The wind in your hair, the fresh air filling your lungs and the thrill of freewheeling down a big hill. Yup, cycling is one of those activities that offers plenty of smiles per mile.
But if you’re just taking off the training wheels, getting back in the saddle or even just looking for a new challenge, finding cycle route nirvana can be easier said than done.
Busy roads, inaccessible pathways or simply not knowing where the best cycle routes are can be a barrier for people to ditch petrol power and embrace pedal power. And, considering there are so many benefits to riding a bike, it’s a shame these relatively minor obstacles can prevent people taking up what is a genuinely enjoyable pastime.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help and steer you in the right direction.
PLANNING YOUR PERFECT RIDE
Britain is blessed with some stunning landscapes and luckily, the vast majority of them can be enjoyed on two wheels.
If you’ve just purchased a bike or perhaps signed up to a cycle-to-work scheme with your employers, don’t confine your cycling to just the daily commute or odd afternoon jaunt – there’s a simply enormous number of awesome cycling adventures just waiting to be explored!
Now, obviously we couldn’t simply list every possible cycle route here in this blog (we’d be here forever…); so instead, we’ve scoured the web for the best cycle route, databases and guides so you don’t have to!
SUSTRANS CYCLE ROUTES
Sustrans offer a comprehensive online database of routes for cyclists of every level; from the complete novices all the way through to the die-hard two-wheel fanatics.
Along with a handy-to-use interactive map showing all the major cycle routes in the UK, they also have a database of all major and minor routes, too; meaning you can delve deep into the peddle-powered possibilities and plan bike rides to your heart’s content!
However, if you’re looking for more than just local or national cycle routes for your weekend bike rides, the site also covers the whole world of cycling in the UK; including events, charity bike events, reviews, insurance and general advice.
If you’re just starting out on your cycling adventure, it’s certainly a great place to start.
Let’s Ride is a cycling festival supported by British Cycling but also has a website which has a simply enormous database of cycle routes which you can search, add to and even leave your own reviews. They also have an app you can download so you can navigate your chosen routes on the move – nice!
Another cool feature is that members risk-assess the routes featured. If you’re a novice bike rider or exploring a route you’re not familiar with, you can ride easy knowing it’s been checked and verified as a suitable route for bikes and cyclists.
The National Trust
Want to explore the great British countryside on your bike? Then head across to the National Trust’s cycling website, which gives visitors the chance to explore historical sites or areas of outstanding natural beauty on two wheels.
And, it’s not just historical country estates and lush rolling vistas you can explore! If you love your big and small-screen action, the site also features locations where movies and TV shows have been filmed. What better day out than exploring Game of Thrones’ Winterfell or taking a windswept ride through Poldark country?
FANCY A BIT MORE OF A CHALLENGE?
Of course, there will be readers out there who will be up for more than just a gentle Sunday bike ride! Luckily, there are plenty of cycling events you can try – either to raise money for charity, to challenge yourself, or simply for the sheer fun of it!
Evans Cycles sponsor the national RIDE IT events across the UK; with bike-related challenges to suit every ability.
You can also visit the UK Cycling Events website to browse any and all cycling events across the UK – be they just for fun rides in scenic locations, to competitive speed trials and cross-country challenges.
So, what are you waiting for?! Get out there and start enjoying everything the humble bike has to offer.
cycling is just the start of a healthy lifestyle...
Enjoying a bike ride is just one of the ways you can have a more active lifestyle; and an active lifestyle is crucial to everyone's health and wellbeing. Get the full lowdown in our free online guide - just hit the link below to check it out!