This is a guest feature from Epic Road Rides, the team that create independent guides to the world’s best road cycling destinations. Their website shares firsthand accounts of the top rides in each destination as well as free GPX downloads, tips on where to stay and bike hire.
Road cycling in Yorkshire is big news. The county has hosted some of the world’s biggest cycling events and the focus of the road cycling world will again be turned on it at the end of this month, when it plays host to the UCI Road World Championships between 22 and 29 September.
We visited “god’s own county” a few months ago and were hugely impressed by the spectacular scenery, wild moors and extreme gradients.
Here are three reasons why you should seriously consider adding Yorkshire to your cycling bucket list. Want to head straight over to our free in-depth guide to cycling in Yorkshire? Click here.
World class riding
Few other areas of the UK have shown the kind of appetite for hosting world class cycling events that Yorkshire has.
Yes, there’s the Tour of Britain and RideLondon – and the 2012 Olympic road races were hosted from London. But Yorkshire was the host for the 2014 Grand Départ of the Tour de France and, in a few short weeks, will also hold the UCI Road World Championships.
Yorkshire also hosts the annual pro race, the Tour de Yorkshire and the long-running and hugely respected amateur Etape du Dales. Meanwhile, some of the UK’s best road cyclists also come from Yorkshire: for example Lizzie Deignan and Tom Piddock both come from the cycling hub of Otley.
If you live in the UK and want to get a taste of riding roads made famous by world class races, this is the place to do it.
We based ourselves in the Yorkshire Dales and there the standard gradients tend to be savage. There’s no going around the hills here – road builders were very much of the up and over mentality. We’ve rarely seen more gradient warning signs – out on the moors they’re everywhere!
Combine that with the often inclement weather and you’ve got yourself the sort of environment that will test even the hardiest cyclist.
Conquer the climbs made famous by the big races/events – Buttertubs, Kidstones, Park Rash, Fleet Moss and Tan Hill – and you’ll have earned some serious bragging rights!
Want to find out more about the big climbs? Find our free, in-depth Yorkshire route guides, here.
It’s rare to feel alone when out riding on the UK’s roads. It’s a crowded island we live on, but the Dales are an exception to the rule. When you’re up on top of the moors, with mile after mile of windswept grassland, peat bog and sheep for company, it’s easy to feel like you’ve escaped to a different planet.
This is a place you can leave worries and stresses behind you and enjoy riding. Just don’t expect any mobile signal!
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