The Yorkshire Dales

ianwilliams
ianwilliams Posts: 257
edited August 2013 in Road general
Hello,

Going to have my first ride out in the Dales this weekend. I've plotted a route that goes out from Gargrave to Grassington, up Brootes Lane and then back down the Cove Road, past Malham Tarn and back to Gargrave.

I've not really ridden hills as steep as this - hence why I'm going - and I've also not ridden so far out of civilisation before. That's another reason I'm looking forward to it!

But I am a little bit worried about the descents. Here's the one from Brootes Lane - stunning but more steep and windy than my usual rides around Wyke, Scarcroft and so on:

38335124.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevemg/4809173911/

So, anyone here ride much around the Dales? Any tips, things I need to watch out for - particularly on the descents?

Comments

  • Wow, that's an amazing landscape! Never ridden there, but I hope to get the opportunity one day, though.
  • Take it steady on the descents, loose gravel will be in the middle of the road following the rain. Also plenty of potholes likely

    Dont use the wrong side of the road unless you are 100% sure you can see far enough down the road.
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  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    You have all the internet technology to reccy things now so there should be no surprises. Eg, after you get to the top of Brootes lane there is a very steep hairpin descent at Darnbrook that is there for no reason at all. I've only ever done it the other way - by rights the road would keep to a level and drop down into Arncliffe with no more effort than got you to the top in the first place but no - there has to be a pointless descent and an evil climb to follow! But anyway, coming the other way the bit in your pic is an absolutely cracking 30mph plus descent for me.

    You might even want to consider carrying on up the valley to Halton Gill and climb out there. You don't get the drop into Darnbrook, the views of Penyghent are spectacular and I'm fairly sure that the climb is that bit easier too. And you get to be riding in the Dales just a little bit longer and most of the additional mileage is pretty flat. Worth plotting on a route planner to compare the amount of climbing. It's also worth considering doing it the other way round which is probably 'the more done way'. Then you get a hero's climb in - Malham Cove - and you probably get more gradual, longer lasting descents. Steep up, gradual descent - that's the efficient way!

    Obvious advice is make sure you can stop inside the distance you can see - speeds increase alarmingly as do braking distances. As already said, watch out for gravel - it ends up in the middle of the roads and can be a significant danger if you are counting on crossing from one side to the other in a corner.

    But otherwise, just don't worry about it. It's lovely up there. Every time I'm up around that area particularly it comes into my head how lucky I am not to live in London! :lol:
    Faster than a tent.......
  • dwanes
    dwanes Posts: 954
    I did this same route a few weeks ago, and regularly ride in the area. Beautiful countryside.
    The descent into Malham is steep with some surprise sharp bends, and it takes some stopping if you pick up speed, so take it very slowly as the road is narrow. Dont be put off though, the road is fairly quiet and the view over Malham cove is amazing, in fact take a stop on the descent to take in the views.

    Let us know how you get on.
  • leedsmjh
    leedsmjh Posts: 196
    I'm with Rolf on this one. The climb up Malham Cove is great and the road that runs alongise Pen-Y-Ghent to Halton Gill is a superb cycling road, and you can descend fairly quickly into Halton Gill as there's a good line of sight. Watch for sheep!
  • leedsmjh
    leedsmjh Posts: 196
    leedsmjh wrote:
    I'm with Rolf on this one. The climb up Malham Cove is great and the road that runs alongise Pen-Y-Ghent to Halton Gill is a superb cycling road, and you can descend fairly quickly into Halton Gill as there's a good line of sight. You could loop round and back up Brootes Lane
    Watch for sheep!
  • plowmar
    plowmar Posts: 1,032
    Cracking view, done a lot of walking round there meeting loads of MTBers.

    Doesn't the desolate north scrub up well, though it will be improved with a fracking development in the middle of it, it'll give you something to cycle round.

    Getting back to OP - you'll really love the experience so don't hold back.
  • Awesome - can't wait. Thanks guys!
  • Baby Trek
    Baby Trek Posts: 118
    As everyone else has said, watch out for loose gravel, particularly if it has been raining, sheep and side gusts if windy.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Baby Trek wrote:
    As everyone else has said, watch out for loose gravel, particularly if it has been raining, sheep and side gusts if windy.

    Are sheep particularly dangerous in windy weather? I can't say I've noticed them being blown around on windy days but then I'm not very observant..... :lol:
    Faster than a tent.......
  • wod1
    wod1 Posts: 61
    I went up that hill in the picture and then past malham tarn3 weeks ago. It is ace the decent was very steep the otherside. Good surface just around the carpark at malham.
  • Baby Trek
    Baby Trek Posts: 118
    Rolf F wrote:
    Baby Trek wrote:
    As everyone else has said, watch out for loose gravel, particularly if it has been raining, sheep and side gusts if windy.

    Are sheep particularly dangerous in windy weather? I can't say I've noticed them being blown around on windy days but then I'm not very observant..... :lol:

    No...but windy sheep could be a hazzard I am sure!!! :D
  • lakesluddite
    lakesluddite Posts: 1,337
    This website looks like a good resource, tailor made for Dales riders:

    http://www.cyclethedales.org.uk
  • Well, in the end I had to take a day off work and head out today. I only managed about half of what I'd originally wanted - no Brootes Lane for me - but I'm still happy. It was all progress.

    Lots of nasty climbs out there. I rode up Bog Lane coming out of Skipton and that was a tester for me. Its all the hidden hills, the little gradients you don't notice and the banks that you're not expecting.

    Its awesome though. The road to Grassington was a bit busy with trucks - why, I don't know! - headed northbound, but everywhere else was really quiet. Beautiful scenery too.

    Can't wait to head out there again!

    Otley is next on my cycle explorations...