New to cycling? A bit rusty? Need a bit of a confidence boost? This page covers: Training and easy group rides, Easy flat off road rides where you can practise, and also provides advice for Commuting to Work on a Bike.
Training and easy group rides
Cardiff Council offers a range of FREE adult and child cycle training. See what’s on offer at www.cardiff.gov.uk/ENG/resident/Parking-roads-and-travel/Road-Safety/Pages/default.aspx.
Ready, set, ride:
Videos from this British Cycling and HSBC initiative help you free, quick and easy games to help you teach kids to pedal. https://readysetride.co.uk/.
Pedal Power offers training and escorted rides for anyone, but with particular support for disabled people and people who need varied types of bicycles, tricycles etc.
Spokesperson runs escorted rides for individuals, and is the only ride organiser with special support for LGBTQIA+ people.
Buying a bike
Buying a bike can be intimidating! Here are a few tips and links.
Choosing a bike
Where can you buy a good bike in Cardiff?
There are a lot of good cycle shops in Cardiff. Pedal Power and Cardiff Cycle Workshop, both non-profits, are a great place to start, They both sell second-hand bikes and have very experienced people who can advise you.
Easy traffic-free rides
For complete beginners:
Here are a couple of bits of bike route that are wide, flat, straight and not too busy for you and your kids to practice:
Near Pedalpower: Cardiff’s very own “Unter den Linden” (the straight road under the big old lime trees that runs up to the horse stables)
Cardiff Bay: the road across the Barrage
While there are sometimes fast bikes on both of these stretches, there is plenty of space for them to see you and keep well away. (Try to avoid the rush hour!)
Easy traffic-free routes
Parts of these routes are shared with pedestrians and dogs. Be courteous!
Cardiff Bay Trail
A circular roughly 6 mile cycling route around Cardiff Bay via the Barrage, with lots to see! Get there offroad from the Taff Trail. See www.outdoorcardiff.com/trails-across-cardiff/cycling/ for more information and a route map.
Largely traffic-free, the trail follows much of the course of the River Taff (and National Cycle Network Route 8) from Cardiff Bay out of the north of the city to Tongwynlais and Castell Coch (about 8 miles). You can continue offroad to Caerphilly on a side trail, or ultimately all the way up to Brecon (50 miles).
The trail is easily accessible from: Grangetown, Taffs Mead, Riverside, Bute Park, Cooper’s Field, Pontcanna Fields, Pontcanna, Gabalfa, Llandaff, Llandaff North, Hailey Park, Whitchurch, Radyr, Coryton, Morganstown, Tongwynlais and Taff’s Well.
A bit more challenging
On the western side of the city: a circa 7 mile largely traffic-free walking and cycling route linking Cardiff Bay and Penarth at the coast all the way to St Fagans Natural History Museum. The trail starts by following the River Ely, on a paved path which soon turns to gravel (passable for road bikes) then passes next to the A4232 dual carriageway, and then back onto quiet roads. It is easily accessible from: Penarth, Llandough, Leckwith, Caerau, Victoria Park, Canton, Riverside, Ely, Pentrebane, St Fagans and Michaelston-super-Ely. For more information and a route map see: www.outdoorcardiff.com/walks/ely-trail/#Information.
Commuting by bike
You might be surprised that a 2017 ‘race’ (before the new bike lanes) showed that cycling was the fastest way to commute to central Cardiff!
Cycling UK’s advice on commuting: You don’t have to ride all the way to work and back every day. Maybe bike it two or three days a week? Or try using a bike with public transport. This is much easier with a folding bike. (See a 2023 review of folding bikes/e-bikes here.) Or invest in a full size e-bike if you want to commute longer distances. Prices are coming down all the time.
You don’t need a shower at work: slow down and you won’t work up a sweat. Put your luggage on the bike instead of your back to prevent overheating (and overbalancing). If necessary, take a spare shirt and deodorant, then change in the loos. Nuclear option? E-bike.
And what about the rain? You would be surprised how little actually falls in the short time you are commuting! However, there are some very wet days. This blog has some good advice:
And for winter: lots of good advice in this blog: