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Mountain bikingKendal is an ideal base for a cycling holiday. The town itself is fortunate to have the Canal Cycle Path, a flat, joint cyclist and pedestrian route that runs alongside the long-since disused canal, as well as a stretch that runs alongside the River Kent. Cycle racks can also be found at various locations in town.

The Kendal and District Cycle Scene continues to work with the district and county councils to develop Kendal's cycle routes still further. Their website details a number of routes for cyclists wanting to get a little further afield to places such as Longsleddale, Patton Bridge, the Howgills, Docker, Mealbank, Grayrigg, Orton and Killington. The South Lakes Group of the Rough Stuff Fellowship also enjoys semi-regular outings in small groups and welcomes cyclists of all abilities.

Also look up the Wheely Good Communities, a local community project designed to get people on their bikes, offer assistance and to generally encourage beginners to feel more confident. They've mapped over a dozen easy rides in the local area. Their 'Yealands Sticky Bun Club' runs every other week on Sunday afternoons and gets groups of ladies together on their bikes, taking in a cake and coffee at a café en route. If you're looking for something more serious or competitive, there's the Kent Valley Road Club and Mint Cake MTB, each catering for more serious road cyclists and mountain bikers respectively, and each with a full programme of events.

If instead you prefer to just do your own thing, you'll find a wealth of cycling available in the area - be it road cycling or mountain biking - whether it be in the Lake District (look at what's available at Grizedale in particular), the Yorkshire Dales or the North York Moors. There's so much out there that we couldn't possibly document it here but rest assured that the opportunities are endless. Just watch the following video if you could do with a little motivation!

Bored Meeting
The following short film was a winning entry at the Kendal Mountain Festival Adventure Film Academy 48 hour film making marathon in 2008.

With regards to specialist cycling shops, there are several in the town and just outside that should cater for your needs, whether you're looking to hire a mountain bike or buy a new racer, or whether you simply need some assistance with a repair.

Askew Cycles
Visit Askew Cycles within a very short walking distance of your accommodation for excellent service, friendly staff, expert advice, and everything needed for cycling. Askews will even store your own bikes for you should you wish to bring them with you. An excellent repair service is also available.

Brucie's Bike Shop
Situated in the northern end of Kendal, in Kirkland, Brucie's Bike Shop is an established business in the town that has been trading for over 30 years. Brands sold by the shop include Lazer, Massi, Quota, Xero, Mavic, Shimano and Campagnolo. They also do a quick turnaround when it comes to bike repairs and run regular 'Sunday Rides' which members of the public are welcome to join. Just enquire at the shop for details.

Evans Cycles
Evans Cycles is also within a few minutes walk of your accommodation. Their Kendal store carries a wide selection of products for both experienced cyclists and novices alike. There's even a fully equipped cycle repair workshop on site for any bike servicing needs. Bike parking is also available in store.

A branch of Halfords can be found on the outskirts of Kendal. It is a Halfords 'Super', meaning that it offers the widest range of Halfords products, and is open 7 days a week. The staff there are happy to offer advice on the bike that's right for you, accessories, safety issues and so on.

Wheelbase boldly claims to be the UK's biggest cycle store and certainly offers a huge array of merchandise ranging from bikes through to all manner of accessories. They can be found in nearby Staveley and offer in-store professional bike fitting, and a mountain bike hire service that includes the hire of GoBugs, Tag-a-longs and child seats. They also have a fully equipped workshop and a team of qualified mechanics who are always on hand for when quick repairs are needed.

Kendal is also a great base for anyone visiting the area who enjoys participating in cycling events. Not only has the town hosted stage finishes for the Tour of Britain, but it also serves as a convenient location for participants and spectators of the following great events.

The Fred Whitton Challenge
The Fred Whitton Challenge is a gruelling 112-mile cycling challenge that takes in some of the most dramatic scenery of the Lake District. Run in memory of Fred Whitton, the route covers the key climbs and passes of Kirlstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott and Wrynose. Take a look at the route here:

Grizedale Mountain Bike Challenge
The Grizedale Mountain Bike Challenge takes place in September each year and is a 30-mile mountain bike ride around Grizedale Forest to raise money for Marie Curie. If you enjoy a mix of forest riding, singletrack, moorland tops, stunning lake views and fantastic descents, then this event is for you!

Le Tour de Staveley
Le Tour de Staveley is a non-competitive event organised by Wheelbase each July, in celebration of one of the world's greatest sporting events, Le Tour de France. Riders have a choice of a 50-kilometre 'expert' ride or a more gentle 'intermediate' 30-kilometre ride. Entrants are treated to a French meal and wine after the event, and can also get the opportunity to ride the same 'dream' bikes that the pro riders in the real Tour de France are using.

Look out also for the Kendal Mountain Festival Bike Night which forms part of the Kendal Mountain Film Festival.

As far as your accommodation is concerned, there is a cycle rack where you can chain your bike up in the secure car park at the base of the apartment building. A keycard is required to access this car park.


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