Cycling Events & Rides

Cumbria Bike FestCycling Events

In this part of the country, due to the amazing scenery and network of quiet roads, not to mention established tourist destinations, there are loads of organised cycling events for all levels of cyclist – ranging from epic long-distance endurance events, to mass participation fundraising ‘challenges’, to  guided family bike rides.

If  you, your family or friends enjoyed the Lakes & Dales Loop and are keen to do more riding in Cumbria below you might be interested in this introduction to the type of events available, so you can select what would suit you best.

We hope, as the Lakes & Dales Loop gets established to have more challenges and organised rides taking place on the route itself – so watch this space!

If you are interested in organising a cycle event using part/all of the Lakes & Dales Loop we’d love to talk to you about how we might be able to help. Please contact

tourGuided Rides

Guided rides will range from an hour to a full-day, and usually involve sight-seeing and refreshment stops. These can be a great way of exploring the area, without any of the hassle of route finding.

There are a number of private cycle operators that will either run guided rides, or will organise special packages for you, either on- or off-road. (link to listings)

In addition there are a number of guided rides in Cumbria, organised by British Cycling or you can join bike rides organised by local cyclists.

Challenge Rides

Challenge Rides have increased massively in popularity over the last 5-10 years and range from relatively easy to seriously epic events. Many cycle challenges involve a fund-raising element and therefore tend to cater for a broader range of cycling abilities (about 20-60 miles in length generally).

Sportives tend to imply a more demanding ride, but will vary from entry level rides (approx 40 miles) through to endurance challenges of over 100 miles. The huge attraction of all these organised challenge rides is just that – it is a challenge and therefore satisfying to complete, but it is all organised for you – no hassle!

There are now large numbers of challenge rides taking part in Cumbria, many organised by locally based professional event companies. Cumbria is famous for the annual Fred Whitton Challenge in May which attracts 2,500 competitors each year. It is 112 miles in one day, over some ferocious hills in the central Lakes (none of which are on the Lakes & Dales Loop route)!

Cycling Events – Useful Links

Events – Participatory

Ride Social at the Langdale Beer and Bike Festival on Bank Holiday Sunday, 29th May, departing at 12.00, at Wainwright’s Inn, Chapel Stile. Less than 7 miles, mostly on traffic-free trails. To find out more and to book your free place(s) visit:


Events – Spectator

  • Tour of Britain (4-11 Sept – Stage 2 (5th Sept is from Carlisle to Kendal)

Local Led Rides

Sunday 29th May, Langdale Beer and Bikes Festival, Chapel Stile, The Langdale Valley 

Hadrian's Wall trail, Solway Coast