Friday, 22 June 2012


The Way of The Roses Cycle Route is 170 miles from Bridlington in Yorkshire to Morecombe.  It is a route divided into two halves.  The east section to Ripley is a fast ride with light hills but there it abruptly changes as it climbs high into the Pennines over to the west coast.

I met my buddy, Andy at Bridlington Train Station.  This must surely make a claim to be one of the most stunning stations on the whole rail network.  It had an old world charm that was supplemented by tables of local food, flowers, historic photos and friendly people. 

It was soon evident that this is a popular cycle route.  We saw cyclists on every section of the journey and, in turn, we were rewarded with interesting cafes, good pubs for stopovers and some eye catching scenery.  As usual on the National Cycle Network, we encountered few cars.  Millington, mid way between Driffield and York probably claimed the best cafe judging by numbers of cyclists who stopped there.

The cycle route made light work taking us past York and Ripon cathedrals.  It abruptly changed as we approached Brimham Rocks.  Our imaginations stirred as these ancient rock formations resembled Dartmoor's famous tors and had peculiar names such as Dancing Bear, Pink Panther and Watchdog.  We dropped down into Pateley Bridge on the River Nidd only to find the first of several challenging hills.  Andy must have done some special training as he took the hills with relish leaving me trailing behind.  "Must do better" appeared in my notebook several times. 

We peddled on to Settle passing another cyclists' cafe at Cracoe.  I find the experiences to be special when cycling among high open moorland and hills.  Cyclists kept coming in the opposite direction and we encountered riders of all ages.  Many appeared to be on long distance tours while others were challenging themselves on day rides.  At Settle, we left the route and headed north to beyond Kendal where we briefly joined the Walney to Wear Cycle Route.  Finally we turned around and cycled back to Lancaster for trains home. 

The total distance for us was 210 miles.  Where next? Croatia for Andy and Wales for me.

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