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Ripon A168 Loop

Start Point: Morrisons Car Park, Harrogate Road, Ripon

 
Moderate Route     Distance: 21 miles
 
OS Map 
 
Facilities & Refreshments: A good cafe exists at Morrisons. If you're staying in the area, Ripon has some good hotels: The Unicorn, in the Market Square, and the Spa Hotel.
 
Moonglu is a good bike shop for bits and pieces.
 
This is a great route for speed. In the main it is flat and fast roads and takes in some glorious villages and the superb A168. This road parallels the A1M, is a good fast tarmac surface with a great wedge of road over the white line. At 36km it is a serious ride and you can make it as easy or as fast as you like.
  
Before riding: check kit, check your bike for road safety, check you've got the right hydration and any food you want to take. Morrisons can obviously help with the food and drink.  

Route
 
1. Out of Morrisons car park passed the service station and left at the traffic lights.
 
2. At the roundabout with the A61 turn left onto Ripon bypass and continue along to the Junction with Knaresborough Road. This is a fast section of road, slightly down hill.
 
You will be crossing traffic so be careful.
 
3. Continue along Knaresborough road towards the village of Bishop Monkton. Straight over the cross roads. This lane quickly turns into Red Hills Lane and again into Oucher Lane.
 
4. At the 'T' junction with Apron Lane on the outskirts of Burton Leonard turn left towards Copgrove.
 
5. At Copgrove village turn right onto Copgrove Lane. In the next small hamlet of Occaney keep right on Copgrove Lane. Don't be tempted to keep left as this will take you north east towards Staveley. If you're feeling the strain you can use this as a short cut through to Minskip, cutting about 2 to 3 km of the ride.
 
6. Copgrove Lane will end at cross roads. You have a choice here. Either straight across down Sandy Lane which is steep down hill section but be careful at the next junction as it will come up on you quickly. Turn left at the 'T' junction ... or ... turn right towards Farnham village. Ride into Farnham and turn left onto Farnham Lane.
 
7. Farnham Lane brings you to Boroughbridge Road A6055. Turn left and ride towards Minskip. Fast road, so turn up the speed. If you've got  aero bars get down over the crank and push on. Lovely flat even tarmac, all the way to the A1.
 
8. Cross over the A1 and turn left at the roundabout junction onto A168. Now you're on the fastest part of the ride. If you have some gears left and the legs are ok really push on here. You will enjoy it. Lovely wide fast road.
 
9. Straight over the next roundabout at Roecliffe
 
10. Left at next roundabout or if you doing ok and there room left in the tank continue on to the next roundabout, then left and left again back over the A1. Ride back through Sharrow and back to Ripon Bypass. South on the Bypass back to where you started.
 
11. Having crossed the A1 your faced with an incline on B6265 which will look daunting at this stage. Keep going it's not as bad as it looks. At the top you'll be rewarded with a fast straight towards Ripon with some good corners left and right into Ripon.
 
12. Continue over the River Ure Bridge into the City of Ripon. At the roundabout with Ripon Bypass turn left onto the bypass. Straight over the next roundabout.
 
13. The last sting in the tail of this ride is the deceptive incline back to the southern most roundabout. At this stage your thighs will not appreciate the incline but push on and keep going, keep spinning and you'll get there.
 
14. Turn right at the roundabout back onto Harrogate Road. Be careful to check behind you before making this turn. It's a quick road and vehicles will come up on you.
 
15. At the traffic lights turn right back into Morrison's car park. Warm down and a cup of tea can be gained from the in-store cafe or from MacDonalds across the road.