A 200 km Audax, long-distance cycling event from Lancashire to the Yorkshire Dales and back again – in a day!
Start: Clitheroe, Lancashire
Date: Sunday 25 March 2018
Time: 07:30 am
The Delightful Dales 200 is a 205 km cycling event sanctioned by Audax UK (AUK), taking place on Sunday 25 March 2018, starting and finishing in the town of Clitheroe, Lancashire.
The event is a randonnee, not a race! Those taking part will have a maximum of 13-hours & 30-minutes to complete the challenging 205 km route.
Start by riding through the Ribble Valley before heading into the Yorkshire Dales to climb the very steep, 25% gradient of Park Rash, where you can enjoy magnificent views across Coverdale whilst descending to Leyburn, the first control (73 km), where you can enjoy a cuppa n’ cake in any number of cafes around the market square.
Choose your own route to Muker; either ride past the magnificent Castle Bolton and then climb over Askrigg Common, past Oxnop Scar, or over the, “Cote de Grinton Moor” and ride through the picturesque little villages of Swaledale. Both routes then climb over Tailbridge Moor into Cumbria, with a rewarding and very deserving long descent to the second control at Kirkby Stephen (121 km).
The next leg follows the Settle – Carlisle Railway, passing through the Mallerstang Common before two big climbs over the “Old Coal Road” and Newby Head, bouncing Dentdale, before arriving at the Ribblehead Viaduct, the gateway to 3-peaks country, offering spectacular views of the surrounding hills.
Carry on through Ribblesdale offering fine views of Pen-y-Ghent (weather permitting!!), before the final leg through Lancashire’s Ribble Valley.
Overall, a wonderful days cycling with beautiful scenery covering some wild and exposed moorland (roads).
How hilly is it?
The Delightful Dales 200 has about 3300 metres of climbing spread over 204 km, equal to about 16 metres of climbing per kilometre. In Audax terms, this makes the event a “Grimpeur” (hilly), and is awarded 3.25 points for the Audax Altitude Award competition (click on the link below for more details of the AAA award)!
Delightful Dales 200 chart
START & CONTROL DETAILS
Riders obtain proof of passage through a series of predetermined controls. Acceptable proof of passage requires independent evidence of time, date and control location. Acceptable forms include:
- A timed signature of a controller designated by the organiser
- A stamp, sticker or other distinct mark (inside the brevet card) provided by the event organiser and/or a controller
- A printed receipt, with time, date and control location (usually from a cash register or ATM)
- Other forms may be designated by the organiser, provided they are acceptable to AUK
Where a rider is unable to obtain proof of passage, an alternative form may be accepted at the organiser’s discretion.
With just the 2 controls to visit you’ll have plenty of opportunity to view the spectacular sights of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. All you have to do is obtain a till receipt at any of the commercial establishments in the control towns to prove your passage. The controls are at:
Leyburn 73 km (open 09:56 – 12:22)
Kirkby Stephen 121 km (open 11:32 – 15:34)
GETTING TO THE START
The town of Clitheroe is easily accessible from junction 31, M6. Just follow signs for the A59. There’s over 100 parking spaces available in the main central car-park free on a Sunday, within walking distance of the event start (click on the link below to see map):
Northern Rail serves Clitheroe railway station, which is within walking distance of the event start. However, be advised there are no trains on the morning of the event. Travellers arriving by train are advised to arrive the night before and book some accommodation somewhere (see below for further details about this).
ACCOMMODATION BEFORE THE START
There are a few B & Bs in and around Clitheroe.
The nearest Travelodges are Burnley, jcn 10, M65 (10-miles); Blackburn, jcn 4, M65 (15-miles), Preston (16-miles) and Skipton (18-miles). http://www.travelodge.co.uk
The nearest Premier Inn’s are Salmesbury, A59 (11-miles) and Burnley (13-miles). http://www.premierinn.com
The nearest Mercure hotels are Foxfields Country Hotel, Billington (5-miles) and The Dunkenhalgh Hotel near Clayton-le-Moors (7-miles). http://www.accorhotels.com
The nearest Holiday Inn’s are Burnley, jcn 10, M65 (10-miles) and Preston (16-miles). http://www.ichotels.com
The nearest IBIS is located north of Preston, adjacent to jcn 1, M55 (19-miles). http://www.accorhotels.com
Full entry details on the AUK website calendar page. Click on the link below to enter:
Entry fee: £6.00 (£6.50 when entering online through the AUK website). n.b. non AUK/CTC members will need to add £2 to include temporary membership for insurance purposes!
Entry fee includes:
- Brevet card with detailed route-sheet giving precise instructions
- Validation with Audax UK (AUK) and Audax Club Parisien (ACP)
- 3rd party insurance for UK based riders
- Breakfast before the start (typically cereal/toast, tea/coffee/juice etc)
- Refreshments at the finish (typically sandwiches & cakes)
- Any photograph’s taken by the organiser/helpers during the event
Fancy a chat?
You’ll find the Delightful Dales 200 on Yet Another Cycling Forum (YACF). Just click on the link below to access the relevant discussion page:
Arrivee magazine front cover shot of the Delightful Dales 200, published Spring 2013
Phil Hodgson from 2013 edition:
Adrian Hughes from 2014 here:
PHOTO’S FROM THE 2017 EDITION BELOW: