Seven challenge events available£220+per person per weekendsat & sun rides + B&B £40per personride only
“A brilliant day from start to finish. The service offered for the same price as many sportives stands this service over and above, excellent guides, excellent route, pre ride bike check, drink and nutrition on tap, with a mechanic following you all the way.” Warren Langthorne, York
One Saturday each month from March to September we are hosting a fully supported ‘challenge ride’. The routes are incredibly varied with each one having its own very distinct character to show off the wide variety of terrain and scenery in the Yorkshire Dales and the South Pennines.
The rides are an exclusive individual guided and supported experience similar to a ‘sportive’ ride in that there is a set route, but are not timed. What you get over and above a typical sportive is a pre-ride bike check, a support vehicle and team mechanic, the benefit of riding in a small group with your own dedicated ride leader and a top café stop. The rides are a great way of exploring new territory in the safe hands of YVT and will be of interest to local riders as well as visitors to the area. We guarantee to give you an epic day out that will stay long in your memory! If you are concerned about running out of energy on the ride, there are up to 4 spaces available in the support vehicle, so you can hop on board if necessary.
The start and finish is at the Wheatley Arms in Ilkley and off-street parking and toilet facilities are available for riders. The Wheatley Arms are also offering full breakfast @ £6.95 if required.
Ride departure is 9:30am, registration and bike checks from 8am. Rides should all return by 5pm where hearty food and drink is available at the Wheatley Arms.
Maximum of 32 riders on each ride, so book early to reserve your place! Up to 4 ride groups, with the options of a faster/slower group to suit the pace of riders.
Why not make a challenge weekend of it and stay with us for two nights? Arrival Friday night, ride the Challenge Ride event and enjoy a Sunday morning ride with one of our ride leaders before heading home in the afternoon. We have a number of accommodation providers, including the Wheatley Arms, the Craiglands Hotel and the Riverside Hotel. There is a high demand for accommodation in Ilkley at the weekends during the summer period, so please contact us as soon as possible if you wish to make a reservation.
Key Climbs: Cocking Lane, Carleton - West Road, Blacko - Gisburn Road
Most people think of Yorkshire climbs as short and steep, well this ride will prove you wrong! Three major climbs feature on this ride, all before lunch. They are characterised by Alpine like gradients of 5-9% occasionally creeping into the lower teens.
The route heads over to Silsden, Connonley and Carleton where the first climb, 4 miles long, starts as you head over the Lancashire border to Colne. Shortly after Colne the next gradual climb of Gisburn Road out of Blacko allows you to hit a comfortable tempo on the consistent gradient of around 7%. After the descent, you will enjoy some gently rolling country lanes and villages taking you back to Ilkley via Airton, Hetton and Burnsall.
"Thanks for a great experience Charles and team. Great company, fantastic scenery, challenging ride... a top day out!" Matt From Leeds
"The group were all very sociable and all abilities were catered for with Charles being ably and informatively assisted by Dan. Both were Ilkley CC members and knew the area very well. What can I say....I'll be back" Rich from Newalk
Key Climbs: Barrows Lane, Haworth Main Street, Cote de Oxenhope Moor, Heptonstall Lane - Widdop Moor
This route gives a taste of riders a taste of Bronte country, now famously used in both the Tour de France and the Tour de Yorkshire. There’s a truly distinct character to this part of Yorkshire and if you’ve not been here before, the roads and scenery will win you over big time! Don’t be deceived by the relatively short distance of the ride, the hills are not long but they come thick and fast meaning that the ride will feel much more than the 61 miles! The ride also tips a nod to the spring cobbled classics, taking in 2 short (not steep) cobbled climbs.
After a climb out of the Wharfe Valley a more testing rise from the Aire Valley takes you over to Haworth to join a section of the 2014 Tour de France route taking in the famous cobbles and the Cote de Oxenhope Moor. An exhilarating descent will you deliver you to the 'happy valley' town of Hebden Bridge and then shortly onto the (top 100) climb of Heptonstall Lane followed by scenic Widdop Moor. The route then bears east again and riders are treated to a classy descent into Carleton before the final climb of Addingham Moorside heading back into Addingham then onto Ilkley.
Key Climbs: Norwood Edge, Cote de Arncliffe, Langbar
Unashamedly based on the route of Ilkley Cycling Club’s brilliant annual sportive ride in the summer, the White Rose Classic, this ride covers much of the same ground, but throws in the awesome climb of the Cote de Arncliffe. The ride measures a few miles short of the ‘medium’ route, so is a great way to test yourself ahead of the White Rose Classic itself, being held on 24th June 2018.
After a steady 7 mile warm up comes 1 mile of climbing up Norwood Edge followed by a steady descent to scenic Swinsty Reservoir. You then wind your way through a series of short climbs to the top of Greenhow Hill, then along the moor towards Grassington where the view up Wharfedale and beyond to Pen Y Ghent comes into your sights. After a short stretch up the Wharfe Valley turn left into Littondale and prepare yourself for the Cote de Arncliffe. The reward at the top is a breathtaking view to your left as well as one of the smoothest sections of tarmac in the Yorkshire Dales ... an absolute joy! Pass Malham Tarn on your left then take the quieter and less twisty descent into Malham village. The route returns to the Wharfe Valley via the ‘rolling road’ to Hetton and Cracoe ready for the final infamous climb of ‘Langbar’.
Key Climbs: Askwith Moor, Cote de Lofthouse
This ride has immense character taking in sections of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire route as well as several more minor roads and even a ride past the famous Druid’s Temple near Masham in North Yorkshire!
From the start in Ilkley we head north and soon dig into the gradual climb up Askwith Moor to warm the legs up before heading over to Pateley Bridge. After a left turn just before the village you head up Nidderdale to tackle the challenging and rewarding Cote de Lofthouse, used in the 2017 edition of le Tour de Yorkshire. A glorious descent to Leighton Reservoir soon enough delivers you to the foot of the road to the mystical "Druids Temple', which is worth a stop! Offer a sacrifice here if you wish, but make sure you hold onto your remaining energy for the rest of the ride! No big hills from now on, it's undulating terrain through some delightful Yorkshire villages before the final descent for home.
Key Climbs: Fleet Moss, Buttertubs (TDF cat 2), Grinton Moor (TDF cat 2), Cote de Cray (TDF cat 2)
To celebrate Tour de France month, the ride will follow a large part of the 2014 Grand Depart day 1 route. This is a real epic route and includes 4 of the most iconic climbs in the UK as well as the 3 beautiful dales of Wharfedale, Wensleydale and Swaledale.
The rolling route up Wharfedale to Buckden warms you up nicely for the first climb of Fleet Moss and the stunning beauty at the source of the river Wharfe. A quick descent to Hawes follows and then, after passing the hotel of the famous Top Gear ‘steak’ incident, it’s the majestic Buttertubs. You need a pause at the top before the next descent as the view down to Swaledale is guaranteed to take your breath away! A much needed flatish section follows before the next climb of Grinton Moor and then the Cote de Cray before you coast back into Wharfedale and enjoy the pleasant canter back down the valley.
There is an option on this route for the slower group/s to shorten the route and miss out 2 climbs. The group/s will make a communal decision after reaching Hawes.
“I signed up to a 100 mile ride not knowing anyone else in the group and was a little nervous as i was unsure of the level and abilities but I needn't of worried. All the riders and both guides were very friendly and accommodating with stops and the pace. All round a fantastic day out and something I would definitely recommend!” Robbo, 2017 rider, Leeds
Key Climbs: Malham Cove, Stainforth – Pen-y-Ghent
The majesty of Malham Cove looks out over the Village of Malham and has been attracting visitors for centuries. For cyclists, it just happens that a classic road climb runs up the left hand side of the Cove. We have blended a visit to Malham with a loop back through the untouched gem Littondale, the hidden valley.
To start with, the ride skirts up the Wharfe valley and then through the Calendar Girls village of Rhylstone to Malham. The reward for reaching the top of the climb is sight of the impressive world famous limestone pavements. After crossing the bleak moor you descend to Settle for the café stop. After the welcome break you join the route of the famous ‘Etape du Dales’ and climb out of Stainforth past Pen-y-Ghent, one of the 3 Peaks of Yorskshire visited by the iconic cyclo cross race. A treat is now in store as the scenery to your right on the descent is majestic as you enter Littondale. You soon reach Wharfedale and head past Kilnsey Crag. To make this is a triple climb ride, the punchy ‘Langbar’ awaits near the finish, although those with tired legs can easily miss this out if they wish.
“We experienced the full character of the Yorkshire weather today on our Malham and Littondale ride! Great company, great plum crumble and custard at Elaine's tea room at Feizor! - thanks for another terrific route” Tony Leighton, Solihull
Key Climbs: Park Rash, Rigg Bank, Nought Bank
Finish the 2018 Challenge Rides series on a blinder, this is one of our favourite routes! An undulating 20 miles to start with takes us to the foot of the infamous Park Rash, which we think is the toughest climb in the Dales! The reward for reaching the top though is a superb 12 mile descent to the town of Middleham and then on to a great cafe which serves the most wonderful selection of homemade food. Refuelled we catch a bit of the TdF day1 route and then head over to Pateley Bridge ready for the last significant climb of Nought Bank. Save a bit in the tank though as the final few miles are a bit more than rolling!
“Coffee ? Yes, Free bike safety check ? Yes ! OK lets go ! great day out on some familiar, and lots of unfamiliar roads, all stunning in the September sunshine, which was an added bonus. Great to ride with the support vehicle and on hand mechanic Chris, a real treat. All round great day out in good company, highly recommended !” Stuart, Yorkshire