At the Bike Factory, we love getting out and exploring the local area on our bikes. With North Wales in one direction, the Peak District in the other, and the Cheshire plains in between, we’re never bored of what’s on offer. Here are five of our favourite rides, with something for everyone.
With rolling hills, plentiful cafés and quiet lanes, the Peak District is a cycling playground. Starting from Macclesfield you can tick off a few famous climbs in a day - the 10km Cat & Fiddle links easily with Long Hill, Monsal Head, Mam Tor and Winnats Pass to name but a few.
A lightweight road bike, like the superb Trek Emonda or versatile Specialized Allez, will have you zipping up these hills and zooming down the other side with a massive grin on your face. Put off by the thought of all that climbing? No need - the Pinarello Nytro has a battery-powered secret weapon to keep you going all day long.
Coed Llandegla Forest, North Wales
Llandegla, a purpose built trail centre just west of Wrexham, is a spot we keep returning to. It’s got everything, from a pump track and beginner trails right up to white-knuckle expert runs. Suitable at all times of year thanks to the great work of the maintenance crew, it’s a brilliant spot for an adrenaline fix. A trail-tuned hardtail 29er works brilliantly around here – there’s plenty of climbing and rooty forest trails as well as some great swooping downhills where Specialized’s Rockhopper really shows its colours. If you’re heading for the more gnarly stuff, the full-sus set-up of the Specialized Stumpjumper will give you one hell of a ride. Just remember, Llandegla is in North Wales where it’s known to rain every now and then, so don’t forget your jacket!
Chester Railway Path
Kids absolutely love cycling with mum and dad, and even a few miles feels like an adventure when you’re young. The railway path from Chester to Connah’s Quay is eight miles long, traffic free, well surfaced and mostly flat – ideal for building confidence. Should riding both directions be too much, there are easy connections to a train station at either end. If you’re still struggling for a Christmas gift, think about how excited they’ll be with a new bike under the tree. Go easy on the turkey mind - you’ll be badgered to get out riding on Boxing Day!
Cheshire century ride
The quiet lanes of Cheshire, between Chester, Macclesfield and Congleton, offer miles of gentle riding, just the place to tick of your first 100-mile ride. A spin out to the Jodrell Bank observatory, with its enormous Lovell Telescope visible from miles around, makes for a great day out on the bike. Oh, and the cakes in the Jodrell Bank café are amazing – another bonus!
Situated between Chester and Northwich, Delamere Forest is a fantastic place to ride in beautiful surroundings. There are two signed cycling routes and a tangle of other trails throughout the forest. We just love heading there, getting a little lost, asking, “Where does this track go?” and finding out.
A gravel bike is a great way to explore Cheshire or Delamere. They’re capable of riding everything from smooth tarmac to bumpy canal towpaths and forest trails. We’ve even spotted a few zooming around Llandegla! With wide, grippy tyres, disc brakes and lightweight, comfortable frames, these super-versatile machines can take you wherever you want to go. They’re no slouch on the commute either - one bike to rule them all!
Got any rides to add to our list? Let us know in the comments below.