Travellers' Tales: e-bike paradise

Danby is hemmed in by steep hills. Alex and Barbara pose outside the Danby Bakery
A man and woman wearing face masks pose in their cycling gear outside of a bakery. To the left of them is a lady sat on a bench tucking into her lunch
A man and woman wearing face masks pose in their cycling gear outside of a bakery. To the left of them is a lady sat on a bench tucking into her lunch
Dan Joyce's picture

Travellers' Tales: e-bike paradise

Mike Newton reckons the North York Moors are ideal for e-biking

We were on our way from Great Ayton to Robin Hood’s Bay: 66 miles return with 2,100m of ascent. We were apprehensive. Would our legs hold out? Would our batteries hold out? There were four of us: two on e-bikes, two totally leg-powered. 

We cycled along the Esk Valley following the river and the railway – although the railway engineers had forged a much flatter route on their way to Whitby than the road builders. We cycled up and down through Castleton, Glaisdale, Egton Bridge, Grosmont, and Sleights, then veered south to Robin Hood’s Bay.

On the way we rode up Limber Hill, just a quarter of a mile long but with a maximum gradient of 33%. My legs almost gave out despite my e-bike’s motor; I’m 71 with failing knees. The hill at Ugglebarnby was more than twice as long, although our two leg-powered cyclists were still smiling at the top. I was too: the e-bike’s motor could handle this one more easily.

Our return route passed through Danby, where we had a café stop. In their masks, Alec and Barbara looked like two gangsters about to steal delicious cakes.

This ride was just one of 28 that we managed to complete in 2020, all in and around the North York Moors. Each was about 60 miles with up to 2,000m of ascent. The North York Moors is a fabulous area for cycling as long you enjoy hills or have an e-bike. Mine has a 600Wh battery and I carry a spare in my pannier.

I’ve created playlists of some of our rides. You can watch the North York Moors Cycling playlist on Youtube.

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