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Way of the Roses - bike suitability?

arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,449
edited February 2012 in Tour & expedition
Hi there

I am planning to tackle the Way of the Roses route (Morecambe to Bridlington) later this year - probably over 3 days. Have visited the one website which states that the route consists of "traffic-free paths, on-road cycle lanes, country lanes and quieter roads".

I was wondering if my bike (Specialized Secteur Elite) would be suitable for the journey. I am running 700C x 25mm tyres but no mudguards - the clearances on the frame make it difficult to fit even the Crud type temporary mudguards.

Any exeprience out there from others who have done the ride and what bikes are suitable?


  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Hopefull someone will be along to answer your question directly, but in the meantime you could look at the online mapping on the Sustrans website. If there are any problem spots these should be indicated by a yellow warning triangle with an exclamation mark - eg near Wharfe/Austwick there is a warning about a steep slope with rough surfaces and the need to be cautious especially when wet (and there's an alternative indicated). The online mapping will also give you an idea of how much is off-road and whether you can avoid the off-road bits if you need to.

    If you zoom in enough you will see the Ordnance Survey mapping - look to see if there are any sections of the route that are on bridleways - these may, or may not, be tricky depending on the conditions.

    There's also a paper map - which would probably be worth buying once you've decided.

    Again, if memory serves, I remember reading a thread on the CTC forum about a police warning to cyclists to take care on some of the descents on the route (these may be the ones near Wharfe/Austwick).
  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,449
    Hi Andy

    Thanks for the info. Will have a look at the Sustrans site to suss out potential problem sections.

    I forgot to add that my bike is also kitted out currently with Shimano RS80 lightweight wheels which are great for spinning along on standard tarmac. However their construction - carbon laminate with an alloy fused braking surface together with a 16 spoke front and 20 spoke rear configuration - means that they may not be the ideal wheelset to tackle some of the off-road sections.

    Not sure I really want to fork out for some "bombproof" wheels although I may be able to pick something up secondhand on ebay.
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,234

    We just did the WOTR over 2 days in November (bit tight with early dark nights mind) all using 700c x 23mm tyres, so you wont have any problems with your bike.

    There are three spots I would avoid if i were you, think they were Clapham, Dunnington and Stanford Bridge, but i'll have a look at the map for you and check, these too had terrible surfaces.

    Also, if you can i would totally ignore the WOTR sign posts thru York, they are almost impossible to follow once u r passed the Minster and you go on a section of cycle path once you are through and leaving , the surface isnt even good enough for a mountain bike with broken bottles all over and 3 inches of mud. We punctured twice in about 1/2 mile.

    WOTR route is one of the best ive done. Its absolutely perfect for Roadies, with really quiet country lanes for about 85% of the route. Pretty much all the way to Pateley Bridge we hardly saw any cars.

    Weve got some pictures here if you wonna check them out (and also a video on youtube):[email protected] ... 328796323/ - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • tim wandtim wand Posts: 2,945
    The secteur will be fine with a few considerations.

    Firstly Clapham Tunnels. Very rocky probably better on a road bike taking the 1 mile road diversion on A65,
    It shook me and my Kaffenbach to bits and that was on 28c tyres and a steel cx style frame.

    Into York along the river top section before Clifton , its hard pack mud and is fine unless theres been a down pour, but 90% of the time its just good fun.

    Coming out of York, As Durham Wasp says, once your past the Lendal bridge forget the route. Just follow signs out of York through Fulford towards Heslington and The Uni then just past the BP station and B + Q ( could be homebase) theres a big roundabout (1079 hull/ A64 scarbourgh Leeds / 166 Bridlingon) Take the A166 Bridlington road for about 1/2 mile until you are at the Yorkshire Farming Museum T Junction.
    Then look at the opposite side of the road and youll see a cycle path/ Turn back on yourself on this about 100 yards and follow path to Dunnigton.

    This section from Dunnigton down to Stamford Bridge Is Bridleway across Open fields but rideable most times of year. If its boggy just stay on A166 past the farm museum on pretty soon youll pick up a cycle path on the right hand side before Stamford bridge that joins the original route. (Dont miss the old railway bridge crossing over the Derwent its lovely)

    A secteur is a great bike for this , I d just change your tyres to 700cX28 schwalbe marathons with slime tubes.

    Enjoy the two nasty hills, Settle to Airton and just past Grassington / Aubourn up Greenhow (And mega decent to Pately Bridge)

    Oh the canal towpath out of Morecambe to Lancaster can be a bit scabby the River crossing on the Aquaduct back towards Lancaster Prison is an awseome view.
  • I suppose it all depends on the time of year when you ride as to the conditions. I rode it on the day it openned, Sept '10, and didn't do the track out of Morecambe, ( stuck to road) as it was 0530, raining and no traffic. I wouldn't use the Clap tunnel or Dunnington track havinng seen them before but had no problems with the cycle path through York

    I'd suggest reporting any defects such as glass or surface problems so others may benefit?
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,234
    Im presuming that York cycle path is soon not gonna be on the route, as the about 1 mile up it there was a fence across the path and a building site of houses on the other side. Another party of 4 WOTR's arrived about 5mins later as we were trying to figure out a best plan.They cycled back into York while we climbed an 8ft fence and lifted the bikes over, into a housing estate and made our own way towards Dunnington via the uni. - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • going to a WOTR steering group meeting Tomorrow, is this the path off Hallfield road? Through Tang hall towards Murton?
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,234
    Yes, thats the one. We ended up climbing the fence into Ambleside Avenue in Tang Hall. - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • York council say that there was a gas main being laid which needed closure, and on another part a builder put up a fence without permission

    The cycle path at the side of the A65 Clapham to Austwick should be open this spring and highways are looking at warnings for riders on Greenhow Hill
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