York Minster may be the tourist-selfie sweet spot, but the Millennium Bridge is the city’s cycling kilometre zero. A vital local pedestrian/bike link across the Ouse, it’s right on major long-haul leisure routes (Way of the Roses, Trans Pennine Trail, NCN65/66). The historic centre is five minutes’ ride on pleasant riverside cycleways, while nearby York Uni has a velodrome and 1km cycle circuit. The nearest hilly stuff is the underrated gem of the Wolds sitting a dozen miles east; the stunning Dales or Moors are each 40 minutes’ train journey.
And one minute away is Cycle Heaven, a huge-but-friendly bike emporium with an equally clean-lined, light, classy and inclusive cycle cafe. It’s a popular rendezvous and hangout for parents with toddlers and newspaper-reading brunchers, but also plenty of about-town cyclists and road riders on club or training runs. A screen shows bike videos and races; there are also magazines to browse, hundreds of bike books for sale, a noticeboard, kids’ play area, indoor parking and free water. Coffee-shop Copenhagen meets retail-chic California, but with pork pies. The cafe welcomes velo-themed suggestions for the menu (often locally sourced) though they acknowledge Eddy ‘the Cannibal’ Merckx-inspired dishes might not sit well with their veg, vegan and allergen-free options.
Range of quesadillas, £6.50: try the Cajun chicken
The all-day breakfast is a cyclist favourite (veg/vegan options – and pancakes!)
I’m a coffee snob, how’s the flat white? Superb, from York’s Dancing Goat. Cappuccinos have bikes stencilled in the froth
Key Strava Segment
York Sport Cycle Circuit, 0.65 miles, av grade 0 per cent, elevation gain 7ft, ranked riders: 3382
KOM Jamie Wimborne 1.14, 28/04/2019
QOM Rachel Oliver 1.20, 08/09/201
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This article appears in issue 361 of Cycling Plus. To subscribe to the magazine and receive a free Lusso Merino Jersey worth £65, head over here