/ Cycling Challenges

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ActionSte on 11 Oct 2016
Ive been getting out on the bike a lot more again recently and it has re lit my urge to go away on the bike for a few days/short holiday. I did the London - Paris route last year which was great, and so am looking for other longer rides to get stuck into.
Ideally easily accessible rides on the continent, Scotland/Wales/South West UK
GrahamD - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to ActionSte:

Why not plan your own ? thats what we do for our annual ride from the local pub. This year we went from Cambridgeshire - Harwich (via Newmarket and Lavenham), Ferry to Hoek, Down the Dutch coast to Vlessingam, Then to Ypres via Bruges and Tyne Cot, Then a 100 miler to Geraardbergen (the muur optional) and back to Lille taking in 3 sections of Paris Roubaix pave. Eurostar home.
Chris the Tall - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to ActionSte:

Does it need to be an organised event or sportive ?
There's the Fred Whitton in the lakes - which you can do as a sportive in the spring, but there's nothing to stop you doing it any time of the year (though personally I wouldn't like to have to ride either up or down Hardknott if the roads were damp).

Everyone is different and we all get out motivation in different ways, but I love a ride that I plan myself and has some nominal purpose behind it. So last weekend I needed to go the the in-laws in North London and decided to see how much of it I could cycle. The result was a very pleasant ride through bits of the country - Leicestershire, Northants etc - which I would never normally visit. Set off from Sheffield at dawn and got to Harpenden by dusk, 157 miles and an short train ride from my destination. Mostly back roads, a few busy ones and one section of old railway. My only regret was that I didn't have time to stop at more pubs on the way !
Yanis Nayu - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Chris the Tall:

I'd be like you - plan my own. You can suit it to weather, wind direction, current health/fitness. Your trip sounded great btw.
JamButty - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to ActionSte:

how about Edinburgh - London - Edinburgh?

or try some Audaxes

cb294 - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to ActionSte:

Sture Styrkeproven. Trondheim-Oslo in one go, one of the things I would love to do before I will be 50....

CB
ActionSte on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Doesnt need to be organised event as such! Im pretty much just after some really good rides that take me via and too some fantastic places!
Chris the Tall - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to ActionSte:

> Im pretty much just after some really good rides that take me via and too some fantastic places!

But you're already in Yorkshire.......

I find this site really good for planning routes

http://www.bikehike.co.uk (but it appears to have gone done)

You could see how many of these you can tick off in a weekend

http://preview.tinyurl.com/h6bzbtv

Further afield Lincolnshire etc is good for easy distance, and I've found some lovely quiet roads in Devon and Dorset

wilkesley - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to ActionSte:

Holyhead to Chester is a nice 2 day ride. It's possible to do it in a day if you start early. However, there is quite a bit of climbing just outside Chester. Park the car at Chester then get the train to Holyhead and cycle back.
Rich7 - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to ActionSte:

The North Coast 500 in Scotland?
The New NickB - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to wilkesley:

> Holyhead to Chester is a nice 2 day ride. It's possible to do it in a day if you start early. However, there is quite a bit of climbing just outside Chester. Park the car at Chester then get the train to Holyhead and cycle back.

I did Chester to Holyhead last year, it's only about 7 hours riding, probably less doing it the other way with the wind behind you. It was certainly a bit of a struggle along the coast to Conway with a headwind the whole way.
Tom the tall on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to ActionSte: Geneva to Nice along the Alps is a classic, and has plenty of businesses offering support/bag transfer etc so you can go light and enjoy the cycling.

jethro kiernan - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to ActionSte:

I've signed up for the Pyrenean raid

http://marmot-tours.co.uk/tours/raid-pyrenean/

Did look into something off my own bat but logisticaly seemed complicated (without getting involved in touring)
Budget is going to mean bike packing next time
steveriley - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to ActionSte:

I quite like a linear ride with a sense of purpose. Get the train to somewhere X miles away - whatever's challenging plus a bit. Have a nice second breakfast and then set off home. A mate of mine did one where he set off riding from home and stopped after 24h ...almost made Cornwall from the NW. Do a 2-dayer with a bivvybag and dirtbag overnighter? The C2C is nice spread over 2 or 3 days with a mix of on/offroad and a nice B&B.
biped - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> I've signed up for the Pyrenean raid


> Did look into something off my own bat but logisticaly seemed complicated (without getting involved in touring)

> Budget is going to mean bike packing next time

We did Geneva to Nice a couple of years ago with a saddlebag and handlebar bag between us. Not as light as pure roadie but a world apart from 4 panniers etc. (My downfall is carrying camera kit that outweighs the bike). For bigger distances and actually going uphill at a reasonable pace it's the way to go. Budget wise it was quite expensive as we stayed in hotels. The Pyrenees would be probably be cheaper as there are more handily placed gites.

OP:
http://www.cycling-challenge.com
http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/odds_and_ends/cycle_tour.html
Post edited at 10:04
cb294 - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Tom the tall:

Why not do the same but a little bit further East? From Martigny south you can go almost all the way to the Med by stringing together classic Tdf passes: Great St. Bernard, Little St. Bernard, Iseran, Telegraphe, Galiber, Lautaret, Izoard, Vars, Restefond/La Bonette, and then 100 km or so downhill (from 2800m to zero) for a coffee on the beach!

CB
mp3ferret on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to ActionSte:

Depends on the level of challenge you;re after. How about the montane yukon ultra L

https://www.montane.co.uk/montane-yukon-arctic-ultra-i55

mp3ferret on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Rich7:

> The North Coast 500 in Scotland?

I'm doing this in March. Doing it the proper way - carrying everything and wild camping along the way.

I Can't wait.
ActionSte on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to mp3ferret:

North Coast 500 looks fantastic!

Quite a lot of good suggestions, cheers everyone!
MikeR - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to ActionSte:

I can recommend the Hebridean Way, from Barra to the Butt of Lewis. We did it at a fairly relaxed pace in a week with time to stop and look around, including Ullapool to Garve to get back to a train station, and that was with a headwind all the way! You could extend it by heading north from Ullapool to incorperate part of the North Coast 500.
wilkesley - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to The New NickB:

> I did Chester to Holyhead last year, it's only about 7 hours riding, probably less doing it the other way with the wind behind you. It was certainly a bit of a struggle along the coast to Conway with a headwind the whole way.

I want to go back and do the whole ride in one day. It was about 10:30 by the time I left the car park in Holyhead, after I had seen my daughter off. I stopped in Llandudno for lunch. I had to get back to Holyhead at some point, collect the car and drive home. When I worked out the times, I would have been hard pressed to get back from Chester to Holyhead and get home in time, so I got the train from Llandudno back to Holyhead and did Llandudno to Chester the next day.

The hills outside Prestatyn were quite a bit steeper than I anticipated and would have come as a nasty shock if I had done the whole ride in a day. At least I know what to expect next time.
steveriley - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to wilkesley:

For a proper nasty shock you should have a look at the Bwlch. Some great doom-laden prose here: http://www.spincyclemag.com/killer-hills-bwlch-penbarras/
wilkesley - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to steveriley:

Looks like a good challenge! A few weeks ago I did Bala to Lake Vyrnwy and back via the two passes. I last did it 30 years ago and was quite pleased that the 61 year old me didn't find it much harder than the younger version.
michael lawrence - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to jethro kiernan:

I've just returned from the Raid with Marmot. You've made a good decision; great route, excellent support and organisation from the Marmot team and rode with a lovely bunch of people. I'm looking at doing something else with them next year. Feel free to PM me if you would like any insights.
ads.ukclimbing.com
rocksol - on 14 Oct 2016
In reply to ActionSte:

The must do UK ride is Fred Whitton loop in the Lakes

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