Several months ago, we free-wheeled around the world to find the best routes, tracks and roads on Earth for cycling enthusiasts. And, from tours through the rolling hills and mountains of New Mexico to the pristine sandy beaches and vast mountain ranges of Mallorca, we found them.
But maybe we should have been looking closer to home. To kick off 2019, we’ve scoured the British Isles for the best cycling tracks in Britain, and have discovered the five routes you should be cycling this year. So saddle up, gents, and get ready for your next two-wheeled adventure.
The Assynt Achiltibuie, Scotland
As you may have heard, two years ago Scotland was voted the most beautiful country in the world. And we can see why. With its mountains and vast wilderness, there’s something delightfully rugged about the nation. And this unpronounceable route, with stunning coastal scenery, is one of the best.
With all the ups and downs on your route from Achiltibuie to Lochinver, Drumbeg and Newton, you’ll need a reliable tool kit, such as this one from Brooks. Scotland can get chilly in the winter, so wrap up with this fleece from Cafe du Cycliste. And, to tackle this track — it’s not one for the faint-hearted — why not put your faith in Boardman’s best?
Brooks England MT21 Tool Kit
Cafe du Cycliste Simone Fleece Cycling Jacket
Boardman 2019 Air 9.6
The Elan Valley Trail, Wales
Another Celtic country, Wales also boasts one of Britain’s finest cycling routes in the Elan Valley Trail. Following the line of the old Birmingham Corporation Railway for most of the way, the trail starts from the pretty community of Cwmdeuddwr on the western side of Rhayader — and continues past the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust Reserve and Garreg Ddu Reservoir.
We’d pack a couple of extra pairs of socks from Cafe du Cycliste if you’re going to brave this track (it rains a lot in Wales), and kit yourself out with one of the finest jerseys on the market — Rapha’s Classic. In terms of bike, there’s a lot of climbing on this route, so we’d opt for Specialized’s Tarmac Expert — crafted from a lightweight FACT 10r carbon.
Cafe du Cycliste Striped Cycling Socks
Rapha Classic Long Sleeve Jersey II
Specialized Men’s Tarmac Expert
The Swaledale Circular, England
Starting at the village of Reeth, this is a simple route. But that’s not to say it isn’t beautiful — or mightily rewarding. Through stunning scenery and a series of lovely villages, you don’t even have to stick to the track. Stray, and you’ll see some beautiful gems high in the Yorkshire Dales. Also, why not take a trip to the isolated Tan Hill Inn – the highest pub in Britain?
As you cycle the undulating road up the picturesque valley of Swaledale, pull down your Rapha cap so the sun doesn’t get in your eyes, and zip up your jersey from Pas Normal Studios when you’re free-wheeling down some of the sweeping roads. And do all this atop Cannondale’s best; the Synapse Hi-Mod Disc Dura-Ace.
Rapha Pro Team Cap
Pas Normal Studios Zip-Up Stretch Cycling Jersey
Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc Dura-Ace
The Lakeland Loop, England
Often voted Britain’s best bike rides, this 40 mile cycling route is the ideal Sunday jaunt. Starting with a flowing 10 miles beside Coniston Water, you’ll then contend with a sharp climb at Hawkshead Hill and then an undulating few miles to the Wild Boar pub.
If you don’t fancy a pub lunch, why not stash a picnic in this backpack from Brooks? Or, if you do want some shelter from the cold, go order a shandy and zip up Rapha’s Classic Winter Jacket before you get back on your bike. What is that bike, we hear you cry? Why, it’s the Men’s Diverge Expert X1 from Specialized, with improved tire clearance and a class-lightest carbon frame.
Brooks England Pickwick Leather Backpack
Rapha Classic Winter Jacket
Specialized Men’s Diverge Expert X1
Antrim Coast Road, Northern Ireland
Picture this: A rural winding road, hugging the coastline and offering dazzling sea views on one side and towering cliffsides on the other. This is the Antrim Coast Road of Northern Island, and it might be our favourite road to cycle in Britain. From Larne to Ballycastle, you’ll be bombarded with some of the funnest cycling roads and most spectacular views you’ve ever seen over your handlebars.
Of course, with all that sea splash, you’ll want to stash your valuables in Rapha’s rainproof essentials case. If the sun’s out, make sure you go short-sleeved with this jersey from Cafe du Cycliste. And the bike? This time, Cannondale’s Supersix EVO Carbon Red Etap — with enough gears to see you through both steep sections and sweeping descents.
Rapha Rainproof Essentials Case
Cafe du Cycliste Lucienne Cycling Jersey
Cannondale Supersix Evo Carbon Red Etap
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