Wednesday, 23 December 2015

What's coming for 2016?

Here's a list of the cobbled climbs that are currently on the 2016 route... (more details later), still need to research a few things, and keep an eye on fly-tipping etc.

1. Crooked Lane; 2. Hough; 3. Shibden Wall; 4. Ploughcroft Lane; 5. Exley Bank; 6. Crossley Hill, 7. Haigh Lane/Shaw Lane/Boys Lane/Shaw Hill Lane; 8. Trooper Lane; 9. Cribb Lane; 10. Gibb Lane; 11. Woodhouse Lane; 12. Gainest; 13. Wakefield Gate; 14. Old Lane; 15. Delph Hill Lane; 16. The Buttress; 17. Heptonstall; 18. Horsehold; 19. Butt Lane; 20. Haworth; 21. Thwaites Brow; 22. Hainworth Lane.

There may be one more small one to fit in...  And not sure if no. 7 is one or two (it's rolling).  Just need to write them all up over the Christmas break.

Some of the 2016 route... in 1945

Old Educational film Yorkshire: We of the West Riding, the "urban" landscapes are shot mainly around Dean Clough, and there's also the climb up Illingworth; all feature on the 2016 route.  There's a descent, which might well be down the road from Queensbury to Boothtown, past Ploughcroft Lane.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

More fly tipping on Crooked Lane

Does Crooked Lane need "Saving"?

Sunday was icy and damp, so I took the MTB out, and rode a bit of the route for the 2016 edition as far as Crooked Lane, then back via Taylor Lane.   Very saddened to see that fly tippers had struck again.
As I got to the bottom of the climb, water was running down the cobbles.  My first thought was "good, this should clean them".  Which it was... until I got further up.  One of two lots of garden waste, put an industrial quantity. The grass clippings are turning to mulch and starting to be moved down the hill.  The red "skip" is what was used to transport that.  The rest looks to be the remains of taking out an old bathroom.  Lots of builders materials, but no "evidence" such as receipts or other bits of paper.
Just need to work out if Crooked Lane is Calderdale or Bradford, and to try to this reported. The Borough Boundary actually runs up Crooked Lane, so it's tricky.  It's very close to a farm house, so not sure what they think of it.

The nearest postcode I could find, HX3 6SU, appears in Calderdale's directory, so I've reported it using the link.  Now to see what happens!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Video highlights of October 2015's ride

The camera battery ran out, so Thwaites Brow and Hainworth Lane are missing from the edit.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Let's start a conspiracy theory!

Well, not exactly.  But the hallmark of a good conspiracy theory is that you start with the conclusion you want, and then work backwards to the facts.

Both Trooper Lane and Shibden Wall (Lee Lane) were "repaired" this year.  Both by Calerdale Council (as far as I could tell from the signs, i.e. not a utility company).  Shibden Wall has ended up with a lot of the setts being replaced with blacktop; Trooper Lane was lovingly and extensively repaired at the very top bit which the cars don't use.  In fact, all of the cobbled section now resembles the same quality Haworth Main street.  But without all the tourist traffic.

Now, the only time that roads tend to get repaired in such an over-the-top way (austerity, anyone?) is when a major international cycle race goes through them.  Haworth Main street has featured in both the 2014 TDF and the inaugral 2015 Tour de Yorkshire.   So now we have a very off-the-beaten-track route made up to the same standard as the top tourist destination and racing parcours.


Will have to wait until December until the 2016 TdY route is revealed.

Either way, they've done a lovely job on Trooper Lane, and you should knock a few seconds of your PB if you've not climbed it recently.

Fingers crossed.

I think a climb up Trooper Lane would be terrific.  Although it is very narrow.  But I think there is precedent for that in major races, especially when going up.  And there isn't much of a caravan for the TdY.

Time to go for a lie down.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Last of the Summer Whine

A select group did the route, with some subtle modifications to make for a more traffic free entry/exit from Halifax.

Took a bit over 5 hours moving time, plus a good few minutes stopped, especially messing around on Old Lane and the Buttress.  

Climbing up Trooper Lane, 10/10/2015

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Various Climbs aroung Gainest, King Cross, Halifax

It's a bit hard to pin this area down on the map, in terms of a name. It's just to the south of King Cross, in the South East of Halifax, close to the boundary with Sowerby Bridge.  Names such as Delph Hill, Scar Bottom, Pye Nest, Darcey Hey appear on the map.  I've gone with Gainest, as the major landmark is Wainhouse Tower, which sits on the top of the hill and dominates the area.  This is billed as the tallest folly in the world, and Grade II* listed. It's listed on the register as "Wainhouse Tower, Gainest", so that will do.  I also happen to like the name Gainest, especially as people misread it as "Gaine Street", which it isn't.

There are quite a few cobbled streets in this area, most of them on some sort of slope.  The "jewel in the crown" is probably Wakefield Gate, reasonably steep and long.  However, Gainest (which appears only as a road name, as far as I can tell), is fun too, especially when approached from the North side.  Darcey Hey Lane is very gentle, but connects the route from the main A58 Rochdale road through King Cross.  The area is on the north side of the Calderdale, and you can also reach this with the climb up Woodhouse Lane.

It's possible that the upper hill side (Gainest, Wakefield Gate and Delph Hill Road) could be called Delph Hill.  "Delph" is a good word to look for in place names when trying to spot interesting climbs.  It's a local word for "quarry" (I assume it has the same origin as "delve", which is a an archaic verb from dig, with old english origins).  Sure enough, there was a quarry at the top of this hill.  Old quarries tend to be place quite high up hillsides, as the starting point where there were natural exposed rock outcrops that were (relatively) easy to get at.  Of course, the quarries, placed up on the hillsides, needed roads to carry the the rocks away, ideally down to a river, canal or railway.  So you tend to get some nice routes up the hillside to them.

Darcey Hey Lane, looking
down from the northern end
I'll cover Wakefield Gate and Woodhouse Lane in another post, but for now we have Gainest from the North, from the South, Delph Hill Road (comes up halfway up Wakefield Gate) and Darcey Hey Lane.

Darcey Hey Lane

A gentle gradient, I just used it as the entry point into the area

Darcey Hey Lane, looking up
from the junction with Gainest
I confess I didn't bother to ride up it, as I had other things to do.  It's a nice wide and well maintained road, as can be seen from the photos.  It's lined with houses, and as a main route into the area from the A58, gets a fair bit of traffic.


Gainest Climbs up towards the tower (although you can't really see it) in two directions, forming a "L" shape on the map.

The northern narrow entry to Gainest.
 Easy to miss. Steeper than it looks.
Gainest from the top of the Southern approach
Gainest, the southern approach,
looking up from the Bottom
The most exciting way to do this is from the Northern end. This is a very narrow lane, certainly not built for cars, although from the marks you can see where people have grounded them on the stones.  It's in good condition though.  There are a lot of trees, and I think this stopped the garmin from picking up a good trace.  It's certainly a lot steeper at the start than it shows on the segment.  The steep bit is on a par with the Buttress, but fortunately only goes for 5m, rather than 50m before it turns the corner and settles down to a much nice climb.  It's pretty short, so good for a hard effort.  You are then faced with riding down Gainest.

The southern approach is also worthwhile. Again, it's a fairly busy road (lots of houses), but very wide and straight, until it turns up at the top before narrowing down to the Northern part.

Delph Hill Road

Delph Hill Road provides an alternative way of climbing up Wakefield Gate.  It comes out half up the main climb; you can then turn right and carry on up Wakefield Gate.  It's probably no less steep than Wakefield Gate at the bottom.  It makes for a bit of a change, but the best aspect is the good view of the tower.

Delph Hill Road, hinting at what might have been

Looking Down Delph hill road from near the junction
with Wakefield Gate

Segment Details

Gainest (North Ascent)

Gainest (South Ascent)

Delph Hill Road