Cyclists flock to the countryside around Pickering to challenge themselves to follow in the wheel tracks of elite cyclists. Others also enjoy exploring the villages and sights on flatter routes and gentler inclines. Whatever kind of road riding you’re into, there’s a fantastic route waiting for you in North Yorkshire.
Emulating the elites
Top level races pass through Ryedale every year. Tour de Yorkshire routes featured the roads around Pickering and the nearby countryside almost every year up to 2019. More recently, stage four of the Tour of Britain 2022 concluded at Duncombe Park, Helmsley, and then there’s the annual Ryedale Grasscrete Grand Prix (below), part of British Cycling’s National Road Series, widely regarded as a tough race even for elite riders. All these races are run on public roads so if you want to challenge yourself to follow some of the sport’s best, find the route online, pack your map and jump in the saddle.
What’s within reach
Pickering is on the edge of the beautiful North York Moors national park and within reach of all kinds of places to visit by bike. Head east and the long, sandy beaches of Scarborough are only a couple of hours away. Fancy some challenging hills? Ride north across the moors towards Whitby and you will find stunning scenery and challenging climbs which will require a reasonable level of fitness or an electric bike! If Whitby sounds good, but the climbing is more than you want, you can take your bike on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway which travels from Pickering to Whitby. Or just take it easy and visit the nearby charming market towns of Helmsley and Malton, the latter being known as Yorkshire’s Food Capital and benefiting from a recently opened cycle track from Pickering.
Explore the villages
Many riders choose to explore the beautiful villages of the North York Moors when they head out on their bike. Pickering is within easy reach of places like Hutton-Le-Hole, Rosedale Abbey including the infamous Chimney Bank climb, Glaisdale, Egton Bridge, Grosmont and, of course, Goathland, the beautifully preserved village where the TV series Heartbeat was filmed. There’s simply nothing better than spending a couple of hours in the saddle, taking in the incredible views and stopping off for coffee and cake or a cold pint at the halfway mark.
There are so many routes to choose from and one of favourites is the Pickering to Langdale End route, a 15-mile ride which weaves through the stunning scenery of Dalby Forest before coming out at the village of Langdale End, where you can rest your weary legs at the Moorcock Inn. This is a perfect choice if you’re looking to spend a good half day and then some on your ride and you want smooth surfaces with some inclines but not too many.