You might think that ‘ay up’ is nothing more than an affectionate greeting in this part of the world, but the phrase also hints at what you’ll be doing in the Ay Up! Yorkshire Wiggle sportive — you’ll head up, then up, then up once more, on a series of testing hill climbs along the route.
North Yorkshire Cycling
Heading out from Thirsk Racecourse, you’ll be able to designate the first few miles to settling into the ride and warming up for the lung-busting climb challenges that are yet to come. In this early, sedate part of the course you’ll be given the opportunity to appreciate the surrounding scenery, before heading up the first climb, which will in turn give you excellent views of the Thirsk area. Indeed, gorgeous scenery is part and parcel of this ride… but so too is pain!
On this climb, which follows alongside the White Horse landmark in Kilburn, you’ll enjoy a brief leg rest and interlude at the top before plummeting back down the other side of the climb, ready for the next test. Continuing to bear north, you’ll go through Roulston Scar and Sutton Bank, upholding the breathtakingly panoramic hillside views in the area.
This ride isn’t lacking in historical sites as you’ll soon meet the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey – dating back to 1132 – in the Rye Valley. You’ll have been riding on a slight incline to have reached this point, and the gradient continues to push hard as you head to Rievaulx Moor, through numerous idyllic villages before reaching Stokesley – wherein a mill lies that was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086.
Life on the moors is not easy as undulating terrain pairs with exposed rural roads to make for awkward riding conditions. The end of the Ay Up! Yorkshire sportive is no easier and it’s a rocky final few miles – be sure to save your best ‘til last.