'A Bike Race': Antur ar draws Cymru | An adventure across Wales

Updated: Jan 11

*This is a bilingual post. Scroll down for the English version.

Un o'r pethau mwyaf poblogaidd yn y byd seiclo ar hyn o bryd ydy beicbacio, neu bikepacking, sy'n mynd law yn llaw â phoblogrwydd ultra endurance. Mae rasys megis y Transcontinental ar draws Ewrop yn adnabyddus iawn yn y byd seiclo, lle mae reidwyr yn reidio ddydd a nos drwy gerrig milltir penodol i gyrraedd y terfyn yn yr amser cyflymaf posib. Dydy'r ffenomenon yma ddim yn newydd i Gymru chwaith, gyda rasys fel y GB Duro a'r Pan Celtic Ultra yn tywys reidwyr drwy'n cenedl brydferth ar route wedi'i osod ar eu cyfer.


Ond mae 'na ddigwyddiad newydd ar y gweill yng Nghymru sy'n cynnwys elfen pellach o antur.


Does dim route penodol wedi'i osod gan drefnwyr 'A Bike Race: Roughly the Size of Wales', felly beth yn union sy'n mynd 'mlaen? Mi holais i nhw, a dyma oedd ganddyn nhw i'w ddweud.


"Mae'n ras feics, ras feics endurance hunan-gynhaliol efo gwahaniaeth. Does dim route wedi'i osod, 5 checkpoint a 22 waypoints ar hyd y ffordd. Bydd y reidwyr yn gwneud eu route eu hunain via ffordd, graean, tywod; be' bynnag.

"Cewch farc ar bob checkpoint, cymrwch lun efo amser arno fo ym mhob waypoint mor fuan ag y medrwch chi. Bydd y checkpoints yn cael eu rhyddhau yn hwyrach ymlaen yn 2021, tra bydd cyfesurynnau'r waypoints yn cael eu rhyddhau jyst cyn yr 20fed o Fai 2022.


"Mae'n antur, ac wedyn ras… neu falle mai ras bur ag elfen o antur ydy hi. Mae o be' bynnag 'dech chi isio iddo fo fod. Wnes i ond dechrau seiclo yn 2020 pan gaeodd y campfeydd ac wedi caru'r 20,000 cilomedr a mwy dwi wedi reidio ers hynny."


Er y pwyslais ar y 'ras', mi fydd 'na gyfle i werthfawrogi tirlun ein cenedl. "Dwi'm yn disgwyl i bobl fod a'u pennau i lawr a'u llygaid ar y fordd; ar bob pwynt ar y route mae 'na hen ddigon o brydferthwch i'w werthfawrogi.


"Wedi reidio'r rhan fwyaf o'r route fy hun yn barod mi ges i fy nharo gan ba mor brydferth ydy arfordir Cymru, ac hefyd cyn lleied yr oeddwn i wedi'i weld o'r blaen.


"Pan fydd rhywun yn meddwl am Gymru a seiclo, bydd rhywun yn meddwl am Geraint Thomas, Eryri, mynydd Caerffili, Bwlch y Groes, y Tymbl a fwy na thebyg ambell i ddringfa nodedig arall. Bydd y ras ddim yn cynnwys dim un o'r rhain (oni bai fod Geraint awydd os nad ydy o'n brysur ym mis Mai?) ond yn hytrach yn tywys y reidwyr o gwmpas yr arfordir ac efallai i lefydd na fydden nhw wedi meddwl am fynd iddyn nhw ar ddwy olwyn o'r blaen.


"Dydy hynny ddim i ddweud fod 'na ddim dringfeydd en route achos mi fydd yna slogs a bydd y daith yn profi'r reidwyr yn gorfforol ac yn feddyliol gydag oddeutu 1000km o bedlo a dros 10,000m o ddringo... Dwi'n gobeithio bydd y golygfeydd epic ar hyd yr arfordir yn codi ysbryd."


Beth oedd yr ysbrydoliaeth y tu ôl i gychwyn ras feics ar draws Cymru? O le daeth y syniad? "Mi ddaeth o i mi pan o'n i ar route y GB Divide yn 2021. Ar fy ffordd drwy Gernyw ac i fyny drwy Fryste ac i mewn i Gymru, ro'n i'n reidio 13-15 awr y dydd ac mae hynny'n gymaint o amser i chi'ch hun, felly roedd yr ymennydd yn gweithio overtime.


"Roedd y route wedi'i osod ar y GB Divide yn grêt, ond ro'n i'n meddwl i fi'n hun pa mor dda fyse cael ras checkpoint. Roeddwn i'n rhoi cerrig milltir bychain i fi'n hun; pentrefi bychain neu lefydd o ddiddordeb oeddwn i eisiau eu cyrraedd cyn cinio neu gyn iddi dywyllu ac mi wnes i ffeindio hynny'n fuddiol.


"Dwi 'di seiclo ar fy mhen fy hun yn bennaf, ac ond yn y de, gorllewin, reids hirion drwy'r dydd drwy'r canolbarth ac mi wnes i hyd yn oed hurio beic yng Nghyprus ac yn ne Ffrainc, felly dwi'n deall ystyr antur ar ddwy olwyn. Dwi'm yn meddwl alla'i fyth fynd ar wyliau eto heb hurio beic felly dwi'n gobeithio y bydd pawb sy'n mwynhau yn cael amser gwych ac yn mwynhau."


Mae'r ras eisoes wedi gweld cyn-gyfrannwr y blog a'r seiclwr adnabyddus Ed Laverack yn cyhoeddi ei fod o am reidio, ac mae'r pris gostyngedig yn dâl i fod ar gael. "Mae'r holl wybodaeth ar y wefan www.abikerace.co.uk ac mi all unrhyw un yrru cwestiynau fan yna hefyd. Diolch"

 

One of the cycling world's biggest trends at the moment is that of bikepacking, which goes hand in hand with the popularity of ultra endurance. Races such as the Transcontinental across Europe are extremely well known, where riders ride day and night to reach the destination via checkpoints in the fastest possible time. The phenomenon isn't new to Wales either, with events such as the GB Duro and the Pan Celtic Ultra guiding riders through our wonderful nation on a preset route.


But there's a new event on the way in Wales that adds an additional element of adventure.


No route is set by the organisers of 'A Bike Race: Roughly the Size of Wales', so what exactly is going on? I got in contact with them, and here's what they had to say.


"[It's] a bike race, self supported endurance bike ride with a difference. There's no set route, 5 checkpoints and 22 waypoints along the way. Make your own route via road, gravel, dirt or sand.

"Get a mark at each checkpoint, take a time stamped photo with coordinates at each waypoint as quick as you can. Checkpoints will be released later in 2021 with waypoint coordinates released just before the 20th May 2022.


"It’s all adventure, then a race… or maybe it’s a pure race with adventure thrown in. It’s whatever you choose it to be, I myself only started cycling in 2020 with the closure of gyms and I have loved the 20,000 plus kilometres I’ve ridden since."


Despite the emphasis on 'race', there will be an opportunity to appreciate the landscape that our nation has to offer. "I’m not expecting people to be in TT mode head down and eyes only on the road, at each checkpoint and waypoint there will be plenty of beauty to take in.


"Having ridden most of the route already myself I was taken aback by just how beautiful the coast of Wales is; and also how much of it I hadn’t seen before.


"When you think of Wales and cycling, you usually think Geraint Thomas, Snowdonia, Caerphilly mountain, Bwlch Y Groes, The Tumble and probably a few other notable climbs. This race won’t feature any of those, (well maybe G will be tempted if he isn't busy in May?) but instead will take riders on a journey around the coast and maybe to places they wouldn’t have even thought about visiting on two wheels.


"That’s not to say there aren’t any climbs en route because there will be some slogs and the ride will test riders physically and mentally with around 1000km of pedalling and over 10,000m of elevation… I hope the epic views along the coast will keep spirits up when the chips are down."


Setting up a bike race across Wales from scratch is no mean feat, and what was the inspiration for setting up the event? "[The idea] came to me while taking on the GB Divide route in 2021. On my way through Cornwall and up to Bristol then into Wales I was riding about 13-15 hours per day and that is so much time to yourself and so the brain was working in overdrive.


"The set route of the GB Divide was great, but I thought to myself how cool would a checkpoint race be? I was giving myself small checkpoints on my GB Divide route, little villages or points of interest that I wanted to make it to before lunch or by dark and I found it helped me.


"I have cycled mainly on my own, and only in south Wales, west Wales, long all day rides through mid Wales and even hired a bike in Cyprus and the south of France so I have an appreciation of what adventure on two wheels can be. I don’t think I could ever go on holiday again without hiring a bike so I hope that everyone who enters this race will have a great time and enjoy the ride."


The race has already seen a celebrity entrant in pro Ed Laverack, and an early bird offer is still available for entrants. "All the info is on the website www.abikerace.co.uk and anyone can fire over any questions there too. Diolch"