Cycling the Moors and Dales of Yorkshire, September 2011: AKA surviving Hurricane Katia
Route difficulty calculated using cycalc
We started our holiday at a friend of ours, Alasdair, who lives near Prudhoe
Day-1 was from High Mickley to Haswell Plough, passing through Durham on route. An easy day of 30-miles with 2130ft accent, grade average-B
It was a nice day, by and large, but we knew it was the calm before the storm
Even though this was an easy day, I found it hard-going having not been able to train since my surgery.
Through Durham, past the castle and cathedral
Wind-farms are springing-up everywhere (they would be pumping out the power in a couple of days!)
After our night at The Gables Inn, Haswell Plough, we set off the next day on route for Great Ayton in North Yorkshire.
This day was 40-miles with 2110ft accent, grade mild-C, and although we were largely heading south, the wind had not yet started to impede our progress
Once we were well away from Durham, the roads became peaceful
Harvesting was well underway
It was a very tiring day for me, but tomorrow (Monday) was set to be a BIG challenge!
We stayed Sunday night at The Royal Oak in Great Ayton: we can recommend this inn for friendliness and food!
Day-3 we cycled from Great Ayton with the intention of heading south over the high North Yorkshire Moors to Ampleforth. We didn’t manage it: after 10-miles heading east, largely sheltered from the worst of the wind, we turned south directly into the teeth of hurricane Katia. And I got blew off my bike! It was time for prudence to dictate the day
It was the start of some proper hills, and hillsides covered in heather
We were still heading east, and still climbing, with the wind partly behind us
Higher and higher, but still largely sheltered
Our route turned due south at Castleton, and we were exposed to the full force of hurricane Katia. Probably blowing at around 40MPH, it was impossible for us to cycle further! The staff at the Castleton Tea Rooms kindly arranged for our transport to Ampleforth.
It was a great relief to have a means of continuing our holiday. Forty-minutes in the minibus brought us to Shallowdale House, our accommodation for the night. Shallowdale House is a gem of a small hotel – absolutely recommended by us!
Reluctantly we had to leave Shallowdale House and head-off due west to Pateley Bridge: 39-miles with 2450ft accent, grade average-C in calm conditions. This turned out to be one of the hardest cycling days we have ever had, and in retrospect it became graded as, at least, middling Extreme. If pushing into a ~15MPH headwind was not enough, we were forced to cycle a further 2-miles due to a diversion past the road works at the A1!
Packing our panniers at Shallowdale House. It would take 7-hours of hard cycling to reach our hotel at Pateley Bridge!
It was nice to get the occasional respite from the wind, as here at Byland Abbey
Not much remains of the abbey since the Reformation
We cycled past several trees blown down by the previous days winds
The village of Kilburn
Kilburn has its own White Horse figure in the hillside. Not ancient, it was cut in 1857, but impressive all the same
We sheltered from a number of intense showers. Blown horizontal by the high winds, the rain was shot past us!
As the day progressed, the rain dissipated, and finally as we dropped down to Pateley Bridge the sun came out
At the Harefield Hall hotel we discovered we had been bumped-up to the Bridal Suite. If only we had not been so knackered to appreciate it!
The following day, which turned out to be a beautiful sunny day, we cycled from Pateley Bridge to Hawes: 36-miles with 3780ft accent, grade Ex-1(73W). This would have been our hardest day of the holiday, had it not been for the windswept day before!
This is more like it. No wind, sunny and warm
Julie can take any amount of this weather!
Kilnsey Main Overhang – one of my old climbing venues (I wish…)
Uphill and down dale: quite an energetic day!
Our penultimate day we cycled from Hawes to Romaldkirk: 33-miles with 3400ft accent, grade mild-D(72W).
New day, new dale: Wensleydale
More steep hills and great views
Over Buttertubs Pass
Looking into Arkengarthdale
More steep hills, but this time with a refreshment stop
Tan Hill: Britain’s highest pub at 1732ft above sea level
Another ambition satisfied
Leaving the Yorkshire Dales, we descend into Teesdale
After another good day’s cycling we arrived at The Rose and Crown, Romaldkirk, for our last night of pampering
Our last day’s cycling of the holiday took us from Romaldkirk back to High Mickley: 34-miles with 3715ft accent, grade hard-D(73W).
As predicted, our last day was to be rainy: drizzle as we left Romaldkirk, heavy rain later
Julie just loves Crawleyside Bank – especially in the rain!
And finally, full circle, 260-miles and 22600ft later!