Get motoring on four epic rides made for power-assisted fun
Here are four of our favourite e-bike routes that can allow you to take on real mountain riding even if you only have a couple of hours to spare.
One of the e-bike’s greatest assets is the ability to make a proper ride possible even when you’re short on time. Another good aspects of all these routes is the proximity to main transport routes – now you have even fewer reasons not to take on a truly epic mountain ride. They all feature the sorts of epic climbs that would be massive undertakings on a regular bike plus a distance that shouldn’t put you into range anxiety. Add in a healthy dollop of stunning views and glorious descents and you have the recipe for a cracking e-bike experience.
1. Sticks Pass and Helvellyn
There’s something dramatic about starting out from one of the largest lakes in the Lake District, looking upwards at mountains thrusting their way into the sky abruptly from the deep water. Helvellyn is the third highest peak in the Lakes, but it’s the most rewarding to ride, and this route combines ascending the mountain with a glorious descent down Sticks Pass.
The route begins in the National Trust car park in Glenridding, cutting SW along a climb that starts out gentle and becomes increasingly steep, rocky and technical.
Along the course of this ride you’ll ascend more than 3,100ft, so it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted and is one that’s best avoided in uncertain weather conditions. Make sure you’re prepared, be careful, and don’t take any unnecessary risks — but be safe in the knowledge that, if you can handle it, this is one of the greatest rides England has to offer.
2. Glentress and Innerleithen
Both household names in mtb circles, the ride is all about escaping the trail centres and exploring the less-publicised network of natural loops that were created way before waymarking had even been invented.
This route takes in some of these historic trails, climbing hard on grass (nobody said it would be easy) right into the remote heart of the rolling hills. Parting the heather you move through the landscape, climbing high on to Kirk Hope Law at 537m, at which point the bulk of the hard work is behind you.
From here on it is descent, initially on wide singletrack past crumbling walls and through that ever-present purple heather, before narrowing and speeding you on further down.
Calderdale is one of those places that seems to have more than its fair share of superb mtb trails. The dale itself is steep and deep, so climbing is always a grunt – perfect e-bike trerrain, then. It’s the moors above the valley floor that really catch the eye. This is a long-time favourite of ours that links the artisan towns of Todmorden and Hebden Bridge, with a sortie onto the hillsides and moors to the north. There are so many highlights it would be impossible to list them all – the good stuff just keeps on coming. But the run down from Gorple Stones down to Cant Clough is a peach, as are a few of the steep and stony delights at the finish.
4. The Long Gap
The Gap is generally thought of as the Brecon Beacons classic, and although there are a few different versions of the route, this longer, tougher one gets our vote. From Talybont-on-Usk follow the Taff Trail S then take signs to the Brin Ore Tramroad. At the top, follow the main ridge track SW over Bryniau Gleision and down to the road at the Pentwyn Reservoir. Take the road NW and then fork R to the Gap Road to the Gap itself. Keep SA to drop to the road head and take a narrow track on the R, NE to an X-roads and then turn R to follow lanes and BWs to Llanfrynach. More lanes SE to Pencelli, then the canal to finish.