This section of NCN 82 provides hilly alternatives to the main Lon Las Cymru route (NCN 8). From Machynlleth to Dolgellau, there's a tough ascent over the shoulder of Cadair Idris, on a rough byway known ominously as the Black Road. The gravelly, potholed surface isn't suitable for road bikes but any hybrid or tourer will cope. The views over Cardigan Bay are breathtaking. From Dolgellau to Machynlleth, NCN 82 provides a wooded alternative through the Coed y Brenin forest. Again, you'll need a sturdy bike with good tyres (though not as chunky as the MTBs you'll see haring around the forest). Watch for the final climb after Maentwrog, which comes as an unpleasant surprise after you think the hard work is over for the day.