Cycling in Yorkshire 2014

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Cycle through “God’s Own County”

Yorkshire is a proud county and has been at the forefront of recent British sporting success. Indeed, had Yorkshire been a competing country at the 2012 Olympic Games it would have finished eleventh in the medals table, above countries such as Spain, Holland and 2016 hosts Brazil. Amongst the Yorkshire success stories was cyclist Ed Clancy, winning gold as part of the team pursuit. This year marks a special moment in cycling and indeed for the country, as Yorkshire gears up to host this year’s Tour de France.

Following great success at the Olympics and back to back wins by Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in the Tour itself, cycling in Britain is enjoying a golden age. The first three stages of the 2014 Tour will be hosted in Britain, with the first two held in Yorkshire.  The county is the ideal choice for the ‘Grand Départ’, stunning scenery and challenging hills provide the perfect backdrop to this the most prestigious of cycling road races. The countdown has already begun to what promises to be a cycling carnival and the excitement will doubtless become fever pitch by July when the race begins.

It is easy to see the appeal of cycling, passing by beautiful scenery whilst keeping active, a sport in which the whole family can take part, and what better place than ‘God’s own Country’ to enjoy your next cycling holiday.  Many budding Tour de France champions will want to sample the routes where their cycling heroes will be racing this summer, but Yorkshire offers a fantastic variety of bridleways and cycling routes (many traffic free) throughout this beautiful county.

The tranquil Yorkshire Dales provides a variety of challenges for cyclists, whether that be off road mountain biking or leisurely trails through exquisite valleys and moorland. Many of the leafy lanes in this part of Yorkshire are very quiet but rest assured you will never find yourself short of great eating options to ‘refuel’.  A popular and gentle route for families is a 23 mile journey starting and finishing in Grassington through Upper Wharfedale. With no significant climbs but nonetheless plenty of fantastic views, this trail will take you by the delightful Dales villages of Kettlewell, Arncliffe and Litton.

The Yorkshire Moors have long been treasured by cyclists, the varied landscapes encompassing woodland, undulating moorland and coastal paths provide hundreds of miles of routes within this timeless corner of Yorkshire.  One of the most challenging for cyclists is the ‘ Moor to Sea’ cycle route which is split into 12 stages covering over 150 miles and taking in many historic sites whilst passing by the Heritage Coast. Whether you choose to take on the full trail or just parts of this network, you are assured stunning views from cliff tops, across Gothic ruins or rolling countryside, this is Yorkshire at its very best!

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Win a cycling shirt signed by Sir Bradley Wiggins!

RWB-comp We’re offering a chance for you to win a unique piece of sporting memorabilia – a  cycling shirt signed by Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Sir Bradley signed the shirt at the recent ‘Ride with Brad’ event and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to give it away to one of our fans. To be in with a chance of winning click on the picture above to visit our Facebook page and follow the instructions.

If you’d like more cycling content check out our video interview with Caroline, unofficial captain of the cottages4you team, as she recounts her experience of the day.

You can also take a look at our favourite cycling routes and find cycling friendly properties on our website.

Cycle to work winners

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The cottages4you team took place in a cycle to work challenge this month – eventually winning with a combined distance of 842 miles over 5 days! This is the approximate road distance from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, so we’d like to say a big well done to everyone who took part and let them know that the cushions and ice cubes are on their way.

Find more cycling content – including some of the UK’s best routes and Grand Départ 2014 info – by visiting our website.

cottages4you Ride with Brad 2013

Some pics from Sunday’s fantastic cottages4you sponsored ride with Bradley Wiggins. Thanks for everyone who came down to take part, support and join in the fun – despite a few aches we had a great day.

If you’ve got the cycling bug you can find loads more cycling content on our website - including our favourite routes in the UK and information about the Grand Départ in 2014.

Ride with Brad – 4 days to go!

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If riding in the presence of Sir Bradley Wiggins weren’t enough to put us off our stride on Sunday, the Ride with Brad will also feature an appearance from Olympic track cycling stars Laura Trott and Dani King alongside other members of the Wiggle Honda women’s pro team.

Please come down and lend your support to all the competitors and our team, who will be riding in aid of Pendleside Hospice. All rides will start and finish at Victory Park, Barnoldswick and there will be a Cycle Show and Festival of Sport at the event village – with a host of events, refreshments and a raffle for all to enjoy.

Find more info on our website.

Tour de France Holidays – The Alps

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Just a few short weeks following Chris Froome’s victory in the Tour de France, we are all ready getting excited about next year’s race which starts in Yorkshire. This supreme test of human endurance is a prized national institution for the French, but recent success has cemented Britain’s reputation at the forefront of world cycling. First Sir Bradley Wiggins and now Chris Froome, it is possible that the current British domination is extended into the next few years – and it is the formidable aspect of the personal challenge for riders that is so enduring.

Apart from the physical examination of racing across much of France, the Tour is a mental test that creates fascinating personal struggles from stage to stage as riders pit their wits against the differing challenges that each stage demands. For many it is the ‘climbs’ through some of Europe’s most scenic mountain terrain that best exemplifies the challenge of the Tour. This year’s event was dominated by the extended mountain challenge, with riders ascending summit heights totalling 35,441 metres (bearing in mind that Everest sits at a mere 8,848 metres) nearly double the total of last year’s race. These historic mountains play host to some of the most dramatic moments in Tour history, and of course continue to fascinate fans drawn to the unique challenge of Alpine cycling.

It is against this backdrop that hardy British cycling fanatics seek to test themselves following the routes of their heroes through the epic French mountains. Without the small matter of actually racing this is an exciting challenge but is a great way to get the most out of an active holiday. Apart from the appeal of an area shrouded in sporting legend, the French Alps exude the epitome of pristine natural beauty. The physical height is matched with a sense of spiritual elevation born out of the proximity to heavens. Surveying the horizon it is very difficult to escape a feeling of awe at the raw power of nature. It is perhaps this separation from the everyday reality that is so appealing about cycling, a basic communion with the natural world.

Whilst few football fans will ever get to play at Wembley cycling fans can follow in the ‘tracks’ of the professionals which simply adds to the exhilaration of a cycling holiday in the Alps. For holidaymakers this type of adventure does not need to be daunting as many routes have professional guided tours through scenery that has stunningly lakes, glaciers and forests. The northern Alps offer some of the most popular climbs with Morzine to Alpe d’Huez a particular favourite amongst Tour enthusiasts. Picture yourself leading the peloton as you ascend to an unassailable lead in the Tour and become ‘King of the Mountains’!

Meanwhile back on Earth, and if you have the stamina, the route from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Grenoble includes one if the most challenging climbs in the shape of Col du Galibier one of the most revered in the Tour. This is a unique experience, which if you do not already have cycling in the blood will doubtless leave a lasting impression of an unforgettable holiday experiencing the essence of the mountain stages of the Tour de France.

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Ride with Brad – Rob’s Training Diary 31/07/13

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I like to get out on my mountain bike and do a short trail for about 40mins or so, and I tend to cycle at a fast pace. I cover about 7 miles. The terrain is a mix of canal footpath, dirt track, and mud. I try to get out of the saddle for bursts of speed and keep my pace changing throughout. I am hoping that this will help my legs have enough power to accelerate when I need it on the long hauls.

The other reason I like being out on my mountain bike is “I like being out on the mountain bike!” Especially getting away from the urban landscape, rolling down a mountainside, hitting jumps and drops. The constant change in terrain keeps me sharp, and most of all there are no cars. Weather isn’t an issue (within reason) .

I have a particular route I use often which is an old railway line, with no sleepers or tracks left on it. It’s great because of the mix of terrain; it also has a natural break in the middle where it leads into a town.

At this point I can:

a)     Turn back

b)     Continue on the next section

c)     Have a pit stop in the café (I’ve not done this one yet)

On the second stretch there is a STRAVA segment that I like to try and beat. I got second on it once, not sure if I still hold that position. Really this ride is all about fun, that way I will keep on keeping on.

Check out the video below to check out part of the trail and don’t forget to help me raise some funds for the Pendle Hospice.

Thanks
Rob

Rob’s taking part in the 50 kilometres route on the Ride with Brad in support of Pendleside Hospice. The event takes place on 11 August in Lancashire and will feature a host of activities in support of the main rides. Find more info on our website

Ride with Brad – Rob’s Training Diary 25/07/13

Hello, my name is Rob,

I am a designer here at cottages4you and I have only started back cycling in the last month or so. This year I decided to take part in the Ride with Brad 50k event here in Lancashire and hopefully help raise some funds for the Pendleside Hospice. They do great work and have supported and helped some of my friends in the past through some really rough times.

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This will be the route I will be following, a little over 50km (30 miles) ascent about 476 meters, probably taking me 2 ½ – 3 hours, I hope :)

Map link: http://goo.gl/maps/rDsJ0

Young-Rob

As you can see my cycling experience is vast and my bikes have helped transport me throughout my life, literally because we didn’t have a car. When I was about 6 I had a metallic blue BMX complete with stabilisers and that checked pattern spongy thing that clipped onto the cross bar. I was fierce and fast, you could tell when I arrived at your doorstep by the rasping sound of a clacking card against my spokes held in place by an industrial strength clothes peg.

Moving forward a couple of years and leaving the stabilisers behind. I had a white Freestyler BMX, perfect for homemade ramps, wheelies and cycling to school. At one point I had a dynamo connected to it, so I could be safe at night. All it did was slow me down & break all the time! And from there on I would continue to use my bike to get around; it was my independence to be able to visit my friend’s houses without relying on walking or bus timetables. Walking takes too long, and buses never come on time. I’m a man on the go and have no time for those shenanigans! I pretty much cycled everywhere until I finished uni, and then there was nothing…

Well that’s not quite true. There were jobs that required traveling, a desk, coffee, cakes, and biscuits. How can I resist all that and still have the time to be active!

This year on holiday I realised that I have been getting a little soft around the edges. I know it’s hard to tell because I hold it so well, but I know I could be healthier. Plus I like eating food. So if I exercise lots, that means I can continue eating the food I like (which is probably not good advice).

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I tried going to the gym, but it bores me. Swimming was good, but I can’t access the pool whenever I want. Running was OK, but I did find it a little hard on my knees after doing long distances. But cycling, cycling is awesome. On-road or off-road, fantastic views (being in Lancashire), when I’m tired I just let the bike roll, it is also great for exploring off the beaten track and a quick transport to pop to the shops.

So over the next few weeks you can expect to see some entries on how I’m doing with my training and possibly a cheeky video or two :) Please support the Pendleside Hospice and make a donation.

If you have any questions or comments for me feel free to ask.

Over and out,
Rob

Ride with Brad in 2013

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In the 12 months since last year’s event, Bradley Wiggins has won Olympic Gold, become the first Brit to win the Tour De France and even picked up a knighthood. So we’re once again delighted to announce that we will be sponsoring his ride through stunning Lancashire countryside in the 2013 Ride with Brad.

This year’s event takes place on 11 August .  Not only will it support The Bradley Wiggins Foundation but a few of us at cottages4you will be checking our tyre pressure and hoping we can still squeeze into our shirts as we ride in aid of Pendleside Hospice.

We’d love it if you could join us. There are 3 routes to choose from: 30, 60 and 100 miles. Each one offers a different challenge. Who knows, you may also find yourself riding in the company of Sir Bradley Wiggins himself!

We’re going to run a few articles in the lead-up to the event, in the meantime you can find out more info in the Cycling section of our website.