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Cycling with Teens....Grizedale, Gisburn or somewhere else

(15 Posts)
CanIKeepUp Fri 07-Apr-17 08:56:28

Hi all,

I'm not a regular cyclist (last time about 5 miles 3 years ago!) so would love some advice. 16 year old son is training to do D of E on a bike and needs some practice (likes cycling round our village on a bike but has done little long distance). Plus DD (11) who probably cycles half a dozen times a year. Have rashly decided that what we need is Easter weeekend away with a cycling day thrown in.

Have been looking at Forest of Bowland area and seen Grizedale Forest and Gisburn Forest. Would also need bike hire for all three of us as tricky to store where we are staying (Burnley).

Both Grizedale and Gisburn seem well set up for this but I'm not sure which one would suit our mixed needs best. DC's would enjoy a bit of a mountain bike scramble (more round a park than a long trail I think...then I could have a rest while waiting for them). I would like a fairly easy but longish trail for us all to do together...e.g part disused railway or track as I am just not fit enough to keep up otherwise (50+ with office job blush). On that note, I've seen you can now hire electric mountain bikes...would that extra bit of power be better for me to keep up or are they more bother than they are worth (thinking extra weight).

Have also seen a country lane ride on the Western edges of FoB, guide says 27 miles and 1-2 hours. Like the idea of this but with just me and the DC's and no backup, I can see us getting lost or one of us falling off and no help for miles and likely still lost at sunset.

So happier if longer ride was connected back to the cycle forest rather than in separate area of countryside...would be easier for cycle hire too.

It needs to be a fun day so as not to put us all off doing it again so would really welcome any tips from people who know the area as to which place is best, good cycle hire places and any good stopping points for trails.

Sorry, this is not my first ever post but have NC for this as ex will know where I am going and might search then link to other posts.

Any advice much appreciated, thanks.

Ifailed Fri 07-Apr-17 09:03:09

why not start off by mapping out a local route that's not too long (say 5 miles or so). 16 year old can do laps, you and the 11 YO can do as many as you feel happy with. Like most exercise, its best to work up slowly, rather than rushing in when you are more likely to do yourself an injury that puts you off.
Do you all have bikes, or are you relying on rentals? If so, could you ask around to see if you could borrow of friends and neighbours?

mogloveseggs Fri 07-Apr-17 09:08:05

If you don't mind getting muddy you could cycle along the Leeds Liverpool canal?
Or there's this?
Preston

mogloveseggs Fri 07-Apr-17 09:08:58

Sorry just realised read and see you need to hire bikes.

mogloveseggs Fri 07-Apr-17 09:09:12

Re read!

mogloveseggs Fri 07-Apr-17 09:11:20

bike hire lancs

Shockers Fri 07-Apr-17 09:15:11

Have a look at the Lancashire Cycleway. There are some lovely routes.

The Trough of Bowland is beautiful, but it's a hard ride (lots of hills!) if you're just starting.

The Bay Cycleway starts at Glasson Dock and goes all the way to Walney Island, through Silverdale, Arnside, Grange... again, the latter part of that ride is challenging for a beginner (big hills!), but the first part, through to Morecambe, would be a lovely starter ride. It's along mostly dedicated cycle/walking paths. You can take it further and ride to Arnside, but that's a long way for a first ride and you'll get very saddle sore.

You could start in Lancaster and take the ride as far a Silverdale/Arnside, then get the train back again though.

Gisburn is a mountain bike ride, as is Grisedale, so great for your son, but not ticking your box as much.

It's a beautiful part of the country, although I'm slightly biased, as I live and cycle there! grin bike

MissMatchedClaws Fri 07-Apr-17 09:20:35

Dalby Forest, bike hire, graded trails, cafes and Go Ape for when you want to stop cycling!

CanIKeepUp Fri 07-Apr-17 09:27:24

Thanks so much for suggestions, Preston one looks good but we do need hire and maybe another connected trail or mountain bike or for the DC's to tackle (while I lie gasping in some ditch!). I'm going to look at other stuff on that website though.

Re hire.... DC have bikes at home but I have tiny car and can't fit them in. I used to have a rear mounted cycle rack when had a bigger car but it fell apart and some vital bits got lost. By the time I buy a new one and bother of a 3 hour journey and security/where to store at Holiday Inn Express, I reckoned hire would be simpler and cost the same. I think it is about £25 a day each so is pricey but a one-off. If we take to it, I'll look at buying a new rack.

Has anyone visited Grizedale or Gisburn Forests?

Knittingnoodles Fri 07-Apr-17 09:32:42

Sherwood Pines in Nottinghamshire? The single track is much flatter than FOB (which is hard riding). There is bike hire, cafe, Go Ape and miles and miles and miles of off road riding through woodland. You can join up to Clumber Park and Creswell Craggs (ie Tea Shops!!!). Once you are away from the main single track the woodland is pretty deserted.

Also Bakewell in Derbyshire (Monsal Trail, High Peak Bridleway, Tissionsington Trail) has miles of off road cycle track, mostly flat but there are options in that area to do more technical rides if you like.

Also lots of nice tea shops and country pubs!

mogloveseggs Fri 07-Apr-17 10:08:28

Have been to Gisburn but not biking (was on brownie holiday). They did offer us biking though so some trails must not be difficult. Beautiful place.

BikeRunSki Fri 07-Apr-17 10:54:46

The Mountainbike trails at Guisburn are tougher than Grizedale. DS rode the red route st Grizedale quite happily last summer age 7, but he is a very experienced Mountainbiker (even for 7). From Burnley, have a look at Horwich Country Park.

BikeRunSki Fri 07-Apr-17 10:55:58

Sorry, Rivington Country Park.

CanIKeepUp Sat 08-Apr-17 07:38:19

Thank you so much, cyclists are so friendly, I thought if I posted this weekend, I'd get one or two replies by the time we go...13 is amazing! I know Sherwood Pines as it is in the training area for the D of E cycling. But I didn't know it connected out to tracks to Cresswell Crags and so on. I am definitely going to look at that for local trips.

For my level it sounds like Grizedale would be best and DC can always go round several times. I might treat myself to hire of electronic bike (just for long hills) as it only seems to be about £15 extra for the day. We don't have £ to burn, but I'm curious about electric one I spotted one at SP the other week and it would be a good test. Plus if I can keep up and not have to get off and walk up every hill, I will enjoy it more and we will all have a better day!

Thanks all, I will update in a week with how it went! smile

lljkk Sat 08-Apr-17 07:59:39

We R cyclists & have done Grizedale though not the crags; they R very challenging! (ie, very scary to me, very fast & slippery in wet!) I assume this is only Bronze DoE, why do you need the crags?!!

Grizedale is perfect 4 Ur needs otherwise but only if you get good weather, I suggest, or you will hate cycling forever more. Expect mud unless little rain recently. I can't comment on hire, but should be ok.

Betws y coed in Wales is amazeballs, too. Go where the weather will be good.

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