Total ascent: 53/82 miles
Best bit: Scenery
Worse bit: Weather
The wet and chilly start was perhaps fated for an event that had already been postponed due to heavy snow.
No matter – the warm send-off from Staveley kept me toasty on the inside as I followed the well-signed route south over the rolling terrain through Oxenholme to Kirkby Lonsdale.
The climb out of Barbon village was timed, giving riders the option of trying hard up the long, testing ascent. At the top of the climb and with the rain getting heavier I donned my cape and descended the steep, twisty and gravel-strewn hill towards Dent. At the route split, I took the easy option as the long route riders headed over the challenging Kingdale climb.
The fast and flat roads to the pretty town of Sedburgh led to another tough climb, Howgill Lane, a tough climb made even tougher by riding against the streams of rainwater. The ups and downs continued north to Beckfoot while much of the ride back into Staveley was on quiet, puddle-strewn lanes. A nice selection of pies at the finish was an unexpected bonus at an event costing just £15 to enter; it’s just a shame the weather shrouded much of the ride’s spectacular scenery.
Missed it? Try this…
The Tour de Staveley is the original social sportive, and takes place on July 6. The ride includes great food, optional beer and the Tour de France on a big screen at the finish. Stunning South Lakes scenery and the optional Strada Biancha gravel climb, make this a ‘must-do’ ride.
This article was first published in the June 13 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!