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As Bike Week rounds into the weekend, the chance to really give yourself over to a day ride in the beautiful summer weather becomes more and more real. Healthy, cost-efficient, and fun, cycling has always been a popular activity along the coast in Bridgend. As for trails in this beautiful county, there is no shortage. Whether you are looking for something challenging like the Darren Fawr Trails or a little more leisurely - Bridgend has it all!
Trails For Family, Friends, and Adventurers
Beautiful Biking © By BridgendBites.com
The Cefn Cribwr Trail, a section of the Celtic Trail from Tondu to Pyle, is an excellent trail for beginner bikers. It's short distance of only 4.5km and traffic-free surroundings make it lovely for those looking for a calm and relaxing ride. The trail itself takes you through the Parc Slip Nature Park, giving you a chance to see the recorded 28 Butterfly species that exist there!
The Ogmor e Valley Trail stretches from Nant-y-Moel to Aberkenfig. It's 11 miles are calm, safe, and fit for those seeking something a bit on the longer side or as a family outing. It passes some well-known landmarks for a tourist as well, such as the Devil's Pulpit and beautiful views like the one from Llangeintor Church.
Bike Routes © By BridgendBites.com
The Darren Fawr Mountain Bike Trails opened this past January and beckon with their gorgeous scenery and challenging topography. The two trails, the blue Glengarw trail for intermediate riders and the black Gellideg trail for experienced riders, are approximately 3km each, and combined 6km.
If you're looking for any local contacts - Bridgend has many different kinds of cycling clubs and opportunities to hire bikes. For Local clubs, the Ogmore Valley Wheelers and the Blackmill & District Mountain Bike Club are great for getting you started in meeting the local cycle community and learning about the different trails. Breakaway Cycling Holidays offers great bike hires, a great way to go cycling for a weekend holiday without having to cart your bike along with you.
As always, use your common sense when you go out cycling! Don't go out on a long day trip without food, water, a mobile phone and a map. Always wear a helmet and keep your bike roadworthy. If you are going to be cycling on a road, remember to take care in riding downhill and watch for junctions and cars that may be dangerous to an unprotected cyclist.
For the off-roader, take care to give way to pedestrians and don't expect to cycle at high speeds. And always, no matter how safe you feel it is, lock your bike up when you leave it unattended! You don't want to loose your favorite transportation, do you?
Summer Bike Week © By BridgendBites.com
Make Bike Week the most bike-worthy week yet!
Surfing at Rest Bay, Porthcawl
Horse-riding on picturesque, mountainous terrain; surfing on golden, sandy beaches and golfing on velvet, lush greens.
It might sound like a famous video advert for California that starred David Beckham but this montage is advertising the South Wales borough of Bridgend.
Tourism officials for the borough have launched a viral advertising campaign they hope will showcase the area's little known charms to a wider audience.
The video, produced by local authority run BridgendBites, more than slightly resembles an advert by Visit California which hit TV screens last year, albeit without the all-star Hollywood cast including former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It does however use a little artistic licence, and feature some clips of activities in neighbouring areas including the Neath Valley.
A spokesman for Bridgend council said: "This particular video was produced as part of a tourism competition held last year in conjunction with the Adventures Outdoor Activity Centre near Porthcawl where participants were asked to nominate what sort of activities they wanted to try.
"The winners were then invited to come to Bridgend County Borough and sample the activities as part of their prize.
"Whether it's surfing at Rest Bay, pony trekking in Merthyr Mawr, the competition was designed to promote Bridgend County Borough as an ideal base for enjoying holidays and outdoor activities throughout South Wales."
Like the Visit California video, which boasts cameo's from Major golf champion Phil Mickelson, actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger and former LA Galaxy footballer David Beckham, Bridgend's effort focuses on the area's natural beauty, its water sport activities, good food and premium golf courses.
However there are no glittering testimonies from the area's famous faces, who might have included Bridgend born actor Ruth Jones, Porthcawl schooled Rob Brydon or local assembly member and First Minister, Carwyn Jones.
Instead, the BridgendBites campaign invites visitors to: "Sleep under the stars in a Mongolian Yurt.
"Connect with nature on coastal and valley walks."Party with a thousand Elvises.
"Play a round of golf with a view."Surf a wave at beautiful beaches.
"Dare to Discover Bridgend, South Wales."
Bridgend's new foray into the tourism industry follows efforts made by neighbouring Port Talbot last month.
The industrial heartland was subject of an advertising campaign offering lucky competition winners the chance to holiday in Port Talbot, or as they labelled it "the home of Richard Burton."
Tourist organisation Visit Wales, which is behind that campaign, hopes to highlight Wales as a visitor destination by tempting Americans with the story of Burton's rise from working class Welshman to one of the best known, richest actors on the planet.
In their advertising, Visit Wales promises Americans: "an exclusive glimpse into the places, the passion and the people that shaped the iconic actor."
Despite pre-conceptions many have about the area, Bridgend council say their borough is a perfect holiday destination.
A spokesman added: "The county borough is situated just twenty minutes from both Cardiff and Swansea and enjoys a prominent position along the M4 corridor.
"The area also features a rich cultural and historical heritage throughout its three valleys, four town centres and popular coastal resort, so it should come as no surprise that we are marketing Bridgend county borough not only as a tourist destination, but also as an ideal base for exploring further afield."
Councillor David Sage, Bridgend's deputy leader, said: "Bridgend County has so much to offer visitors, but isn't the first place that springs to mind as a holiday destination.
"We wanted to showcase the variety of unique experiences that are available here - from overnight stays in Mongolian Yurts, surfing to spas and golf to gorge-walking - and to do something really innovative that would challenge current perceptions of the area.