Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Crawf
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Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby Crawf » 23 Oct 2013, 7:27am

I'm looking to visit the UK and cram in as much road cycling as humanly possible into a 2-3 week period, its not very often you get told by the missus "you can do as much cycling as you want", so these opportunities need to be taken advantage of :)

If we were to base ourselves somewhere, where would you recommend that area be, I'm talking countryside here too, I have no interest in exploring built up areas. I want to be somewhat remote and surrounded by greenery and hills as much as possible!? I'd certainly like to try some sportives if the timing/location was right. Does such a place exist that offers a range of landscapes and terrain, what would be the best time of year to visit also?
What do you recommend?

Also a race question, if the opportunity was there to enter a local race, is it possible for a foreigner to do so? Does some sort of temporary race license exist for such instances, I have no idea about your grading system and pre-reqs?

Thank you for any info.

tatanab
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Re: Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby tatanab » 23 Oct 2013, 7:40am

For a week or so I'd say towards the north, in Yorkshire. Lots of hills and valleys, flat lands towards the coast. But this is a small island so you could sensibly have a couple of bases only 2 or 3 hundred miles apart. For a second base I might think of the very south west of Somerset to get the hills and valleys of the Quantocks, Mendips, and Exmoor countered by the flat marsh lands of the Somerset flats.

Racing - you would be able to ride time trials as a guest rider in many ordinary evening club events. When you have your base sorted out then look at http://www.ctt.org.uk/Clubs/tabid/118/Default.aspx for local clubs and then go through their websites and/or contact their officials. The problem is that local club events will be run with the minimum of marshals, if any, so you would need to reconnoitre the course before hand.

eileithyia
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Re: Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby eileithyia » 23 Oct 2013, 8:12am

I too would endorse Yorks, maybe Lancs border area... Dales, not far to the Lakes with lots of variety. What will your wife be doing... there would be options for her to drive out to places to visit also; Manchester / Leeds / York etc for shopping. What time of year would you be visiting? I would agree with the idea of riding some local time trial events, as you can ride these as a visitor.. but as above have a look at the Cycling Time Trials site.... the calendar for next year has not been confirmed yet. But local clubs have local evening events through out the summer evenings, and these usually do not change from year to year... so when you know your dates and rough area you are staying..... let me know and I will see what I can find out for you....
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Mark1978
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Re: Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby Mark1978 » 23 Oct 2013, 8:34am

You may consider this event http://etapelochness.com/index.htm

If you want open roads surrounded by hills then the Highlands is the place for you!

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mjr
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Re: Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby mjr » 23 Oct 2013, 8:43am

Not as remote as the Highlands but if your family would like to be within easy reach of London and other attractions, consider Somerset. There's big hills with the Mendips, Quantocks and Blackdowns, vast plains with the levels, some famous bits like Cheddar Gorge, Burrington Combe and many more. Funny curiosities like the two tunnels at Bath and the Shute Shelve tunnel. Ride out to the beaches or head inland to lakes. Visit Frome and ride up the route of the cobble wobble.
Last edited by mjr on 23 Oct 2013, 8:46am, edited 1 time in total.
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Vorpal
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Re: Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby Vorpal » 23 Oct 2013, 8:44am

If you hold a racing licence in another country, you can ride in races in the UK, according to discipline and category,

http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/

If you wish to enter a road race, and do not have a current racing licence, it may be possible to obtain a temporary licence, though if you do not have any third party (liability) insurance, British cycling will probably require that you take out a BC membership.

If you can't find what you need on their website, contact British Cycling.

Some areas of the UK have more races available than others. If you check the racing calendars, you'll be able to tell where it will be easiest to find a race. Most regions will not have completed next years calendar, yet, but the 2013 calendar should still give you an idea about where to find the most races.

The Southeastern region, and the Midlands regions tend to have the most events, but a couple of other areas also have strong calendars in one discipline or another.
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reohn2
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Re: Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby reohn2 » 23 Oct 2013, 8:50am

I'd also confirm what's been posted by tatanab and eileithyia,some of the most beautiful and challenging riding can be found in the Yorkshire dales and Lancashire hills.The Yorkshire Wolds are very nice too.Wales can be very good too but lacks the small lanes that can be found in Lancashire and Yorkshire.
I can't advise on racing.
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honesty
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Re: Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby honesty » 23 Oct 2013, 9:11am

I'd say any of the following, you could pick one of these areas and do 3 weeks there easily:
Up north - Derbyshire dales and the Peak district, Yorkshire, Lake District
Wales - Pembrokeshire, the Gower, Snowdonia, Brecons and Monmouthsire. Pretty much all of it apart from Newport and Swansea...
South West - Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset and the New Forest - If you based yourself somewhere around Taunton or Exeter you can strike out to any of these areas for rides.

Ayesha
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Re: Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby Ayesha » 23 Oct 2013, 9:48am

York.

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jonbott
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Re: Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby jonbott » 23 Oct 2013, 10:07am

Cornwall/Devon and Somerset
I`m def too old for this!

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al_yrpal
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Re: Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby al_yrpal » 23 Oct 2013, 11:17am

I would do a week in the South, a week in the North and a week in Western Scotland. Plenty of weekend Sportives everywhere, look them up

Al
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Mark1978
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Re: Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby Mark1978 » 23 Oct 2013, 11:35am

http://www.ukcyclingevents.co.uk are due to announce 2014 dates today.

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cycleruk
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Re: Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby cycleruk » 23 Oct 2013, 12:12pm

I would add Hereford, Worcestershire and Staffordshire towards the Welsh Borders.
You could detour over into the Cotswolds as well from there.
Lots of lanes and historic villages.

Will you be based in one location or have a car for "park & ride" days?
The biggest problem with any area is knowing your way around. Most areas have good cycling if you know the routes.
It may be worth contacting the local CTC or Clubs when you have decided on an area.
If you want a road race then you may have to have a licence.
Some Clubs run local time trials and anyone, within reason, can enter.
There are Sportives and Audaxes, which aren't races but usually are challenging and have time limits.
Third party insurance is usually a stipulation on events.
You'll never know if you don't try it.

Mark1978
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Re: Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby Mark1978 » 23 Oct 2013, 12:32pm

cycleruk wrote:The biggest problem with any area is knowing your way around. Most areas have good cycling if you know the routes.


Very true, it's the main issue with unfamiliar areas. You can't tell from a map how busy it will be with traffic on the particular time you're going to ride it, or how aggressive the drivers are etc etc.

Cherwell
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Re: Visiting UK, where to base for cycling?

Postby Cherwell » 23 Oct 2013, 2:16pm

Much of the UK is great country for cycling. There are some good suggestions on here already and I would add the Weald of Sussex and Kent, the Surrey Hills, the Chilterns, The Cotswolds, the Scottish Borders and the Tweed valley. The list is endless and you really are spoilt for choice. I have never been anywhere in the UK where I have not been able to find some great bike rides. A better approach might be to pick a location based on other criteria for the others you are travelling with and then check it out for suitable rides.