ago. I recall there were lots of leaves hiding the muddy & slippy bits so drier conditions would be good
2924 miles per Gallon

faustus
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:30 pm

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by faustus » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:28 pm

I'm doing this route this year, and i'm aiming for longer days and warm weather to make it more enjoyable. I've ridden plenty in the area so know what to expect in terms of conditions, at any time of year! As well as the resources on here, there's a good write up on bikepacking.com. I friend lent me their IMBA route map and guide, which is interesting for its historical mapping :-) Worth reading the trail notes and checking online mapping to get a feel for things. Let us know how it goes!

User avatar
Escape Goat
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:41 pm
Location: Not nearly close enough to Scotland...

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by Escape Goat » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:27 am

Hey guys,

Thanks again for your input !

I really hope to do it this year...will see as I've got The Distance, Jennride, WRT and something else planned... Not sure where the time is coming from for everything!
The faffer.

Check the stuff for sale;

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=14517

New Video;

https://youtu.be/DiUtghNljdY

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 15537
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:28 am

I do wonder whether the TCW suffers because people believe it's a bigger undertaking than it actually is?

A few years ago when the BB200 went over to Knighton, I set off from home around 11am, rode to Knighton, got something to eat and set off back around 6pm. Stopped around 11pm, underway by 6.30 the next morning and home by 4pm. Granted, I wasn't following the exact line of the TCW but I was checking various track, dead-ends, off-shoots and the map quite often ... average speed was not blistering :wink:

I'm by no means anything special and would probably just scrape into the 'average' category. I do think more people would give it a go if they realised it wasn't the 3 day epic, they perhaps believe it to be?
Always be yourself unless you can be a pirate. In that case, always be a pirate

User avatar
whitestone
Posts: 4681
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:20 am
Location: Skipton(ish)
Contact:

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by whitestone » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:39 am

I wonder if the "three day epic" comes from the guided crossings? Particularly with groups where there's just more faffing plus if a day's mountain biking is normally a ride around a trail centre then thirty miles can seem massive and fifty or one hundred something approaching mission impossible.

I took 5 hours from Knighton to Rhaeadr in soft muddy conditions without "pushing it" and with not knowing the route I was checking my nav at regular intervals along with a couple of mistakes.
Image

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 15537
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:47 am

I wonder if the "three day epic" comes from the guided crossings?
I think it's largely because that's how IMBA set it out when they 'mapped' it and many (inc' guiding companies) aren't seeing beyond that ... I'm sure day 2 according to IMBA is only something like 25 miles?
Always be yourself unless you can be a pirate. In that case, always be a pirate

slarge
Posts: 1432
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:49 pm

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by slarge » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:44 pm

there's plenty of people who have done it in a day - fastest time is a smidge over 10 hours, so doing it in 2 days would be relatively straightforward - if you average 5mph that's 10 hours a day. It's quite possible if you pace yourself.

User avatar
Escape Goat
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:41 pm
Location: Not nearly close enough to Scotland...

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by Escape Goat » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:38 pm

slarge wrote:there's plenty of people who have done it in a day - fastest time is a smidge over 10 hours, so doing it in 2 days would be relatively straightforward - if you average 5mph that's 10 hours a day. It's quite possible if you pace yourself.

I would be tempted to do this in a day for sure....
The faffer.

Check the stuff for sale;

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=14517

New Video;

https://youtu.be/DiUtghNljdY

User avatar
RIP
Posts: 2183
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Location: Seat 23, 08.05 Leighton Buzzard - Euston

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by RIP » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:40 am

It's certainly tempting to try for one day - a good challenge, and nowt wrong with that. Or even the double in a day but that must be impossible :wink:.

But if you're considering doing it because it's nice and fun and remote - and it does indeed sport all of those facets - I'd like to tip the balance back towards the three dayer if I may please. For example I could chill on top of Foel Fadian for half a day and not feel I'd wasted any time. Quite the opposite in fact. Stick around Claerwen for half a day to feel the remoteness. You'll also need time to get to the start and back from the [plainly not the same place :wink: ] finish of course.

Tramp or challenge, either's perfectly valid. So maybe do it twice and experience both methods :smile:. I restricted myself to the former and enjoyed it immensely (speaking as someone who doesn't really like 'pre-set named routes' :wink: ).
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 15537
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:04 am

Yes very true Reg but you already know the score and realise that 3 days would allow time for lazy luncheon and rambles of the mind :wink: My point was that I'm sure many will believe that a 3 day crossing will be a head down - arse up exercise in beasting ones self, whereas it probably won't for those who don't subscribe to the 'meander approach'.
Always be yourself unless you can be a pirate. In that case, always be a pirate

User avatar
RIP
Posts: 2183
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:24 pm
Location: Seat 23, 08.05 Leighton Buzzard - Euston

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by RIP » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:16 am

:-bd

Yes I can't deny that 3 days is a very relaxed way of doing it even for a layabout like me.
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

User avatar
Escape Goat
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:41 pm
Location: Not nearly close enough to Scotland...

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by Escape Goat » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:07 pm

Due to work limitations, a day would be great....If logistics could work out well!!
The faffer.

Check the stuff for sale;

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=14517

New Video;

https://youtu.be/DiUtghNljdY

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 15537
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:22 am

Due to work limitations, a day would be great....If logistics could work out well!!
Conditions will make a big difference as to how enjoyable it would be in a day. Wait until the longer days and try to pick a dry spell :wink:
Always be yourself unless you can be a pirate. In that case, always be a pirate

middleagedmadness
Posts: 1041
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:37 pm
Location: bradley -a small fishing hamlet in the blackcountry

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by middleagedmadness » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:38 pm

It's on the list for me and the boy in the summer but never mind your 1,2,3 days I'm reckoning on a very very leisurely 4 days ,25 / 30 miles per day is sufficient to keep the boy happy without the tiredness teenage strops kicking in , but he may suprise me and want to do a bit more mileage than I anticipate of him ,I think it may make a good use of one of my 4 days off :-bd

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 15537
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:53 pm

If you're going to do it over 4 days Stu, I could do you an extension if you like? Rather than finish at the anti-climax of Dyfi Junction, I could get you to the coast. Somewhere with a station still but other things too, like chips and ice cream. Wouldn't add too much mileage as you'd not be dropping down towards Mach'.
Always be yourself unless you can be a pirate. In that case, always be a pirate

User avatar
Escape Goat
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:41 pm
Location: Not nearly close enough to Scotland...

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by Escape Goat » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:48 pm

and it just hits me like a REALLY slow train, tooting its horn for 30 minutes prior to even seeing me, whilst shouting continuously out the window "get out of the way" ...it doesn't HAVE to be meter by meter the TCW...forward in any direction to make it work is an option. :o
The faffer.

Check the stuff for sale;

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=14517

New Video;

https://youtu.be/DiUtghNljdY

middleagedmadness
Posts: 1041
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:37 pm
Location: bradley -a small fishing hamlet in the blackcountry

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by middleagedmadness » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:20 am

Bearbonesnorm wrote:If you're going to do it over 4 days Stu, I could do you an extension if you like? Rather than finish at the anti-climax of Dyfi Junction, I could get you to the coast. Somewhere with a station still but other things too, like chips and ice cream. Wouldn't add too much mileage as you'd not be dropping down towards Mach'.
That would be perfect mate ,as we were planning on dropping down to Mach for food at the end,so that would save us doing it , no rush if we have a decent may will probably go whit week ,if it's not looking too good it'll be after he breaks up from school in July ,but will poss see you Easter week if not will have a yap about it when we come down for WRT

Mbnut
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:01 am
Location: Maidstone

Re: Trans Cambrian Way?

Post by Mbnut » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:45 am

I set off on the 28th May last year.

I wanted to get off the first train into Knighton from Shrewsbury and then return to Shrewsbury on the last train out of Dovey Junction that evening.

04.49 Shrewsbury arrives 05.37 Knighton.

Ride the TCW arrive at Dovey Junction to catch 19.59 to Shrewsbury.

That gives 14 hours 22 minutes to ride the route.

I knew it would be tight so had a loose back up plan of staying in Mach and drinking beer and eating lots if I didn't make it.

Set off deliberately slow and steady, it was soft on the grassy sections but I made good ground.

Sadly, I came across a logged area where the path was no more. Hiking/clambering across the debris saw me slip and crack my head on a stump, I sat up and vomited immediately.

I knew at that point the game was up.

I made my way to the church at Bwlch and sat on the bench for half an hour till the nausea subsided. I then ate a little, threw it back up and decided to make my way to Rhayader.

At the cwm bakery :-D I had a rest but knew the game was up so I headed to my favourite cafe, The Green Oak in Llanidloes for plant based comfort.

From there I rode up to the dam at Lyn Clywedog just as I wanted to have a look then rode to Caersws to get the train to Shrewsbury.

Despite braining myself and taking around 45 minutes or so break I still rode into Rhayader in under 5 hours.

I think I'll go back and have another go, I have a little knowledge of the second half of the route and feel I can get damn close to making that train.

Not that it really matters, beers in Mach or beers in Shrewsbury is still beers!

Post Reply