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!