Learning to ride a bike is something that most of us do when we are very young, but how many of us continue this into our adult lives? Riding a bike is also something we never forget how to do, no matter what age we are.
Back in the 50’s and 60’s, when there were far fewer cars on the road, cycling was still a popular mode of transport. ‘The school run' was unheard of; children would happily ride their bikes to school and back each day. As we moved into the 70’s and 80’s the automobile became a more important mode of travel; consequently the roads got busier and cycling became less popular as people began enjoying the indulgent comforts of a modern automobile.
Sometime in the mid nineties, as energy costs began to rise, cycling started to slowly regain its popularity. Since then it seems that nothing can stop the cycling revolution! Currently it is estimated that just over 3 million people cycle a bike regularly.
It seems that over the last few years cycling has become almost a mainstream sport in the UK. In 2012, possibly one of the greatest milestones in British cycling was achieved when Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first British cyclist to win the ‘Tour de France’. If that wasn’t enough his team mate at Sky, Chris Froome won it the following year in 2013.
This year in July 2014, the Tour de France came back to Britain for the first time since 2007. It was estimated that 1 million people lined the roads to watch the event over the 3 days it was here.
In September in North Wales, for the second year in succession, we had a stage of the Tour of Britain racing around this beautiful part of the UK. Sir Bradley Wiggins (see picture opposite) competed which ensured large crowds came out in the beautiful September sunshine.
Of course it’s not just the professional road cyclists that get to cycle around North Wales! That’s one of the great things about cycling - any of us can do it!
Road cycling in North Wales has so much to offer. Generally speaking, the majority of the roads are largely traffic free. Pick the right time of year, and you can find yourself cycling and realise a car hasn’t passed you for nearly 10 minutes – that’s pretty unusual in the UK!
The sheer diversity of the landscape makes it a wonderful place to come and cycle. There are quiet country lanes weaving in and out of small country villages where you can stop off for refreshments when your legs need a break! Snowdonia has of course got the classic mountain pass climbs, some are more challenging than others, but when you finally get yourself to the top you will be rewarded with spectacular views! When you come out of the mountains, you can head for the coast and cycle along the peaceful coastal roads that weave their way around headlands and into quiet small fishing villages.
Whether you come to North Wales to cycle 10 miles or do something more ambitious, you will be rewarded with a memorable experience, and go home feeling mentally and physically refreshed, not to mention, a few pounds lighter!
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