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Cycling and mountain biking in the Lake District  

In the past five years mountain biking in the Lakes has grown in popularity. Keswick, Windermere and Ambleside are among locations offering easy bike hire opportunities. Among off road options is the new Altura Trail at Whinlatter Forest.Altura trail Keswick The 19km (11.8 miles) route near Keswick, is owned by the Forestry Commission and is a red grade which means it is challenging and only for experienced cyclists.The Altura Trail (pictured right Courtesy and copyright of Altura® Cycling Apparel) is a 19 kilometre red grade mountain bike route which includes 15 kilometres of new single track. There are challenging single track sections and popular features like berms, jumps, rock features, skinnies, cork screws and table tops. There are also fantatsic views of Derwent water, Bassenthwaite, Helvelyn and Skiddaw as the trail takes the rider to an altitude of 500m (1600ft) above Keswick. At the trail head a new purpose built cycle shop run by Cyclewise of Penrith offers cycle parts, clothing, maintenance and new bike sales. A guide map is available at the Visitor Centre or Cyclewise Shop at the trail head. This gives route and grading details and should be read by all riders before attempting the trail for the first time.

Weblink for bike trail map downloads for both Whinlatter and Grisedale Forests.

The start of the C2C route in Whitehaven
Passing through the central Lake District is the Coast to Coast (also known and signposted as the CtoC or C2C) biking route provides around 130 miles of riding. Your start point can be either the lighthouse in Workington or the harbour in Whitehaven pictured above (Here there is a tradition of dipping your wheel in the Irish Sea and doing likewise in the North Sea). And on the east side finish in Tynemouth (4 miles longer) or Sunderland. The Sustrans map also shows a further link from Carlisle to Penrith. The Sustrans route is signed as 'C2C'
The route is predominantly on minor roads and disused railways. There are some tougher (=more climbing) options, e.g going from Whitehaven crosses Whinlatter Pass but starting from Workington (6 miles shorter) does not. And east of Keswick the 'alternative' Old Coach Road takes you way up on to rough moorland tracks while the 'main' route parallels the A66 on minor roads.
The Reivers Cycleroute starts at the mouth of the mighty River Tyne, finishes on the Cumbrian coast and along the way, riders follow the shores of Kielder Water, through rugged countryside of the Northumberland National Park. Through the Borders to Carlisle then to Cockermouth ( complete with Jennings brewery tours, and a cycle repair shop 4Play Cycles)and the quiet North of the English Lake District.
Website about the Reivers Route.

The CtoC links into the recently created West Cumbrian cycleway network near the Mirehouse housing estate in Whitehaven. The cycleway is largely tarmac-topped and follows the lines of disused rail links that used to serve the are's iron and coal industrial past.
More details of the C to C cycleway can be found at: Excellent site giving details of the Coast to Coast Cycleways.
Thanks to Sustrans many disused rail lines now double as cycleways around Keswick and between Workington and Whitehaven.
In 2013 the Tour of Britain faced rain and tough conditions through the Lake District stages...Riders here (right) are seen topping Honister Pass.

Cycling climbs of the Lake District provides a useful compilation of the high passes in the Lakes.

Recent work on a new cycleway across Winscales Moor means that there is a much safer cycle route now linking Whitehaven to Cockermouth that can be enjoyed away from the dangerous traffic flows on the A595.
If you start from Cockermouth, take the old A66 road to Brigham and stay with this much quieter old main road through to Bridgefoot. Here you take the new cycleway that dips and dives alongside the main A595 all the way to Lillyhall. Walk your cycle across the busier intersections and then regain the original cycleway that follows the former disused rail line gently downhill to Lowca and Parton. From Parton stay close to the sea and the waggonway gives level and traffic free way safely into Whitehaven. This route is part of the growing C2C cycle network.
Passing through the central Lake District this Coast to Coast (signposted as the C2C) mountain biking route provides around 130 miles of riding in total. Your start point can be either the lighthouse in Workington or the harbour in Whitehaven (Here there is a tradition of dipping your wheel in the Irish Sea and doing likewise in the North Sea at the end of your journey). On the 'Geordie' side of the C2C ride your finish can be either in Tynemouth (4 miles longer) or Sunderland. Details of the C2C are well explained on the useful website: www.c2c-guide.co.uk. If you take the Workington start for your ride don't forget to call in and say hello to Black Tom. His is a medieval grave hidden in the church between the village of Camerton and the River Derwent. According to local legend, Black Tom's ghost haunts the churchyard. Black Tom is also the name of the village pub.



Walney to Wear (W2W) (Regional Route 20) is a 151 mile is a coast to coast cycleroute between Walney (neasr Barrow) and Wearmouth or Whitby on the East coast.
www.cycingw2w.info
Also check out the cycle networks at www.nationalcyclenetwork.org.uk


Credit:@peerq

Info & Suggestions
Ravenglass railway
Eskdale is ideal walking and mountain biking territory, something that the famous Laal Ratty miniature railway has supported. Not only can you now hire mountain bikes at the Dalegarth terminus of the railway, but you can let the 'train take the strain' and plan a route that takes you freewheeling down towards the coast while hopping the train for the return journey back up to the Eskdale valley. Find out more at www.ravenglass-railway.co.uk

OTHER USEFUL
CYCLING WEB LINKS

Cockermouth Bike Hire: Contact 4Play Cycles, Market Place. Tel. 01900 823377.

The Reivers Cycleroute starts at the mouth of the mighty River Tyne, finishes on the Cumbrian coast and along the way, riders follow the shores of Kielder Water, through rugged countryside of the Northumberland National Park. Through the Borders to Carlisle then to Cockermouth and the quiet North of the English Lake District. Website about the Reivers Route.

The C to C cycle route from Whitehaven through the Lakes and Pennines to Sunderland. At 147 miles long, the C2C is part of the much larger National Cycle Network of nearly 10,000 miles. It is Britain’s most popular long distance cycle route. Website on CtoC


More Details of West Cumbrian cycleways.

Keswick Bike Hire optionKeswick Mountain Bikes

Mountain Biking details on Keswick based site Lake District Outdoors

Quirky bike friendly cafe @ Greystoke Cycle Café

General information about cycling in Cumbria can be found at
www.cyclingcumbria.co.uk

Bikemagic UK site....Bikemagic.

Cycleway information... Sustrans

Rivals Net Mountain Biking webRivals MTB

MTB biking magazine link http://www.gofar-mtb.com

American MTB site...MTBReview.com

Extreme site: http://extreme.nas.net/

Bike Advice www.bikeradar.com

Fattires! http://fattire.com/

Try this one.... Cool biking link

Cumbrian cycle club;honister92.com/

Area worth exploring by bike-The Solway Coast

 


Hadrian’s Cycleway
is a new 170 mile long distance
Coast to Coast cycle route being developed by Sustrans and is due to eventually link Tynemouth to Roman Ravenglass

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