Thought that I'd write a post on my recent trip to the Yorkshire Dales. For those that don't know, the "Dales" are one of the hilliest areas in the UK and this is where the attraction lies. Three of us went out in search of pain and we found it in some of the gradients we had to climb.
We had 3 days of cycling lined up but the weather on the second day was dubious, with the final day being a complete wash out, so we decided to do a monster ride on the first day.
The route for Day 1 is on RideWithGPS here
Just over 80 miles of lumpy riding with over 7000ft of climbing. Not to be sniffed at. This route also took in 2 of the 100 greatest climbs in the UK, Park Rash and Fleet Moss. Neither of these are easy by any stretch of the imagination. Park Rash particularly was rather difficult and I had to walk up a part of it after being forced to put my feet down due to cars going in both directions. At points, it hits a 25% incline over the 2.2km of road. Its got a nasty double kick - after the first section of 20% it levels out a bit but then hits you hard with another 20-25% climb.
They say that the main difference between the mountains of Europe and the hills of Yorkshire is that in Yorkshire, the locals are too tight-fisted to build a road that makes it easy to go up a hill so they do away with switchbacks and just go up and over.
Fleet moss in some ways is even worse as there is absolutely no respite on the 2.8km climb even though the max gradient isn't quite as bad as Park Rash.
Here are a few images from Day 1 and the full Strava ride report
We started out on Day 2 in light rain but for the first hour, it got harder and harder until we were riding in a torrential downpour. We headed out south from our accommodation for today which would take us through the Forest of Bowland. Route for Day 2 is here
This ride would hit one of the top 100 climbs and we would cycle through various types of terrain - up onto open moorland at the beginning, down through a forest and along a reservoir and then back through the rolling hills. It was a beautiful ride once the rain cleared up after about 10 miles and managed to get a couple of pictures.
In total this was a pleasant 50 miler with 4500 feet of climbing.
The main climb here was the Trough of Bowland which is hands down one of the most beautiful climbs I've seen. Gets pretty nasty in terms of the gradient in places too but the view as you climb up out of the valley is wonderful and worth the effort.
The full Strava ride is here
We do a cycling holiday nearly every year and this was one of the most memorable. Next year we are planning to go over into mainland Europe and cycle some "mountains". I'm not sure that they will have the same effect on my legs as some of these climbs.
Thanks for reading folks