As excitement builds towards the massive Tour de France in North Yorkshire in July, new cycle trails are being developed in Ryedale’s forests and countryside with a local cycling enterprise set to attract hundreds of cycling enthusiasts to boost the local economy.
Behind the latest venture at Sutton Bank is the North York Moors National Park Authority and Pace Cycles, a family venture which began in 1987 hiring and supplying cycles mainly to tourists seeking to enjoy the scores of miles in the National Park and its forests at Dalby and Wykeham.
Today the company, headed by Adrian Carter, his wife Cathy, and daughters Aimee and Sophie, has become a leader in its field nationally, with its base at Dalby and now at Sutton Bank. Adrian, who was formerly a product designer, started the business when he was racing motor cycles and used mountain bikes for his own physical training.
His interest in cycles gathered pace and he developed his own cycles for the sporting and leisure markets. For several years he ran a factory at Great Edstone near Pickering before selling out his product design to a Swiss company. “We then diversified into bicycle frames and then into recreation bikes,” said Adrian.
At Dalby, Pace Cycles works with the Forestry Commission resulting in the vast forest attracting some 500,000 cycling enthusiasts a year making it the top cycling venue in the country, and the home of the World Cup Cycling Course, while at Sutton Bank it is working with the National Park Authority.
Now a new cycle trail is opening at Sutton Bank, one of the best known landmarks in the North of England.
“We are seeing more people taking up cycling, especially with the Tour de France coming to the county, and the growing campaigns to keep fit and healthy through cycling,” said Adrian.
Ideally, he wants to see Britain replicate the cycleways which exist in mainland Europe, especially in The Netherlands and Belgium. “Cycling is a way of life with everyone from small children to pensioners using them every day to go about their lives.
“Sutton Bank will be a wonderful legacy for the Tour de France because it will be great for the tourist industry in Ryedale.
“I’m sure we shall see many people, including families, wanting to ride the Tour’s route and at the same time come and enjoy our new Sutton Bank trail with its spectacular views 1,000ft above sea level. The whole concept of Sutton Bank’s trails is that we dedicate whole bridleways.”
The trails are designated like ski-slopes, says Adrian – green being the easiest, followed by blue and red trails depending on a cyclist’s ability.