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Dales Cycling tips

Our dedicated cycling websites www.cyclethedales.org.uk and www.mtbthedales.org.uk will provide you with all the information you need to plan some great cycling trips in the Yorkshire Dales.

But here are a few travel tips for those new to cycling in this beautiful part of the world along with details of where you can 'park' your bike safely.

  •  There are many steep hills and a wide range of gears is recommended. Although no previous cycle touring experience is needed, a reasonable level of fitness is required.

  • It is more comfortable and safer to carry luggage in panniers or saddlebags than in a rucksack. Remember also that the Dales weather can be inhospitable, even in the summer months, so make sure you pack wind and waterproof clothing. Other items to take include a bicycle pump and a basic repair kit, with multi-headed spanner and patches for punctures. (A spare innertube saves road side repairs).  

     
  • There are long stretches without shops so always carry plenty of food and drink. Lights and reflectors are essential even if you plan to reach your destination before nightfall. Bright or reflective clothing makes good sense because visibility may sometimes be poor.

  • Before starting out, make sure your cycle is in a well-maintained condition. Pay particular attention to the brakes. Some parts of the routes shown are extremely steep (1 in 4 or 25 per cent) and great care is needed when going downhill, particularly with a laden cycle in wet weather. On some hills it is necessary to take extreme caution. These stretches are highlighted on the map; do not ignore the advice given. Although much of the cycling available in the area is along minor roads, traffic can be heavy at times in the summer.
Cycle parking
Cycle RacksAll National Park Centres have cycle stands and some, such as Grassington, provide free secure cycle sheds to lock up and shelter your bike whilst enjoying some local refreshment and visiting the picturesque villages of the Dales.  There are also cycle lockers at Ilkley train station.

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