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Training loop in the Dales - some advice, please

jordan_217jordan_217 Posts: 2,580
I'm heading home to see my family over Xmas and was planning to capitalise on the fact I'm taking the bike. I'll spend most of the time around the Cleveland hills/N.Y moors but was planning on heading over to the Dales and doing a loop from Grassington. Buttertubs is something I've always wanted to ride....

I came across this site, which has an ideal route already mapped out:

http://www.cyclethedales.org.uk/routes/day-rides/tour-de-france-du-dales/TDF-map-and-description.pdf

Could someone with local knowledge please point out if this is a decent route, is there a way to take in some better climbs, avoid busier roads, etc. I'm aiming for a 70-90 mile route.

The forecast looks pretty good throughout December so I'm hoping the weather won't put a spoiler on things but typically how do the conditions differ from the lower Dales to the higher passes?

Thanks in advance for any help and advice.
“Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”

Posts

  • random manrandom man Posts: 1,518
    That looks a great route but maybe a bit ambitious for December. The weather can change very quickly and you wouldn't want to get stuck on the moors when it's getting dark.
    I'd be tempted to break this into two smaller rides. If you go from Grassington anticlockwise, you'll climb out of Kettlewell up Park Rash and over Coverdale, one of the finest roads I've ridden in England, then come back through Bolton Castle - Newbiggin and Buckden. You'll still have a stiff climb back atKidstones.

    The other loop would be to start at Aysgarth and go anti clockwise around the top half of your map. This will take you up the harder side of Buttertubs.
  • jordan_217jordan_217 Posts: 2,580
    Thanks for the advice. I appreciate that the route may be too much, especially if the weather changes quickly half way around. I was planning on getting on the road for 8 and carrying a good set of lights but even then I may be risking it.

    Those alternate routes look good. I'll need to take a look at the roads and figure out a route. I use a Garmin 500 so no nav capability; I'll be creating my own cue sheet and carrying a map.

    I know roughly where I am on the Moors but haven't ridden in the Dales.

    Thanks again.
    “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”
  • That looks a great route but maybe a bit ambitious for December. The weather can change very quickly and you wouldn't want to get stuck on the moors when it's getting dark.
    I'd be tempted to break this into two smaller rides. If you go from Grassington anticlockwise, you'll climb out of Kettlewell up Park Rash and over Coverdale, one of the finest roads I've ridden in England, then come back through Bolton Castle - Newbiggin and Buckden. You'll still have a stiff climb back atKidstones.

    The other loop would be to start at Aysgarth and go anti clockwise around the top half of your map. This will take you up the harder side of Buttertubs.

    ...and if you did this, you could also try and fit Fleet Moss into the route. On your map it is the road running directly South from Hawes (next to the green circle top leftish)

    http://cyclinguphill.com/fleet-moss/

    Then get back to Aysgarth over Kidstones.

    I'm glad you're optimistic about the forecast for the Dales over December - not sure myself!
  • hdowhdow Posts: 172
    Looks a great ride and if the weather is even semi-decent then is more than doable in December. Expect things on the tops to be 4 or 5C colder than in the dale bottoms but you wont be hanging around. Any wind would be amplified though.
    If travelling from the NYM may be better to start the route in Leyburn as travel time will be much lower than going to Grassington. You may then also consider leaving out the Kettlewell to Grassington loop if time is tight or you want to cut it short. The road east of the river is one of my favourites but is best with a clean and dry road surface.
  • Buttertubs and Fleet Moss in late December seems a bizarre idea... they are 90 Kmh descents, which are treacherous in summer
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Buttertubs and Fleet Moss in late December seems a bizarre idea... they are 90 Kmh descents, which are treacherous in summer

    Depends entirely on the weather. Could be less treacherous than midsummer! I wouldn't let the month influence me - just the weather. If not windy, not too cold and dry then what's the problem?

    North to South for both is a lot less scary than South to North and that's what I'd probably default to at this time of year if conditions were at all questionable.
    Faster than a tent.......
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