I’ve been in the valley for six months now and haven’t managed to make too many long distance (for me) rides. With a free day in the calendar and the sun in full effect I decided that I’d ride up to to Gargrave on the southern edge of the Dales to visit the fabled Dalesman tearooms.
I went out over Cock Hill (wind assisted all the way) then headed over to Stanbury, past the reservoirs towards Colne, then pushed on west of Lothersdale before dropping down into the Broughton Hall estate (where the Rapha Tempest event will be held in the summer) before crossing a busy A59 to finally end up in Gargrave.
You can’t miss the Dalesman, situated on the crossroads right next to the river Aire, it’s part tearooms, part sweetshop and an extremely popular cyclist haunt. However, when I arrived mid afternoon, it was just my bike locked to the railings and inside a few tourists filling up on cake.
Beans on toast and a pot of tea later I was on my way home, skirting Skipton following the Aire valley I traversed the likes of Carelton, Cononley and Sutton-in-Craven before getting back into familiar territory at Oakworth and the stiffer than expected ascent into Haworth.
As ever in these parts, it was a tough ride, and whilst it came in at only a smudge over 50 miles, there was 6700ft of climbing with some leg sapping climbs on the return. On back roads most of the way, it was a great ride out and another classic cycling café ticked off the list!