England : North Yorkshire Dales forum ride, 7th July, 2018

Discussion in 'CycleChat and Recreational Rides' started by ColinJ, 21 Apr 2018.

  1. ColinJ

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    Okay, folks, it is time to start the thread for the annual Yorkshire Dales summer forum ride so you can pencil the date in your diaries and make sure that you don't miss out on this spectacular ride which will take place on Saturday, 7th July, 2018.

    As always, it is a @Sea of vapours / ColinJ co-production. SoV comes up with route suggestions and I take a look and give my reactions. I didn't take much persuading to go with his first choice of route this year ...

    The rides usually start and finish in Settle but we are going to start it from Ribblehead/Dent this year and finish at Ribblehead. That lets us go to parts of the Dales that we haven't covered yet and avoid some roads that we have done several times over the past 6 or 7 years.

    The full 112 km (70 mile) (Ribblehead to Ribblehead) route is VERY hilly - a total of about 2,000 m (6,600 ft) of climbing, some of which is on VERY steep roads. So - not a route for beginners or ascent/descent-phobic riders! I would prefer it that you had ridden a route like this before because if you were to conk out exhausted halfway round you would be looking at a 30+ mile taxi ride back to the start, or we would be nursing you back in the dark and last trains would be missed!

    Don't worry about speed though - if you have done similar rides in the past, you should be well capable of riding at my speed - I am normally the slowest rider. I have just done a quick calculation based on train times and we would only have to average a minimum speed of 12 kph (7.5 mph) including any stops. (There will be just one official stop, at the Tan Hill Tavern, but I will definitely be diving behind the odd dry stone wall en route ... :whistle:)

    Ribblehead and Dent*** are on the lovely Settle-Carlisle railway line so you can come in by train, drive up there, or ride up from somewhere else, as SoV will be doing.

    Exact start times and locations depend on whether any riders come in by train, and if so, what the new (as yet unpublished) railway timetable is. If I were to come by train I would already have ridden for over an hour an a half to catch my train at Keighley so I would skive and alight at Dent station, one stop beyond Ribblehead. That would save me some distance and the stiff climb up to Dent station. In that scenario, it would be better for all riders coming by train to also alight at Dent. Dent to Ribblehead by SoV's scenic route is still a fine metric century ride. SoV would pick up anyone who drove or rode up to Ribblehead and ride up to Dent station to meet me and any other arrivals by rail.

    I will provide lots more information over the coming weeks, but for now just post below if you would like to join us ...

    • ColinJ
    • Sea of vapours

    *** Dent station is (clearly) on the railway line but Dent village certainly is NOT. I'm sure that many ill-informed holidaymakers must have got a horrible shock when they got off the their train only to be faced with a 4.5 mile trudge to their accommodation. Even worse going back up the hill after their stay!

    Dent station to Dent village.gif
    Sea of vapours likes this.
  2. OP

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    I'll be a bit distracted by the Tour de Yorkshire for the next few days but once that is finished I will post more details of this ride.

    Meanwhile, scribble the date in your diaries and add your name to the list, which is currently looking too sparse! :okay:
  3. rusty bearing

    rusty bearing Über Member

    They say there's no fool like an old un and I can't think of owt that would get in the way so pencil me in please young sirs
    Sea of vapours and ColinJ like this.
  4. OP

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    I don't think that I fit the description 'young' any more ... :whistle:

    It'll be good to have you on board again!
  5. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    I'm keeping my powder dry until the route is revealed.

    The Full Monty is likely to be a bit much but I hope to be able to join in for some of it.
    ColinJ and Sea of vapours like this.
  6. That's true, but when @ColinJ says 'a fine metric century ride', I'd add the suggestion that 'if the 100km matters then check your gps at the end before stopping it'. My software makes the route 100.1 km from Dent to Ribblehead, with 1,850m of ascent.

    There are definitely a couple of subsets of the main route which would probably work for you, @Pale Rider

    The route is basically a circuit of the core of the Dales, with lots of high country, some excellent views, and fine weather to be arranged by Colin.
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  7. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    Thanks Mike, where there's a will and an OS map there's a way.

    I thought of you while I was watching the last day of the Tour de Yorkshire.

    Presumably, you've ridden most of it at one time or another.
    Sea of vapours likes this.
  8. OP

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    I happened to be working on this post while you chaps were posting above!

    Here's a map of the route.

    Dales route 2018.png

    Ribblehead is marked by a red star at the bottom left. We'll head up Gayle Moor before turning left and dropping down into Dentdale. Then there is the hard climb up past Dent station (the second red star).

    It would be possible to take a shortcut after Garsdale Head and just head for Hawes then straight back up to Ribblehead, but I think that probably lops too much off the route.

    I haven't ridden the next section before - Garsdale Head, Nateby, then over Birkdale Common.

    We will eventually end up in Swaledale where we will turn left just before Keld and climb up to our lunch stop at the Tan Hill tavern.

    A possible shortcut down Swaledale doesn't really save that much so probably not worth doing. I think that the most sensible shortcut on the route would be to not go to Tan Hill, but head back to Hawes over Buttertubs instead. That would cut about 32 km (20 miles) from the route and also a significant amount of climbing.

    Those of us doing the Full Monty (with or without Dent Station wimpout!) will get a lovely 20 km descent down into Arkengarthdale after Tan Hill and then the climbing starts again ...

    About 150 m of ascent takes us onto Reeth Low Moor, but then we get another 6 km of descent back to Swaledale.

    After that ... yes, it's Fleak Moss time again! Hopefully, it will feel slightly easier than it did last year, but I suspect that it won't! :laugh:

    Well, 'what goes up, must come down' and all that ... We'll have 330 metres of elevation to dispose of in just 4 km of descent. Watch where you are going and don't get too friendly with the local sheep**!

    We continue the same way we did last year, along Wensleydale to Apperset, where we remind ourselves that in the Dales 'what goes down, must come up'! Yes, we have one last climb to tackle - the long drag up Widdale to Gayle Moor, and then a descent to Ribblehead where the ride officially finishes, though some may be riding on to somewhere else. I will definitely be stopping there unless I have sorted out a lift for myself OR I have just missed a train and decide to kill time by riding to Settle to catch the next one.

    This is what it looks like in terms of 'lumpiness' ...

    Dales route 2018 profile.png

    A fine, sunny day is guaranteed****, so come and join us for another leg-'n-lung-mashingly fine day out on the bikes! :welcome:

    ** That is very good advice even when you are NOT doing a Kamikaze descent on a bicycle! :okay:

    **** A fine sunny day, except that is in the unlikely eventuality of rain/sleet/snow/hail, thunderstorms, tornadoes, freezing fog, or any other obscure weather events not covered above!
    Sea of vapours likes this.
  9. OP

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    I'll doublecheck SoV's gpx file for the route and edit it down to fit my GPS's limited memory capacity. I'll post that simplified version by June.
  10. OP

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...


    A reminder to come and join us for this fine Dales outing! I haven't got round to doing the simplified GPX file yet but will do that shortly and post it for you to look at.
    Sea of vapours likes this.
  11. Have you worked out which sub-route you'll be able to join us for then, Rob? It'll be good to see you again. And yes, I've ridden most of the TDY final day route.
  12. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    My plan is to park at Muker/Thwaite, and meet you just past Keld where you turn north for Tan Hill.

    I will stay with the ride until just outside Hawes, where I will turn north to get back to Thwaite.

    About 30 miles but still a fair bit of climbing, not least the last solo stretch which includes Buttertubs - I've heard of that one.

    My guess is you will reach my proposed meeting point between 11.45am and noon.

    Should work, but any feedback is welcome because I'm largely basing the plan on reading the map rather than riding experience of the route.
    ColinJ likes this.
  13. That sounds like a very good plan to me. It's much as I was going to suggest if you'd asked for ideas. There's a good escape route too of course: you could head up Swaledale from Healaugh rather than doing Fleak Moss and Buttertubs and that would still be a very good overall loop of about 43km and 800m rather than 58km and 1,300m, but with one huge hill and one moderate hill removed.

    The minor and optional-on-the-day variation I'd suggest is to carry on at the beginning of the day before you meet us, heading up onto Birkdale Common and meeting us at some semi-random point. That's partly since the road is a really nice one and the views and sense of being remote higher up are excellent, but also on the basis that it avoids sitting around at the junction waiting for us and contemplating the uber-steep hairpin at the foot of the road up to Tan Hill (it's much more relaxed after that first 150m). It's gentle climbing up onto Birkdale Common, with just a couple of short, steeper ramps and nothing severe.

    Having had a look at some of my recent timings and applying a realistic group pace I'd say it's 2.5 hours from Ribblehead to the junction near Keld and 1.75 hours from Dent Station to that junction, so probably 'about midday' is fair, depending on when the trains are, if anyone arrives by train. It's going to be pretty vague though as the climbs up the Coal Road and Lamp's Moss are both going to vary a fair bit in elapsed time - probably a half hour window at the junction near Keld.
    Last edited: 30 May 2018
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  14. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    Thanks, Mike - some food for thought there.

    I may as well trundle up Birkdale towards you coming the other way, it's not as if we could miss each other.

    Nipping up Swaledale occurred to me, but looked as if it might be too short to make the ride worthwhile.

    Your climbing figures put a slightly different slant on it, 800m is still a fair bit of 'up' even if 43km is not that much 'along'.

    That decision can be made when I reach Healaugh.

    I will see you on the road somewhere on Birkdale Common somewhere around midday.
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  15. You'd have to literally hide from us, and even that would be challenging as there's not much up on Birkdale Common to hide behind !

    The shorter loop is very much a worthwhile ride I think, but deciding on the day is the way to go. On the longer route, Buttertubs is distinctly easier than Fleak Moss, so you've certainly done the hard bit once you get to the top of Fleak Moss.
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