Using existing cycle trails and quiet country lanes, this guidebook presents a 5 day cycle tour of the Lake District, with 2 options each day up to a total of 186 miles and almost 5000m of ascent. Also 15 tough day rides from Keswick, Ambleside, Penrith and bases to the southwest and southeast of the National Park. With outlines of other tours and the Fre Whitton Challenge ride (112 miles over 7 iconic passes).
The best time to go touring in the Lake District is between April and October, when the days are longer and the weather is at its best. But even then, you will undoubtedly get wet and experience blustery days. So be prepared for them. As a general rule always plan your route so that you are riding south to north with the prevailing south westerly winds.
Each tour stage and day ride and is graded on two criteria: distance with rides categorised as short, medium or long, and total ascent with rides categorised as easy, moderate, hard or challenging. Easy - smooth pedalling with gentle inclines Moderate - undulating with an occasional steady climb, but nothing to get you out of the saddle Hard - involves some hard climbs with gradients up to 10 per cent Challenging - long steep ascents or multiple short sharp gradients that will most definitely hurt. Inevitably, the majority of rides fall into the latter categories.
Step-by-step route descriptions are accompanied by either 1:100,000 or 1:200,000 mapping, together with details on gradient, major climbs and cafes/pubs en route. Also included is a comprehensive 'what to take' checklist plus other practical information such as preparing your bike, packing for a cycle tour, fuelling your ride and more.