Don’t let this route’s length fool you. It may only be around 28km, but that includes two stiff climbs that add up to around 500m of ascent.
Mercifully, it now includes a bike café after the first climb and some stunning scenery. There’s also a very nice pub on the way back down to ground level.
The first climb
The first climb is Rhiwbina Hill, so you can either start the route in Rhiwbina itself, or perhaps Whitchurch if that is more convenient. We started at Muddybums, as Rhiwbina Village is the last bit of flat ground you are going to see for a few miles.
Follow the road up to the roundabout and head straight over. At this point the road kicks up significantly and keeps going for about 4.5km but it will occasionally level off slightly before the descent into Tongwynlais.
Whilst here you could get a coffee and a cake from the new cycle café on Market Street (plan2ride), or continue along the Taff Trail to Taffs Well.
The second climb…
Head along Cardiff Road in Taffs Well until you reach the roundabout for Treforest Estate. Take a left onto Main Avenue all the way to Upper Boat. Take a left here and proceed along the road for the Treforest Estate train station. Stay on this lane until you reach the railway bridge. Here you’ll need to shift down into an easier gear as it’s about to get a little tough. The road will soon fork into two, with the left going to Gwaelod-y-Garth and the other going to Efail Isaf. Take the one on the right. The road climbs 117m in 1.23km, until there’s a brief descent into Efail Isaf. However, the profile of this climb, unlike the Wenallt or Eglwysilan, sees the steepest part arrive at the beginning before gradually levelling off.
Take a left at the end of the road and continue through Efail Isaf until you reach the T-junction and a left turn signposted to Pentyrch. Turn left and prepare for another climb up to 215m.
Eventually you’ll reach Pentyrch, but watch out for a sharp left turn up to Mountain Road, where you will briefly climb again, but it’ll be worth it. The views are spectacular from this road and at the end of it there’s a very nice pub, the Gwaelod-y-Garth Inn.
From here you head back down the hill, along the main road and back towards Tongwynlais & Whitchurch. You can choose to join the Taff Trail in Tongwynlais or even Morganstown via the farm, if you fancy some peace & quiet.
There’s an alternative version of this route that we scoped out this evening, so stay tuned for that one.