I’ve just ridden days 2, 3 and 4 of the Penine Bridleway tour ahead of September (yes I know I’ve missed out day 1 but as it’s closest to me I’ll come back and remind myself of that section next week!). It was the first time I’d ridden the Yorkshire Dales section (wow!) and some sections I’d not ridden for a while, so read on to see what you’ll be signing up for!
- The scenery throughout the route is as diverse as it is stunning, each section really has it’s own character. The Yorkshire Dales on day 4 was new to me and I was blown away by it. The Pennine’s are also really hilly, but we all know that didn’t we?
- It’s a demanding tour, but I know there’s some of you out there who like your fun physically demanding. If you’re the kind of rider that likes long challenge events, or big days out in the hills then you’re going to love this tour.
- Even though it’s four big days, each day is split into four quarters, with a morning feed stop, lunch stop and then an afternoon feed stop – so you’re never too far from a brew and some cake.
- The other advantage of these breaks is that you won’t have to carry anywhere near as much stuff on your back as I’ve just done….
- I also realised how much easier it is to ride with company. On my last day of the recce I had loads of great company and it was a real boost to my morale and average speed. (Thanks to Steve in the morning and Charlotte, James and Tom in the afternoon!)
- A GPS with the supplied route is really, really recommended. The whole trail is signposted – except for some places where it mysteriously isn’t! Even when the signs are in place, they can be easily missed or obscured by trees. If you haven’t got a GPS bike computer you can hire one with the route pre-loaded for £40
- There’s a few miles of grassy tracks before Long Preston that we’ll avoid. Even though it troubles the OCD part of my brain, you’ll thank me for bypassing them. You’re welcome to follow the official route if you want, but pushing your bike through miles of rutted fields is a MTB niche too far for me…
- The hardest hill is the very last one (or so it felt to me). There’s a route round it that’s slightly less challenging if you’re feeling totally fried and there’s similar options at the end of day 2, but could you live with yourself?
- And finally, when you’re on a tour with other riders you can celebrate the day’s riding with each other over a drink. Unlike me this week, looking like Billy no mates on my own in the pub…