By Daniel Neilson
Keep fit and raise money for the Brecon Mountain Rescue Service fund with a scenic cycle ride from the Welsh coast to the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
One of Wales' top family-friendly cycle paths, which stretches all the way from the Brecon Beacons National Park to the coast, and offers up some of the country's top scenery, is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. To celebrate, cyclists are being invited to enter the Canal 200 Charity Cycle Ride on Saturday 19th May.
Starting in the City of Newport, the trail is around 42 miles in length and follows the scenic Monmouth and Brecon Canal to Brecon’s Canal Basin. Organisers Green Dragon Events are requesting sponsorship to enter, with all money raised going to the Brecon Mountain Rescue Service fund. The trail is suitable for all members of the family, with shorter routes from the popular stopping points of Gilwern and Talybont-on-Usk.
Serious cyclists can pedal the whole 42 miles from Newport, or 18 miles from Gilwern (both £25 sponsorship per person), or join the shorter 7-mile family ride from Talybont-on-Usk (£10 sponsorship per person). There will be plenty to do and see along the way, with a pit-stop for a ‘bun, beer and banana’ at The Coach & Horses in Llangynidr, as well as a BBQ at Brecon Canal Basin when the ride is over. There will also be some quality surprise spot prizes for cyclists donated by Cycle-Tec.
For further details and sponsor forms or sponsor forms visit www.greendragonactivities.co.uk or call 01591 610508.
The Brecon Mountain Rescue Team's annual running costs of more than £30,000 are funded entirely through donations. Last year the team received 99 call outs and have already had 20 this year. Call outs range from rescuing lost walkers to working with the RAF to winch severely injured explorers to hospital. Their website makes an entertaining read with details of all call outs over the last four years. www.breconmrt.co.uk
If you need to rent a bike the following companies are offering discounts, but advance booking is essential:
Bikes and Hikes are offering 10% discount, www.bikesandhikes.co.uk
Drover Holidays are offering 25% discount on bike hire and a drop-off service for bookings made at least three-days in advance.www.droverholidays.co.uk
Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages are donating 10% of all bookings from cyclist guests quoting 'Canal 200' to this very important cause. The company offers over 300 holidays throughout the National Park, many of which are either on or very close to the canal. Call 01874 676446 or visit www.breconcottages.com for more information.
The Angel Hotel, an historic coaching inn in the centre of Abergavenny (five minutes from the train station and 15 minutes from the canal by bike), is offering cyclists a complimentary full breakfast and room upgrade (subject to availability). £111 per room per night. Applicable for Friday 18 or Saturday 19 May. Reservations must be made by calling 01873 857121 and quoting 'Canal 200 Cycle Ride'. www.angelabergavenny.com
Penydre Farm Cottages have a special price of £200.00 (saving £50) for participating cyclists and their families for a three-day break.
Ty Croeso Hotel, right on the canal near Crickhowell, are providing a complimentary bottle of wine or cava to all cyclists staying with them who finish the ride.
The event is being organized by Green Dragon Events and funded by Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s Collobor8 programme, the BBQ provided by Cammarch Valley Butchers.