Costa Blanca MTB Stage Race

Over the last thirty five years of cycle racing, I’ve often considered my peers and their contentment at riding the same disciplines, indeed the same races, year in year out. Each to their own and all that, but it’s not for me. It’s probably a Myers-Briggs personality thing. Firstly, I like new experiences; secondly, as a very average amateur athlete, I have never really found a discipline that has offered fame and fortune. Riding the same races over and over again holds little appeal.

Altos de Letras Colombia

The longest road climb in the world is in the majestic hills of Colombia. Quite appropriate really, when you consider that this is where the best climbers come from. Let’s take a look at this amazing route and maybe inspire you to take it on.

Jubilee Tower Lancaster Cycle Route

JUBILEE TOWER, ABBEYSTEAD

A classic Lancashire cycling route

This short but rewarding road cycling route in Lancashire takes you into the hills and open countryside, visiting the climb of Jubilee Tower before descending back to the village of Garstang. It’s a route for an easy evening or to lik in to a longer ride in rural Lancashire.

Distance: 24 miles
Ascent: 1,550 feet

OS Link: 

Refreshments: FiG Tree Fairtrade Cafe at Garstang or The Priory at Scorton.

Character: A gently undulating climb to a high and wild moor, topped by a preposterous folly. Sensational views in clear weather, with the Welsh, Manx and Lakeland hills spanning the westward horizon.


Route

1. Head out of Garstang on the Lancaster Road (i.e. pedal North).

2. Turn right at the mini-roundabout into Green Lane East and gain a narrow lane barred to cars.

3. Turn right at the end and meander through the meadows of Wyresdale to the village of Scorton.

4. Turn right at the Priory into Snow Hill Lane and climb over the M6 and into the Forest of Bowland AONB. The sassier lasses round these parts buy tee shirts such that the words “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” undulate across their chests.

5. Turn left at the top and follow a high terrace, dodging jaywalking pheasants as you go.

6. Another left turn at the end (no signage) then pay heed to the Ford sign as it can reach respectable depth and the surface is rather too cobbled for hitting at high speed on skinny tyres.

7. Drop to the main Scorton-Abbeystead road and turn right. Follow this up a series of rises until a steep pull out of narrow gulch where the road runs parallel to a stream.

8. At the top of this climb, turn left (unsigned) to a spectacular, winding descent into Abbeystead.

9. Turn left and then, where the road turns 90 degrees to the left, go straight on, signposted “Quernmore 5”

10. Climb through plover and hare country, turning left at the top to the Tower. Look on the verge on the right for the memorial to cyclist Peter Nowell.

11. Plunge to Quernmore Crossroads, turning left. Try to combine admiring the view with staying in the saddle on the hairpin.

12. Follow the switchback southwards, re-crossing the motorway on Whams Lane

13. Left at the bottom will take you into the hamlet of Hollins Lane, convergence with the A6 and the homeward leg