Cycling in the Yorkshire Dales National Park
At Lake cycling shoes, we all truly love what we do – and that includes our own cycling. I guess that we’re lucky, in that we all live in amazing areas. For myself, I live on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, here in the U.K., where locally we’ve hosted the Tour de France, the UCI World Road Cycling Championships at Harrogate, and the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup twice – which I was also lucky enough to help with an element of the planning for. Yes, cycling is in our blood, which is why we all believe in our brand – Lake.
We thought that we maybe ought to share one of our own favourite rides with you then. And, as the Yorkshire Dales is famous for its challenging cycling, here’s an absolute classic.
My Own Favourite Cycling Shoe
With so many models to choose from, I currently have 2 favourite cycling shoes from the varied range at Lake Cycling. When I’m out and about on the mountain bike, hitting the trails at Dalby Forest, or the challenging climbs and technical descents in the Dales, then I'll wrap my feet in the Lake MX 332. It’s a super stable and performance orientated shoe, that allows me to move the rear end of the bike through the pedals, giving excellent control and power transfer. The moldable heel, keeps my foot stable, meaning that all effort is transferred into forward momentum.
When I’m out and about on my Bianchi bike, then I usually wear our Lake CX 238 road cycling shoe, which is super comfortable, has excellent power transfer and is also really stylish – yes, that’s still important to me, and Lake cycling shoes are thankfully, performances orientated and stylish. My favourite ride starts here at Ripon, near the famous Cathedral, and heads through the World Heritage Site of Studley Royal Deer Park and Fountains Abbey, before climbing steeply into Nidderdale, passing the rock formations at Brimham Rocks, left behind by glacial retreat in the ice age. Thankfully, the double BOA fastening on the CX 238 ensures that my feet stay fixed and firm, and my climbing is maximised. Most of the hills in this area are at least 15% minimum.
All Day Cycling Comfort
I don’t know about you, but I frequently leave the route to chance when I’m out. I’ll simply decide how I feel and turn where the bike wants to go. This can mean a long day in the saddle, which again is where the Lake CX 238 is perfect for me, being so comfortable. Descending towards Pateley Bridge, nestled in the North Yorkshire countryside, the road requires excellent control, and the stability and support that the CX 238 gives me is perfect, allowing me to really open things up. Once I’ve descended, I often climb towards the isolated village of Heathfield, where friends live, as their garden has the most beautiful view in Yorkshire – trust me. Then, after a cup of tea, it’s time to think about more climbing, as I ascend Church Bank or Silver Hill in Nidderdale – both, equally challenging climbs.
Once ascended, I’m surrounded by rolling and open moorland, with large birds of prey usually flying overhead, seeking prey, and more sheep than you can imagine. It’s a beautiful place to live and to be able to cycle in daily. The village of Grantley gives me the opportunity for more climbing, as I ascend back towards home, then taking a detour, using the winding lanes to Sawley, before swooping down the tree lined road back to Fountains Abbey, the largest monastic ruins in the country, which has been nestled here since 1132 – yes, 900 years.
The Best Cycling Rides deserve the Best Cycling Shoes
All too soon, I’m descending at speed through the Deer Park, with Ripon Cathedral in the far distance, showing itself above the trees. I’m usually tired but exhilarated, and already planning the next ride – maybe a mountain bike adventure on the Orbea Oiz, using the Lake MX 332 mountain bike shoes. Riding onto my drive at home, I know how lucky I am. I have my health, I live in a spectacularly beautiful area, for road cycling and mountain biking, and I work at the world’s finest cycling shoe company – Lake. Every now and then, I need to pinch myself, and check that it’s not just a dream; and, when I realise that it’s not, I’ll smile, clean the bike and shoes and get ready for the next adventure.