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Cycling Fans Can Find Their Pace in the Yorkshire Dales

This summer, the much-anticipated arrival of Le Tour De France to the Yorkshire countryside is sure to turn up the heat on an already percolating cycling frenzy sweeping the UK. Cyclists and spectators alike will all gather on the 5th and 6th of July for the Grand Départ; the official kick-off and first of many stages of the famous Tour de France. However, it is not necessary to be a maillot-jaune-sporting elite cyclist to enjoy the perfect cycling conditions of the rolling hills and peaceful landscapes of the Yorkshire countryside. Amateur cyclists too can enjoy the cycling in Yorkshire. There is perhaps no place more perfect to do so than the Yorkshire Dales.

The beauty of the Yorkshire Dales is certainly no secret; it is designated as both an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as a National Park. For the cycling enthusiast, this beautiful part of the UK offers something for everybody, at every level of ability.

For those who are more experienced riders and enjoy a high level of fitness, there are day rides that can take you across some of the toughest climbs in the UK.

Popular Day Rides in the Yorkshire Dales

Hawes Toughie
A 45 mile ride begins and ends in Hawes. The ride starts-out gently, and then becomes tougher with a long climb up Cloverdale.

Into Wharfedale
This is a 29 mile ride that begins in Skipton, and covers several quiet, fairly gently country roads along the east valley. But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. There is one big climb waiting for you at the end of the ride.

Settle Circular
This is a fairly typical Yorkshire ride through the classic rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales. This 38 mile circuit takes you through some of the most well-known villages in the southern Dales.

For those cyclists with small children who may prefer a more traffic-free route, there are a number of family routes of varying ability levels that take you through some spectacular countryside where you are less likely to run into a lot of traffic.

Family Rides in the Yorkshire Dales

Ilkley to Bolton Abbey
One of the most popular family rides in the Yorkshire Dales, the Ilkley to Bolton Abbey ride is a short, 5 mile ride through the back roads of the countryside. Those wishing to extend their ride will find several continuations at the Bolton Abbey end of the trail.

Lower Wharfedale
This is a flexible route; riders can take a short ride of 5.5 miles, or a longer 16 mile ride, depending on the route chosen. This ride has no big climbs in it, though there are several smaller ones. Those wanting to avoid traffic may wish to retrace their route, as the return route is slightly busier with traffic.

For more detailed information on these, and the many other routes available to cyclists, visit the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority webpage on cycling the Dales at http://www.cyclethedales.org.uk/home