Stay safe when cycling and mountain biking
To get the most out of your time on two wheels in the Brecon Beacons National Park, we recommend that you follow our top tips for safety and good practice.
- Always wear a helmet
- Ride within your capabilities and skills and allow plenty of time for your ride
- Before setting out, ensure your bike is safe by checking tyres, brakes and gears
- Tell someone where you are going and what time you intend to return
- Take the appropriate OS map, compass, basic first aid kit, food and money
- Always carry a basic tool kit: a cycling specific multi-tool is best, but if not you will need 4mm, 5mm and 6mm Allen keys, small flat head and Phillips screwdrivers
- Also make sure you carry a pump, tyre levers, puncture repair kit and some spare inner tubes - it is easier to replace a tube than to fix a puncture
- Make sure you are prepared for all weather conditions by wearing several layers of clothing that can be adjusted
- Take a lightweight waterproof jacket, even in fine weather
- Padded cycling shorts can be worn under leggings in cold conditions
Right to ride
In the UK, the only places where you can legally ride off-road are byways, bridleways, National Cycle Network routes (www.sustrans.org.uk) and designated trails on private land such as forests, mountain bike centres and the banks of reservoirs.
Cyclists and mountain bikers must give way to horses, riders and walkers on bridleways, towpaths and other footpaths.
Code of conduct
Many different people live in the Brecon Beacons National Park or come here to enjoy all sorts of pastimes. Please be considerate and courteous to all those you meet en route. It's particularly important to slow down and give way to pedestrians. The same goes for to horse riders: failure to do so can result in horses being terrified, bolting and the rider being seriously injured. Also, bear in mind that the Brecon Beacons is a National Park and that we all have a duty to conserve the natural beauty of this special place.
- Give way to pedestrians and horse riders
- On public roads, respect the rules of the road
- Don't interfere with wildlife, plants or trees
- Keep to published routes
- Always leave gates as you find them
- Take rubbish with you
- Don't light fires
- Keep away from Forestry operations
- Expect the unexpected
- Avoid back wheel skids which can start erosion
- Slow down when approaching and travelling through farmyards
What to do
1. Tasters (for beginners)
If you're new to mountain biking, then hiring a qualified instructor lets you try things out in safest, the most hassle-free way possible. You can dodge the strain of map reading by allowing an expert with local knowledge to show you the way. An activity provider can also impart some top tips on how to ride a mountain bike correctly over different terrain, working the gears to match the hills and using the brakes to control your descents.
2. Improvers (for returners and skills builders)
Perhaps you're still learning, or you're an experienced rider visiting the park for the first time. Why not take your riding to the next level and hire a mountain bike guide to lead you on some of the UK’s most exciting mountain bike routes. Guides can offer specialist coaching, fitness training, maintenance and knowledge of local routes.
3. Independent experiences (for enthusiasts and experts)
If you just want a bike for the day to explore, you can hire one from the mountain bike hire providers in the park. They can also help you choose a suitable starting point for your journey. If you've brought your own bike and equipment, take your pick from our graded mountain bike routes. Just remember – the hills are big in the park and the mountains can be a wild place to be during adverse weather. If you are unsure or need further information then visit a local bike shop for some up to date information.
The Brecon Beacons National Park Authority has an exclusive Mountain Bike Pack which is available from our online shop. This pack contains 12 single track mountain bike route cards along with other information to get the best out of your visit to the National Park. Click HERE for more details
Be prepared, be responsible, stay safe
A little planning and common sense will help ensure that your mountain biking experience is trouble-free. For important advice on good practice and safety, see our Stay safe page.