There is something of a two-wheeled revolution going on in Britain at the moment. Whether it’s the frustration at sharing public transport like cattle, spending our time raging on the road or the feeling of a need for a health kick, bikes are big business these days.
And with this revival has come a larger interest in cycling trips and holidays, as well, of course, as the day-to-day process of getting from A to B. This, in tandem with the growing interest in competitive cycling (no thanks to Britain’s triumphs in the Olympics) is one of the reason’s this year’s Tour de France will be visiting England.
Hotels in the Lake District will be full to the brim with lycra-clad cycling fans on the weekend of 5 and 6 July as the Grand Depart of the Tour de France commences. A warm-up for the third stage in the UK (which takes place on 7 July between Cambridge and London), the fact that the jewel in the professional cycling calendar is coming to the area is a testament to its commitment to the average two-wheeled enthusiast.
The area itself was made for cycling. Not only do the gentle country lanes suit all abilities, the sweeping vistas and hilltop sprints mean there’s enough to keep you both mentally and physically challenged.
And if mountain biking is more your thing, there are plenty of off-road routes where you can hit breakneck speeds and get down and dirty – something that’s perfect for adrenaline junkies.
Of course a great cycling destination isn’t just about the routes, it’s also about everything else that makes your trip, whether it’s a week or merely an afternoon, that bit easier or indeed comfier. There are hotels in the Lake District every step of the way, so you never have to worry about somewhere to rest those inevitably weary legs after a long day cycling.
Then there’s the cycle hire points for casual cyclists, bike repair shops for those little problems and punctures along the way, and electric bike hire and charge points too. This really is a cycling destination for the whole family – whatever their fitness levels or inclination.
If you fancy giving the race for the yellow jersey a go yourself, then the stages will take you through the likes of Leeds, Skipton, Wensleydale and Harrogate – just make sure you avoid the Tour de France weekend unless of course you want to teach the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish a thing or two!