Dispatches from the north

There’s a lot of very good riding in the north.

The Moors; The Dales; The Lakes; The Forest of Bowland; The Pennines.

All reachable in a day’s ride, depending on where you start.

There are some common characteristics that define the riding in this part of the world.

Exposed single track roads that make their way directly up and over the hills and mountains, meaning punishingly steep climbs, and very fast descents.

High sided valleys that loom large, to be ridden into, through, and out of.

Drystone walls.

Sheep.

We recently headed to the village of Bainbridge in the Wensleydale area of the Yorkshire Dales as a base for a few days of riding in the north.

Below are some photos from the trip, as well as a downloadable collection of our routes.

 

Day 1: Down to the Forest of Bowland

For our first ride we headed south west down to the Forest of Bowland via Barbondale, tackling Lythe Fell and the Cross o’ Greet from High Bentham, before dropping down to Slaidburn and climbing Bowland Knotts from the south through the Gisburn Forest. After a fast descent to Clapham the route picks up the Newby Head Pass back to Bainbridge, with the prevailing wind to blow you home.

Day 2: Three counties, Great Dun Fell

A big day out that leaves the Yorkshire Dales national park and heads north east to Cumbria and Great Dun Fell, Britain’s highest road, then East and briefly into county Durham, before climbing back into the Dales. A new route created for this trip, it’s already gone straight into our best routes we’ve ever ridden in the UK. (Don’t be fooled by the elevation on komoot, this ride has 4000 metres of climbing on it.)

Day 3: Big Dales loop

Oxnop Scar. Buttertubs. The Coal Road. White Shaw Moss. High Hill Lane. Malham Cove. Park Rash.

A route packed with classic Dales climbs, it’s beautiful and brutal in equal measure.

 

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