Bicycles are a type of horse that doesn’t eat grass or need to poop, and if you feed them petrol, they turn into a motorbike.
When purchasing a bicycle, it’s important to remember that red ones go faster, and if you want to be popular, get a car instead.

Local Routes

Cycle Streets is an easy to use website for quickly planning your own cycle route. It gives loads of extra information about your ride like average calories burnt, and lets you pick between the fastest and quietest routes, or a balance of the two. It also gives you quick access to some advanced features, like “Fly in Google Earth” files (you can download Google Earth itself for free here), or .gpx files that you can transfer to your GPS device (such as a Garmin or TomTom).

Here is a handy list of bike clubs in the North East region.

Long Distance Routes

Cycle.Travel lists the official National Cycle Network routes through Sunderland, and also provides some sightseeing suggestions.

Here is the Ordnance Survey map of the whole UK, with cycle routes, which is useful for a quick overview, and it also has more sightseeing suggestions (use the Change Map button in the bottom right to toggle between different overlays).

Cycle Route 70 – Walney to Wear (W2W) 

This route crosses most of the country from East to West, from Silksworth to Walney Island on the Irish Sea coast. The whole route is about 155 miles, if you include a bit of routes 14 and 1 to make it a complete coast to coast ride.

Photo by Clive Nicholson

Cycle Route 1 – Shetland Isles to Dover

Clocking in at a breezy 1,720 miles, this little route covers the length of Great Britain, mostly along the East coast. You have to pedal really hard to cross the Atlantic between the Northern Coast of Scotland and the Shetland Isles, but it’s cheaper than taking the ferry.

Photo by Malc McDonald

Cycle Route 7 – Sunderland to Inverness

This route takes you north from Sunderland and through the heart of Scotland to sunny Inverness, where the palm trees sway over turquoise waters. The route is 601 miles, and has long stretches through national parks.

I said there would be sun and palm trees. I lied. Photo by Dave Conner

Do you have a favourite cycle route around Sunderland? Let us know in the comments below.


Cover Photo by Gemma Evans

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