A nice little mid-week ride around the beautiful Roath Park, Botanic Gardens and Roath Lake is the perfect way to unwind after a stressful day at work.
From the corner of Penylan Road and Ty Draw Road, turn L into the park and then immediately R onto the gravel path. Follow this until the path runs out, then join the road until the traffic lights. Turn R. Follow Lake Road East past the botanic gardens and Roath Lake.
It is a real shame bikes are not allowed in the gardens. The road is quiet enough though. I stopped for an ice-cream on arrival at the lake. It's a beautiful spot (in my opinion the best in Cardiff). On a good day you can watch the swans, geese and duck squabble over scraps of bread and feel the buzz of a much loved city park. Views out to the hills make you feel as though you are right on the edge of the countryside.
At the end of the lake turn L and immediately R into the 'wild gardens'.
This quiet woodland area smellt of wild garlic and the birdsong was almost deafening. I bumped over the odd root and rock - there really isn't many at all - but enough to bring back the memory of my Twrch Trail disaster. My knee starts to phantom-ache.
Follow the winding paths to the other side of the lake. Cross the road to the lake promenade.
Be careful of walkers here - of human and other varieties. I had to wait for a rabble of fluffly yellow signets to cross the path.
Cut over the grass bank to the road when you get to the gate into the botanical gardens - marked 'no cycles' - and follow Lake Road West all the way back to the roundabout. Go SO to Ninian Road. When you get to the playing fields you can get onto the path that bends round to the left and follow it back to the starting point.