Taff Trail Tales

55@5 - A young girl's huge success story

Lara Ebrey, aged just 5 years old, set herself a challenge. Could a 5 year old girl cycle a distance of 55 miles over grueling Welsh terrain, in just 1 day?

Following in the footsteps of her brother Lewis, who last year cycled mount Snowdon aged just 6 (see the video here) this year Lara picked up the gauntlet. The challenge - to cover 55 miles in a single day, aged 5 years old. We dubbed the challenge #55@5

The trail selected was the Taff Trail, which begins in Brecon in Mid Wales, and runs through the lower Brecon Beacons, past Merthyr Tydfil and eventually finishes by the sea in Cardiff Bay.

Training for the event took over 6 months, and covered hundreds of miles on trails local to High Wycombe, although none so challenging as the Taff Trail itself.

On the day of the challenge, Lara had to overcome many hurdles, including a five mile continuous climb to the highest point of the ride at Talybont-on-Usk, Welsh weather, and later battling extreme fatigue. She eventually competed 55.6 miles in a time of 9.5 hours (including stops).

A full report of the day, along with a record of the training regime can be found at littlepro.co.uk.

This was a huge physical and mental challenge for a 5 year old (and even for her 7 year old brother who accompanied her throughout the ride), and we are not aware of anyone else so young completing such a distance. One thing is certain, the bar has been set high for next year.

About Lara:
Lara has been cycling a pedal bike (without stabilizers) since she was 2 years old, and has covered thousands of miles over the years. She currently rides an Islabikes Beinn 20 small - her 3rd pedal bike. Lara lives in High Wycombe and attends school in Tyler's Green.

Written by Lara's Dad on 15 Aug 2017

We've updated the MyTaffTrail website

After sitting there doing not much for the last few years we decided to give the MyTaffTrail website a makeover. It's now super fast and is 100% mobile-friendly.

You'll notice that there are adverts scattered around the site and clicking on these will generate a small amount of income so we can continue to keep the website updated.

We get lots of emails from people who either use the Taff Trail or would like to have their business included on the site - please keep contacting us, we love to hear from you.

So, we hope you like the new-look website and we also hope to update it a bit more often than we have done in the past.

Written by MTT Admin on 18 Feb 2017

A Traff Trail Trek for Scotty's Little Soldiers

Neil Spencer walks the Taff Trail for Scotty's Little Heroes

Hi my name is Neil, I am a former soldier in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. After being injured in Iraq in 2004 and medically discharged I started to do a little fitness training to keep fit. Many years later in 2012 I decided to run the Cardiff half marathon in full army kit for Help For Heroes and after that decided I needed something more challenging so I took on the Taff Trail for Scotty's Little Soldiers, a charity that supports children who have lost parents in service.

So, on the 23rd August this year at 03:00 I set off on my own from Brecon carrying a 35lb backpack with some 7 litres of water and food along trail aiming to finish later in the evening. All was good until I came off the trail near Pontypridd and got lost. I ended up in a housing estate but after 20 minutes finally found the trail again! The last 17 or so miles went by ok, although some of the mileage signs to Cardiff seemed to stay the same - at one point it said Cardiff was 8 miles, 2 miles later it still said 8 miles!

After running the last 6 miles, I finally arrived at Cardiff Bay at 19:15, some 16 hours later, exhausted and soaking but glad to have finished it.

Written by Neil Spencer on 25 Aug 2013

Ty Hafan - Taff Trail Cycle Challenge

Taff Trail Cycle Challenge - Sunday 1st September 2013

Ready for the Taff Trail challenge 2013?

We challenge you to take on the Taff Trail Cycle Challenge with a team of four friends, family or work colleagues, and together raise vital funds to support hundreds of families who are relying on your help.

Hundreds of mums and dads, not so far from you, are living with the agonising reality that they will outlive their children. Unimaginable isn't it? It's every parent's unspoken nightmare that for some becomes a dreadful reality. But there is comfort and a helping hand. It's called Ty Hafan.

Whether you chose to tackle the mighty 52 mile Full Taff from Brecon to Cardiff or the 6 mile 'Castle to Castle' Family Taff from Castell Coch to Cardiff, the challenge will be tough and you may struggle to fundraise, but don't give up - every effort you make will help a family cope with the challenges and pain they're forced to live with every day.

It's a great way to get fit this summer and is a fab day out with friends and family.

Register now on: www.tafftrail.co.uk

Written by Ty Hafan on 08 Jul 2013

New Pathways - Charity Walk from Brecon to Cardiff

Mike, Dept. CEO of New Pathways

New Pathways is a Welsh Charity that has supported victims of rape and sexual abuse for almost 20 years. Last year they received over 2000 referrals for counselling and support. They have offices in Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Risca, Swansea, Bridgend and Carmarthen and are hoping to shortly open new premises in Aberystwyth. They receive little Government or Statutory funding and rely heavily on charitable foundations and the generosity of the public.

To try to raise funds, as well as to raise awareness of this difficult area of work, their Deputy CEO Mike is this weekend doing a sponsored walk down the length of the Taff Trail (55 miles/88km), in support of New Pathways. He will be starting off in Brecon on Friday morning and finishing at Cardiff Bay sometime on Sunday afternoon. He loves this trail and walks sections of it with his dogs, but this is the first time he has attemted the whole route!

Having recently purchased a Bear Grylls survival handbook, he is planning to camp out along the route and survive on grubs and wild berries! If that doesn't work he will find the nearest chip shop!

If you, or anyone you know, would like to sponsor him and support this local charity, please contact enquiries@newpathways.co.uk. You will also be able to follow his progress via their twitter account @newpathways_.

Written by New Pathways on 05 Oct 2012

Our first ride from Pontypridd to Tongwynlais

Random shot taken by my daughter

Last Sunday I decided to take my eldest daughter, who is 9, on the train from Taffs Well to Pontypridd to test out a different route. We normally just cycle from Tongwynlais to the weir at Radyr and back, stopping to throw some stones into the river.

We set off at around 11:30am, cycling to Taffs Well train station before waiting a good 20 minutes for the train to arrive. A quick train journey later and we reached Pontypridd.

We cycled down to Ynysangharad Park and joined the Taff Trail, getting a bit confused as to whether or not we should cross the A470 to get on to Pentrebach Road!

We soon got into the swing of things and Bethan was easily fitting through the speed control gates. I wasn't so lucky though, having to slow down at each one. We stopped a few times for her to rest and ate a few blackberries from one of the bushes.

It was hard to tell where exactly we were as much of the route looked the same. It wasn't until Caerphilly Road (Nantgarw) that we worked out where we were. The journey from there to Taffs Well was brilliant, mostly downhill and we did a lot of free-wheeling.

We arrived back home just under two hours after setting off which wasn't bad considering Bethan's age and fitness level! I'm definitely going to do it again, probably on my own next time so I can go a little faster.

Written by Keith Harris on 16 Sep 2012