The Tour de Yorkshire is now just a matter of weeks away, and with the weather starting to perk up in a lot of places, the cardio-minded among us might just be starting to think about getting back on the bike and out into the great British outdoors.
If you’re looking for a little extra motivation, then you’ll want to go on a trip to one of the more interesting routes of course. What better motivation than seeing some of the country’s best sights on the way?
To kick off, we have to begin with Yorkshire itself. Now widely recognised as one of the very best places to cycle anywhere in the UK, and indeed anywhere in the world, you can’t really go wrong by heading to the Yorkshire Dales and seeing where the roads and paths take you. The route we’d recommend however is known as the Settle Circular, which takes in several of the Dales’ most popular towns (including Settle of course) and has excellent views of landmarks such as Pen-y-Ghent. It’s not super easy, but a little bit of training and you’ll be able to manage it.
Next, we’d recommend the Camel Trail in Cornwall. It’s one of the most popular routes in the whole country, and with good reason. It’s wonderfully picturesque, is a reasonable length, but it can be tackled by anyone. If you’ve got kids, then they can come along too - this one isn’t too difficult at all.
Fancy something really leisurely? The kind of thing you can tackle on any old bike with just an hour of free time? Richmond Park is a great afternoon out on two feet but have a cycle round it and you’ll get to see all of the sights in a very short space of time. It’s only a little over 10km round the whole thing, and there’s a good chance you’ll see deer and other wildlife. If you’re training, then it’s a great route to do laps of to track your progress.
We finish with the Lakeland Loop. Not for the faint of heart, this is a 65-kilometre ride with some seriously steep ascents (gradients of 30% in some places), along with hairpin bends. It is, however, regularly voted as one of the very best rides anywhere in the country. Why? Because the views of central Lake District are absolutely amazing, and the sense of accomplishment you feel when you finish is second to none. Work towards this one if you want one big summer ride.