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Old 04-17-14, 12:23 PM   #1
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Peak district worth it?

I live way down south (around Reading) and I'd like to do some cycling on non-automotive roads. I've been to the Peak District once (climbing) and it looked great for cycling. However, it's almost 180 miles away .

Anyway, a quick check on google maps shows that South Downs national park is nearby and so is Brecon Beacons. I am strictly looking for riding on paths and non-automotive roads. Around my place, there are some amazing roads for cycling/motorcycling but they are 50/60 mile/h roads, single carriageway and very twisty. There are cyclists who use them but I think cycling on them is extremely dangerous, non-enjoyable (terrifying) and anti-social.

Can you recommend which one to go to. The drive to PD will be 6+ hours. I'd rather go to South Downs or Brecon Beacons but I've never been there. Do they have nice cycling routes?

I'm also a bit concerned because I've never actually driven myself to a national park. I've always gone with people. When a bunch of buddies an me went to Peak District, we stopped in what appeared to be a free car park - well it wasn't a car park - just an empty area, aranged for people to park there (probably by the council or local authority). I'm a bit concerned that once I go there I won't know where to stop and where the cycle tracks begin . Any help? Has anyone done this recently? Any guides online? All google results that I find are from the local authority and they are not very helpful. I'm looking for some post/guide from a fellow cyclist, not a local authority or council.
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Old 04-17-14, 12:42 PM   #2
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the world is a big place.
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Old 04-17-14, 12:59 PM   #3
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I have ridden in Wales and all over England, including the Peak District. I found the uphills to be challenging. I rode up the Holme Moss in dreadful weather (journal entry here). My advice would a) be ready for some hard grinding, b) choose a time when it isn't raining, and c) try to time your ride when the wind isn't too nasty.

When riding there, I have always used the AA maps (3 miles to the inch) to find routing on unrated rural roads. Frankly, I don't find it hard to find empty roads in England and I virtually never ride on bike paths (because they aren't listed on the AA maps!). Of course, there always the CTC routes (and forum).

If you live in Reading, why not try the Chilterns for a bit of uphill? I took the train to Newport and rode north from there (journal entry here) on a virtually empty, though narrow, road.

As for where to park, etc, it seems the CTC forum or a local TI would be useful.

Last edited by raybo; 04-17-14 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 04-17-14, 12:59 PM   #4
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Worth It?

It's a UK Royal National Park, I dont think its For Sale.

ask yourself if you would regret later, if you didn't go?

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-17-14 at 01:03 PM.
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