Two New All-weather Cycling Tracks For North Yorkshire At Sutton Bank
Family cyclists and mountain bikers can now enjoy two new purpose-built all-weather cycling tracks in Sutton Bank, North Yorkshire.
The new facilities at Sutton Bank National Park Centre include a mountain bike pump track offering the thrills of riding a loop of banked turns and rollers. There’s also a family-friendly cycle trail that doubles as a cyclocross course for some competitive events.
Both facilities are thought to be the first of their kind in North Yorkshire. And they’ve been developed by the National Park with funding from The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
They will further underline the North York Moors National Park’s strength as a cycling destination. And the facilities can be used throughout the year.
“Momentum of the undulations”
The 330-metre pump track is so-called because riders can use the momentum of the undulations and banked turns to build up speed without pedaling. It’s been designed by specialists to help mountain bikers improve their skills while having fun.
In keeping with the natural forest surroundings, a wildflower meadow is also being created in the middle of the pumptrack while special turtle dove friendly seed mix will be sown on its outer edge.
The family cycle trail has been designed as a 2.5km figure-of-eight through woodland. It will act as a longer and wider start to the existing Cliff Trail so that families can ride side-by-side through the forest. And it’ll provide better access for disabled cyclists who are using hand-crank cycles. Riders will have the choice of riding gently along the track or more adventurously, by picking out features such as jumps and banked corners.
During the cyclocross season throughout autumn and winter, Sutton Bank Bikes will work with British Cycling to stage a Cyclocross series. This will provide a much-needed permanent venue for a cycling discipline which is growing in popularity.
The course will also be an integral part of a gravel bike series. It’ll also form part of the route for the popular Top of the Rock, Sutton Banks’ successful annual gravel event. And there are plans to hold time trial events for older children next spring.
To complete a day out, all cyclists will have the opportunity to refuel and relax afterwards. The revamped Park Life Cafe will allow riders to unwind in front of the log burner and regain their energy.
“A demand for tracks”
Sutton Bank Bikes is part of the National Park’s cycling friendly scheme which was launched in 2019. The scheme comprises a network of businesses. These include shops, bike hire and repair locations, cafés, accommodation and pubs. They’re all geared up to cater for and support cyclists travelling across the National Park.
Michael Graham, Director of Park Services for the North York Moors National Park explains: “While more people are increasingly aware of the great variety of road and off-road cycling we have across the National Park, we knew there was a demand for tracks that can be ridden right throughout the year.
“Both tracks are designed with fun in mind and will be a fantastic starting point for people before they venture out onto trails leading further into the National Park. Sutton Bank’s elevated position offers beautiful natural surroundings. And in the words of famous vet James Herriot: “the finest view in England”. So it made sense to make more of the space surrounding the existing visitor facilities with these dedicated cycling tracks.”
Sutton Bank is also planning to open a new nature hub and dark skies observatory in November.