The Minister was promoting cycling as an excellent form of sustainable travel and recreation, and as an enjoyable way of maintaining health and well being.
He was also highlighting the many high quality cycle paths that run through Wales, and the fabulous scenery that can be enjoyed along the way.
The Minister began his mammoth ride in Holyhead on Sunday afternoon and stopped off in Porth Madog, Dolgellau, Aberystwyth, Rhayader, Brecon, Crickhowell and Merthyr.
Enroute he stopped off to visit the impressive cycling trails and visitor centre at Coed Y Brenin and attended a meeting in Aberystwyth about the official opening of the Wales Coast Path on 5th May.
The Minister also called in at the RSPB site near Rhayader to see how money from sales of carrier bags at Tesco is being spent to improve the visitor experience and enhance conservation work. Tesco have already donated £300,000 to the RSPB as a result of the bag charge coming into force in Wales.
The Minister said:
“This has been a fabulous experience and the rain, wind, sleet and snow have certainly made it challenging. It has reinforced to me how lucky we are to live in a country that enjoys fabulous views and first rate cycle path facilities.
“ Wales really does have a huge amount to offer cyclists and our cycling facilities attract thousands of visitors to Wales each year. However I would also encourage people living in Wales to get out on their bikes, particularly over the Easter break. It really is a great way of keeping fit, and enjoying Wales’ unique coast and countryside.
“Of course cycling is also the sustainable choice and is often a quick, cheap and easy way of travelling short journeys. Increased rates of cycling really can help us to reduce our reliance on cars and cut down on our carbon emissions.”
The Minister was joined for the last leg of his journey by Lee Waters, Director of Sustrans Cymru, who pointed out more than £1 million worth of improvements have recently been made to the Merthyr section of the Taf Trail. The improvements were funded by a combination of Welsh Government and European funding.
Lee Waters said:
“It is quite an achievement to have cycled from North to South Wales and it is great that the Minister has jumped on his bike to see for himself the beauty of the National Cycle Network in Wales.
“I was pleased to be able to show him the recent improvements to the Taf Trail that have been achieved through partnership working with Sustrans, and to discuss the Walking and Cycling Bill that is currently in development.”
Proceeds from the bike ride are being passed to official Welsh Government charities for 2012 which are the Alzheimer’s Society and Tools for Self Reliance Cymru.