Cycling in the Dales

Yorkshire has become a mecca for cyclists whether you are a roadie or a mountain biker. Numbers have boomed since the Tour de France came in 2014 and Hawes is especially popular as the first stage came through the town.

The roads are generally good with fewer vehicles and potholes than many areas. There are many routes to choose from - the valley routes are good and you can usually devise a circular tour. The hilly routes are more challenging - the Buttertubs pass to Swaledale and Fleet Moss to Wharfedale are legendary climbs but the reasonably fit cyclist shouldn’t be put off.

There is an excellent bike shop in Hawes called Stage 1 Cycles ( www.stage1cycles.co.uk) which is also a cafe. This is easily found as it is next to the National Parks Visitor Centre. It stocks a good range of equipment, clothing and spares. Mike, the owner also repairs bikes. Visitors who don't bring their bikes can hire them at Stage 1. You might want to try their E-bikes - these make the hills much less daunting.