WHEN Angus King went mountain biking in Spain, he fell in love with a new found hobby.
Riding across the hills in Malaga on a “shoddy bike” bought from a Spanish market, the 23-year-old found a passion which he now wants to help others enjoy.
Now Angus and university friend Evan Lewis are aiming to get people cycling in Newport with the launch of a new cycling hub.
The two friends have set up a website - cyced.co.uk - which lists ten of the best cycling routes around Newport.
Each of the routes are categorised as easy, medium or hard, ranging from shorter rides of around ten miles to more challenging ones of around 90 miles.
A weekly newsletter which is emailed to members with all of the latest news about cycling in the area is also included in the digital hub, as well as a blog about cycling clubs in Newport, apps, highway rules and news.
The hub also includes information about the cycling clubs and bike shops in Newport.
The aim is to encourage more people to get involved in cycling by making it easy to find the best routes and information to help beginners get started.
“I was on a family holiday in Spain when I ended up on a bike and immediately fell in love with cycling,” said Angus.
“My first ride was with my dad who I was visiting in Spain.
“I picked up a shoddy mountain bike from a market and took it for a spin around the trails.
“I am not a sporty person but I love the social aspect of cycling.
“It’s nice to go out with other people and being able to stop off for a coffee or a pint, depending on what you prefer.”
After falling in love with cycling in Spain in the summer of 2015, Angus took up his new found hobby in his final year at University of Gloucestershire.
He joined the university’s cycling club, the Blue Arrows, where he met Evan, before setting up Cyced.
The pair launched a website with 20 of the best cycling routes in Gloucestershire in April, 2016, which has encouraged many people to get involved in the hobby.
“We have had great feedback about the hub for Gloucestershire,” said Angus.
“The aim is to make it easier for beginners to get into cycling by creating a central point where all of the information is available. It’s about tying everything together into one place, so that you can find out about cycling clubs in the area, routes available, highway information and details about the routes we have created.”
After the success of the Gloucestershire hub, the pair launched the idea for Newport last month.
They are hoping to expand the project by organising rides for cyclists in the future.
Among the easy routes for Newport is a ride from Duffryn to Bassaleg, a scenic route of 11.7 miles.
The ride starts in Tredegar House car park and heads towards Lighthouse Road in Duffryn.
“Once you’re out of the built-up area, you’ll find you’ve discovered a haven for cyclists,” the cyced website states.
“Lighthouse Road promises some truly epic riding, with some top-notch views, meandering country roads, and very little traffic.”
A ride from Newport to Barry Island is listed among the intermediate routes.
The route passes through Cardiff, Cardiff Bay, the Cosmeston Lakes and finally Barry Island.
“There are four big points of interest on this ride, the first of which is Cardiff,” the cyced website states.
“Although the centre isn’t too cycle friendly, there’s still plenty to see.
“The second point is Cardiff Bay, one of my favourite Welsh destinations as it is exceedingly cycle friendly and is host to the Cardiff Triathlon in June time, there’s also plenty to eat whilst you’re here.
“Next are the Cosmeston Lakes which can be found about halfway between Penarth and Barry, this is a great picture-point.
“Finally is the focus of this ride; Barry Island. Barry is famous for its fish and chips, partly due to the TV sensation ‘Gavin and Stacey’, so the reward for completing this route is of a higher standard than usual.”
Among the hardest category of rides listed is Newport to the Tumble, commonly known as the Sugarloaf.
The route follows the River Usk, crossing stunning scenery.
“With around 57 miles to ride on top of the 3888ft of elevation, most of which is concentrated at the Tumble, this route is no easy feat,” the Cyced website states.
“The hill itself is over 3 miles of harsh rising inclines, but I implore you to do so if you haven’t done already, because the view is worth every second your legs will scream for.”
Each of the routes has been chosen considering the beauty of the scenery and safety for cyclists.
To find out more about the hub and for information about cycling in Newport visit cyced.co.uk.