One of our most popular club trips over the years has been our annual visit North to the Yorkshire Dales. Our annual pilgrimage always takes us to the Dales Bike Centre, a fantastic family run hub for the whole weekend. Advertised as the centre of trails The Dales Bike Centre packs plenty of B&B accommodation, catering, daytime café, twenty-four hour cake access, bike storage, a well equipped bike shop and an endless supply of ride recommendations all under the rooves of two beautifully restored traditional Yorkshire stone buildings. Did I also mention twenty-four cake access?!

The Yorkshire Dales is a sublime setting for some very natural riding. There is no trail centre nonsense here. A very different environment to the Chiltern Hills that most of you will be oh so familiar with. The Yorkshire Dales is a very beautiful but barren wildness in comparison, with open rolling hills and limited splattering’s of woodland. Big ridges (and big climbs), very technical rocky descents, river crossings, tricky gulley’s to negotiate, disused mining works, the odd traditional pub and tea room to enjoy, plenty of sheep to avoid and the odd walkers hut or sheep pen for shelter if the weather turns. No man made stuff here, all natural weathered singletrack trails galore.

Our trip was planned on our fairly standard optional three day tour, where club members can attend any combination of the Friday, Saturday and Sunday to suit work and family.  Accommodation was sorted by the team at the Dales Bike Centre and dinner (and the odd beer…) provided by the award winning and superb local alehouse and restaurant, The Bridge Inn.

Due to the missed planning clash with bank holiday weekend as well as a few club members out injured the turnout for this trip was much lower than expected. Just the three of us headed up to the Dales for the full weekend of riding. This was not a bad thing mind, it meant the planning was a little easier, and all three of us were quite happy at a similar pace all weekend meant for a pleasant three days of good riding and company all mixed up between plenty of grub stops and many many photo opportunities.

We were blessed with a stunning weekend of weather, slightly cooler and overcast on the Friday afternoon warm up spin, but toasty and humid with clear blue skies on the Saturday and Sunday. That must have been our summer gone again!?

The Dales makes for a fantastic weekend of riding, it’s such a great contrast from the local Chiltern area with views to absolutely die for. Fresh air, stunning views and an immense silence and sense of peace and tranquillity… all mixed in with some fantastic routes and riding and great local hospitability means this trip has to be on your bucket list. Give Stu and the team at the Dales Bike Centre a call for top service and let yourself just worry about keeping those legs spinning on the hills and finding room for a brew and a slice.

I am sure we will once again be back next year, if not before...



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