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The Big Ride Guide 2021

The Big Ride Guide 2021

The Big Ride Guide 2021
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Presenting Britain's Best Road And Gravel Routes. The Big Ride Guide is brought to you by Britain's best-selling road cycling magazine, Cycling Plus. Inside you'll find... • 44 routes from England, Scotland and Wales • Downloadable GPX files • Nearby coffee stops, pubs and accommodation

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País:
United Kingdom
Idioma:
English
Editor:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
Periodicitat:
One-off
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12,07 €(IVA inc.)

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1 min.
introduction

What a year. A year where Covid’s highlighted more than ever the physical and mental benefits of cycling. It’s also shone a light on the freedom we enjoyed before the pandemic – a freedom that, all being well, is once again on the horizon. To celebrate better times ahead, here at the world’s finest cycling magazine, Cycling Plus, we’ve brought together the biggest and best rides in Great Britain, starting from Dartmoor before weaving their way up and across the Kingdom to the awe-inspiring Outer Hebrides. Along the way, we rack up the climbing metres, absorb this country’s changing countryside and even stop for a pint or two. Stunning photography accompanies each Big Ride to capture the beauty and suffering of a long day in the saddle. How long? They vary, of…

10 min.
dartmoor & exmoor

“As portents for a bike ride go, witnessing one of Exmoor’s iconic red deer tumbling arse over elbow through a hedge and into my path was neither reassuring nor subtle…” Short of being cornered by the Exmoor beast itself, coming metres from being rendered two-dimensional was a foghorn warning that trouble lay ahead in one of the UK’s toughest riding spots. Still, I had reason to be cheerful. The deer had missed me, in what was a rare occurrence where one is actually delighted to be lacking the legs for the task at hand. Had I been in better shape I’d have been further up the road, closer to the wheel of my riding partner Ross Lovell and quite possibly under the heft of the deer’s humongous rump. Instead, I watched…

11 min.
south downs

The lane narrows as it launches me up along its sinuous, tarmacked back, which cuts through the leafy green like a monstrous serpent. The dense hedgerow closes in, around and above, drawing my focus into my screaming legs as the outrageous gradient winds skywards. On paper, the Sussex lanes don’t appear so threatening. In reality, I’m grimacing so hard that my teeth hurt. It’s a slow-motion sprint, out of the saddle and giving it full beans just to nudge the cadence up to 60rpm, made all the more testing by the climb’s abrupt start. This is the climb up High Tittern and my ‘Big Ride’ guide, Simon ‘Mac’ McNamara from Hunt Bike Wheels, has disappeared. He’s up the road somewhere, leaving me in single combat. Moments before, I’d been reflecting with…

8 min.
salisbury plain

“This was a ride that took us well off the beaten track, self-isolation before it was popularised. The only people we came across were two women making elevenses for another group on another kind of shoot” An admission. Maybe it’s a result of being in this job for as long as I have, but photoshoots for bike tests aren’t my favourite part. Yes, you’re on bikes in a pretty part of the country but there’s one big problem – you don’t actually do much cycling. The days are long, you ride over the same stretch of tarmac for take after take after take, and the photographers have you ride in some rather unreasonable, unnatural positions, always for the good of the shot. Inside leg down through a bend, for instance, or…

9 min.
the fens

A monk, when he is cloisterless, is like unto a fish that is waterless.” Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales. I know just how he feels. Frankly, I wasn’t even sure if Cycling Plus had sent this idea to the right Simon. As someone who makes a living writing about hills in all their glory, surely there must have been some confusion. The Earth isn’t flat, in any way shape or form. It’s lumpy, hilly and mountainous, and whatever the Flat Earth Society would have you believe, it’s most definitely round. To deprive me of quickly changeable altitude is to deprive me of the very reason I ride… Alas, there was no mistake. This climber was to be removed from his natural habitat and forced to survive and somehow derive pleasure from these…

10 min.
shropshire hills

“Each new bend revealed further mucky carnage, to the point where I had to lean on Luke’s local knowledge to re-route us along some cleaner roads” I’m a big fan of order, a real stickler for round numbers and symmetry. On top of that, as you’ll know if you’ve just read my Fens Big Ride (p30), there are few things I like more in this world than riding up hills. So when tasked to come up with a ride to match the polar opposite of that flat Fens brief – this time, 2500m of climbing in 100km - I was giddy with anticipation. All that was needed was a dizzying setting to satisfy my task. A few sprang to mind but nowhere could touch the Shropshire Hills and the Long Mynd,…