Cycling’s Road World Championships reach their conclusion in Norway this weekend so if they’ve inspired you to get on your bike before the weather turns wintery, you could do a lot worse than taking on this ride which heads on to the gently rolling roads to the north west of York.
So if they’ve inspired you to get on your bike before the weather turns wintery, you could do a lot worse than taking on this ride which heads on to the gently rolling roads to the north west of York.
I started off in the heart of York and followed the 2014 Tour de France (stage two) route out of the city and onto the A59 before turning off it at Hessay. This section was by far the busiest I experienced in terms of traffic, and if you don’t fancy going toe-to-toe with other vehicles so early in your ride, I’d suggest taking the train to Poppleton instead and picking the route up from there. As soon as I reached Hessay though I was thrust into far quieter surroundings.
A large roadside memorial caught my eye before I reached Tockwith and upon closer investigation I learned it was to commemorate the Battle of Marsden Moor which had taken place there in 1644. I read about the battle on a handily placed plaque before continuing along my way, but was halted again in Tockwith itself to survey another, much newer memorial, honouring the lives lost in a plane crash back in 1945. I pressed on through Cattal and momentarily re-joined the A59 before picking up the B6265 at Green Hammerton.
I followed that road all the way to Boroughbridge and noticed an abundance of kestrels hovering overhead as I pedalled. I had time to check them out too as a block headwind had slowed my progress to an almost embarrassing speed. Thankfully, the road itself didn’t offer too many further challenges though, and if I’d had more time, I’d loved to have checked out Benborough Hall and the Roman site at Aldborough which the road signs told me were located nearby.
After passing through Boroughbridge I was back into farmland heading towards Raskelf and I could clearly see the Kilburn White Horse cut into a hill in the distance. I was feeling peckish at that point so was delighted to find some blackberry bushes on the side of the road bowed over with fruit. I feasted on them for a few minutes before cracking back on.
Tholthorpe provided a real turning point in my day as it was here that my route kinked in a south easterly direction and the headwinds that had hindered me previously were transformed into a very brisk tailwind. My speed instantly ramped up and I averaged over 25mph for the next seven miles as I swept towards Shipton. I was tired once I’d finished that effort.
6) With still a little distance to travel, I exited Shipton on Corban Lane and followed that for three miles or so before turning right and taking the arrow-straight Wiggington Road (B1363) all the way back into York. The cycle path I picked up at the Nestle factory proved helpful and I was soon back at my base near York St John University. In 49 miles I had clocked up just 257 metres of climbing but the wind had seen to it I’d still had a work out and my route revealed some hidden gems that I’d like to explore more in the future.
Difficulty Rating: HHHHH
Time: 3 Hours (at 16mph average speed)
Distance: 49 miles (79km)
Parking: Union Terrace Car Park in York.
Grid Ref: SE 60225 52591
Public toilets: Located at Union Terrace Car Park
Download the GPX file: https://we.tl/sge5qDEubP