u3a - Cycling Spotlight - Wales

Chepstow u3a

Chepstow u3a - Cycling Groups

by Brian Mahony, Group Leader

The Chepstow u3a Cycling Group has been running for about six years. It arose out of a “taster” cycling event that was organised as part of an “Activities and Adventure u3a Group”. The idea was to form a social Cycling Group where nobody has anything to prove and to encourage people to dust off the bikes that had been gathering dust in their garage and get cycling again.

We have around 40 members and mostly get between 12 and 18 out on a ride. We accommodate all sorts of bikes, and between us have a fine collection of road bikes, tourers, hybrids, mountain bikes and an increasing number of e-bikes. We ride once or twice per month from March to November with rides of between 25 and 35 miles in length, aiming to ride on cycle tracks and quiet roads as far as possible. We often stop at a café or pub for coffee and lunch, but sometimes take a picnic. Members take turns to devise routes and lead and, fortunately for the convener, the programme always fills up very quickly.

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We mostly start our rides within 30 miles of our base in Chepstow which gives us the Cotswolds, Bristol, Forest of Dean, the banks of the Severn Estuary, the Wye Valley, Gwent Levels and the South Wales Valleys as our home territory. Last year, we trialled some shorter, flatter, easier paced rides which were very successful and these have now spun off for 2021 as a new “Easy Riders” Cycling Group with rides of 15 to 25 miles.

The highlight of our year is a long weekend where we ride a linear route of about 100 miles over two and a half days with two overnight stays. We have ridden the Radnor Ring in Mid Wales, the Devon Coast to Coast route from Ilfracombe to Plymouth and part of the West Country Way from Tiverton to Bristol. Our next planned trip is on the National Cycle Network route from Shrewsbury to Gloucester.    

One useful tip that we use to keep our rides running smoothly is that when we reach a junction, whoever happens to be riding second behind the leader stops and waits to point the rest of the group in the right direction, enabling them to keep moving. He or she sets off again once they know that everyone is accounted for by receiving a wave from the designated back-marker.

Porthcawl u3a

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Porthcawl u3a - Cycling Group

by Pat Thomas, Group Leader

We are a group of 12 members who enjoy getting out to cycle. We usually meet twice a month and have one local cycle, being very lucky to have cycle tracks along the coast in our area, on the other week we put the bikes on our cars and head off to new pastures.

We have cycled along the Brecon canal, The Millennium coastal path at Llanelli to Burry Port and along the cycle track to Mumbles in Swansea.

We have some who have recently begun to ride a cycle again and a gentleman of 80 who regularly does 50 miles every few days!

We enjoy the outdoors and the great feeling of being able to see new areas by cycling.

We have fun, a laugh and always a coffee and cake along the route!

We try to look out for each other.

We certainly missed meeting up during the pandemic. 

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