Find your ideal cycling holiday
30th September 2021 - 3rd October 2021 (4 days)
Based in the town of Rhayader at the foot of the stunning Elan valley reservoirs, this ‘Welsh Lake District’ has a wide variety of riding on natural trails. High moorland tracks, forest climbs, occasional river crossings and exhilarating descents make for some superb riding. This tour is suitable for experienced mountain bikers with a good level of fitness, as some of the trails are quite technical in nature and the area is very hilly. Based at an excellent 'bike friendly' guest house with dinner included on two nights, riding directly from the house each day.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Paul Rogers
- Grade Challenging
- Booking Status Places Available
- Accommodation Guesthouse
- Board Basis Some Meals
- Travel Arrangements Land Only
- Road / Off Road Off-Road
- Holiday Style Centre-based
- Vehicle Support Carry Own Luggage
- Holiday Ref 03644
Thursday 30th September
Meet at the guest house in Rhayader. Possible informal ride early afternoon of approx 20 miles. Stay 3 nights. Meals: D
Friday 1st October
Mountain bike ride around the Elan valley, taking in one of the classic routes, approx 30 miles. Meals: B
Saturday 2nd October
Local mountain bike ride in and around the Elan valley of approx 30 miles, or a visit to Nant-yr-Arian trail centre. Meals: B D
Sunday 3rd October
Mountain bike ride around the Elan valley, taking in a circuit of the lower reservoir, approx 20 miles. Meals: B
Meals: B = Breakfast D = Dinner
The above itinerary should be treated as an indication of what is to be accomplished during the tour and not as a contractual obligation.
Accommodation & Meals
Our base will be a guest house in the centre of Rhayader, in twin or double rooms, with breakfast served each day. Dinner is included on the Thursday and Saturday evenings. Vegetarian meals can be arranged if requirements are stated on the booking form. Bike storage/wash and car park available.
As this is a centre-based holiday, no support vehicle is provided.
Obtaining travel insurance is optional for UK residents as your Cycling UK membership provides third party cover. However, this does not cover any other risks such as cancellation charges, personal injury or lost property. We therefore strongly recommend that suitable insurance is taken out to safeguard against such risks.
Members who do not reside in the UK are not covered for third party and are advised to obtain suitable cover before leaving their normal residence. If you already have an annual policy, you may need to confirm that it will cover a UK holiday or make provision for it to do so.
The price of £270 is based on a minimum number of 10 people taking part in the holiday; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3. If there are insufficient bookings by 22nd July 2021, we will contact you and return all monies paid.
- 3 nights guesthouse accommodation
- 3 breakfasts & 2 dinners (2 course)
- Off-road leadership
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from the tour
- Drinks with dinner
- Refreshments at any cafe stops
- Any other personal expenses
A deposit of £27 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £243 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 22nd July 2021.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 22nd July 2021
From 22nd July 2021 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
The Elan valley reservoirs are a hidden gem, packed with rideable bridleways and other legal trails. These deep river valleys were chosen to supply drinking water to the growing city of Birmingham approx 100 years ago, and the resulting series of dams have created a stunning area for wildlife to flourish. The area is famous for the conservation of the Red Kite, now common in other parts of the UK, and these are likely to be seen in the skies on all of our rides. Our guest house base in Rhayader means that we can ride directly from the door each day into some truly stunning scenery.
Rides & Rest Days
The mountain biking in this area is quite varied in nature, from high level moorland trails, long climbs, rugged 4WD tracks and exhilarating fast descents, to the more sedate Sustrans trails that run along the edge of the reservoirs. This hilly terrain does require a good level of fitness, but with that you are rewarded with some spectacular scenery. With approx 30 miles of off road riding on each day (a shorter ride for Sunday), the ride pace does not need to be flat out, but being a hilly area, and occasionally very exposed, some reasonable momentum needs to be maintained. Please bear this in mind when booking on this holiday. The intention is to ride as a single group each day, but with two leaders on hand, the group may split at some point to keep the momentum flowing. Both leaders have ridden extensively in this area and will determine the best route each day to take any weather conditions into account. These rides will be mainly off- road (approx 90%), utilising legal tracks and byways only, and subject to the new Llanerchi mtb trails being completed, we may also ride these. We may visit the excellent Nant-yr-Arian trail centre depending on local ground conditions.
Accommodation & Meals
All bedding and towels are supplied. Two dinners are included in the holiday price (two-course), along with all breakfasts. Please note on your booking form if you would prefer vegetarian meals or have any other special dietary needs. It should be possible to use a shower at the guesthouse following the Sunday ride before setting off for home. Depending on the makeup and size of the group we might need to take some rooms at a B&B close by, but all meals will taken together at the Horseshoes guest house.
The Horseshoes guest house is in the centre of the town of Rhayader, just metres away from Clive Powell's excellent bike shop. The guesthouse postcode is LD6 5AT. Rhayader sits at the junction of the A44 and A470 main roads, approx 70 miles west of the motorway network. The nearest train station is at Llandrindod Wells on the Heart of Wales line, some 12 miles from Rhayader.
The maximum group size will be 12 excluding the Tour Managers.
Weather & Clothing
The routes each day will depend a little on the likely weather conditions as there are some stretches that cross high open moorland. The published itinerary may have to be changed if the weather is very poor, but in general at this time of year we would hope to be able to keep to the plans. However, please ensure that you carry an extra layer of clothing along with a good quality waterproof as we will stop regularly to regroup and your pace may be different to others.
Cycles & Equipment
As some of the tracks are quite technical you will need a mountain bike of reasonable quality – contact the Tour Manager if you have any questions on the matter. Suspension forks make control of the bike much easier and are essential for this tour, along with full MTB tyres. Most of these types of bikes are likely to have plenty of low gearing for the hills. The addition of clip-on mudguards might be useful if there has been a wet spell before the weekend. Please contact the Tour Manager before booking on this tour if you intend to use an eBike. The leaders always carry a spare tube/pump/tyre levers and a multi tool to fix minor problems, along with a basic first aid kit and emergency shelter. However, we would ask that all participants carry, as a minimum, a spare tube(s), a good quality waterproof jacket and some water/snacks. Please note that although riding off-road is generally safer as there are no motor vehicles to contend with, minor spills probably do occur more often. Whilst CTC Holidays normally leave the choice of helmet wearing to the participant, the leadership qualifications gained by the Tour Managers require all participants to wear an approved cycle helmet at all times whilst riding.
Maps & Guides
The leaders will provide an outline each morning of the proposed routes from the local 1:25,000 OS map (Explorer 200) and GPX files will be available for those who like to use an electronic mapping device. The plan is to ride as a group, stopping at any track junctions, so it is unlikely that you will get lost, The leaders also use 2-way radios to help keep the group together.