Cycling in the Yorkshire Dales: a 100 mile bike ride (with some pushing)
A weekend cycle tour in the Yorkshire Dales as originally described in The Cyclist magazine by L.G. Fothergill in 1937 became a one-day ride when CycleSeven met each other for the first time and cycled the route in July 2011. We were joined by my cousin Mike, and Dan Baritono from the CTC Forums.
Mick F had cycled up from Cornwall, Alan from Cambridge, and Hilary, with Dennis, flown in from the Isle of Wight (Mary, Chris, Mike, Dan, and me and Sandra, are more local in varying degrees). So a Grand Occasion for challenging cycling in one of Britain's most stunning landscapes to retrace Fothergill's pedal strokes some 74 years later. And his footsteps: some of the original route is uncyclable (above) as we discovered at Summer Lodge on the climb out of Swaledale (to be fair, I'd been warned of this by Chris but had chosen to believe Google Earth).
Six of us set off from Skipton at 8.30 am, meeting Mick F at Gargrave, and Chris had already cycled from Kettlewell. We arrived back at around 9.15 pm. It was just Mick F, Mary and me at the finish in Skipton as the long time required meant that we'd parted company with some of our friends for various reasons (Mike, my cousin, had actually completed the ride by then, having gone on ahead earlier in the day). For the next get-together we should probably organise something more convenient all round but it was an enjoyable meeting of cyclists and the weather was lovely.
- Moving time: 09:08:04
- Avg moving speed: 10.8 mph
- Elevation gain:
The main climbs:
- Malham over to Arncliffe (Airedale to Littondale)
- Fleet Moss in reverse (Langstrothdale to Wensleydale)
- Buttertubs Pass in reverse (Wensleydale to Swaledale)
- Crackpot over to Askrigg (Swaledale to Wensleydale)
- From Bishopdale over to Buckden (in Wharfedale)
We stopped for cake at Zarina’s Tearoom in Kettlewell on the way north and at Muker Village Stores & Teashop for lunch (there's a CTC symbol – the old winged wheel logo – in the doorway) before we headed back east then south again. Both recommended for cyclists. Quite long stops due to excellent cakes and cheese.
Photos by Mary:
*There is a discrepancy of around 2,000 feet of climbing between Mick's GPS calculation and mine. My Garmin records elevation by satellite and I assume his is barometric and more accurate. I assume there is also some GPS under-counting of miles travelled on the road surface, because a GPS is measuring from high up in space and doesn't accurately record distance on steep gradients (of which there were several). I'm claiming a century ride, not 99 miles – I wasn't going to cycle one extra mile around the car park at Skipton Travelodge.
Either way this was a tough ride for me. I wouldn't want to cycle further than 100 miles on hilly terrain such as this. I couldn't have driven the one hour home by car afterwards (Sandra drove). I was fine the next day though, reflecting on a superb cycle ride in very good company.
PS: Apologies to Muker Village Stores & Teashop – I forgot to pay for one pot of tea and one cheese and tomato toastie. Will pay double next visit.