Part 1 of 2; Oakdale to Brecon
Distance: 32.2 miles
I began this day trip with a ride heading north toward Brecon. Its roughly 32 miles up through the Brecon Beacon Mountains from our home in Oakdale. We're really fortunate to live so close to this spectacular national park. If you visit Wales and plan to do some cycling, you simply must climb Llangynidr mountain. I've climbed quite a few mountains in the Brecon Beacons including the Gospel Pass and to be honest, I think this is one of the best.
The route starts just off of NCN 46 along the Heads of the Valleys on the B4560 from Beaufort to Llangynidr. I suggest riding out from Beaufort because not only is it easier, but more dramatic.
It's a slow ride at first. The climb is steady and subtle.
But then quite suddenly you reach the top and the valleys just unfold beneath you. In the far distance you can see Talybont-on-Usk, Brecon, Llangorse Lake... while the Brecon Beacons loom up along your right.
Then the ride down to Llangynidr is not one for the faint of heart. It was quite easy for me to reach speeds over 40 mph during the three miles of steep descent and some of the switchbacks are "hairpin turns" which require very long and hard breaking. Needless to say, I didn't get many photos...
Halfway... looking down.
... and looking back.