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Rides around Marsden/Huddersfield

terongiterongi Posts: 318
I am staying in Marsden next week for 2 day business trip.

Planning to take road bike and looking for 1-2.5 hour ride to do after work between 6-8.30pm.

Don't mind big hills; don't like traffic.

Maybe something in the peaks?

Any suggestions?

Posts

  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    Hi Terongi. I live about 20 km north of Marsden and have all the local maps on my PC. What sort of speed would you average over big hills? I could plot a route for you if I knew what sort of distance you'd be covering in that time. Do you have mapping software or a GPS?

    If you are planning to ride from Marsden you won't have time to do the Peaks, apart from Saddleworth Moor which is a nice climb just on the fringes of the Peaks. I was going to suggest something I did recently (Marsden, Meltham, Holme, Holme Moss, Snake Pass, Glossop, Ladybower, Strines, Langsett, Holmfirth, Meltham, Marsden) but I've just checked and it is about 100 km and 2,000 m of climbing so I can't see you managing that in 2 h 30 m!

    There's plenty of nice hills around Marsden, some really steep buggers though. The West Yorskhire Cycle Route goes up Pole Moor from the back of Marsden and that hits 25%!
  • Buster49Buster49 Posts: 42
    Go west from Marsden on the A62 into Saddleworth, then go via Uppermill and Greenfield (and Delph perhaps) on to the A635 and back over Saddleworth Moor into Yorkshire. There you can either get back into Marsden via Meltham or continue down into Holmfirth and then back to Marsden. Regular pub stops all along the routes (some good cafes in Uppermill but they're only open during the day). Two good hills, fast roads and good scenery.
  • terongiterongi Posts: 318
    Thanks.

    I have a Garmin Edge 305. It uses .crs files, but I can convert .gpx files.

    I would have thought I could finish a hilly ride of 25-30 miles in a couple of hours.

    I am mostly concerned not to be stuck somewhere when it gets dark so I want to be conservative about distance in case I need time to fix punctures or whatever.
  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    Buster49 wrote:
    Go west from Marsden on the A62 into Saddleworth, then go via Uppermill and Greenfield (and Delph perhaps) on to the A635 and back over Saddleworth Moor into Yorkshire. There you can either get back into Marsden via Meltham or continue down into Holmfirth and then back to Marsden. Regular pub stops all along the routes (some good cafes in Uppermill but they're only open during the day). Two good hills, fast roads and good scenery.
    Yep, that's pretty much what I was going to suggest, but given your aversion to traffic and the time you would be setting off, I'd suggest a couple of variations...

    I don't like the A62 out of Marsden. It is quite a drag and there will be a lot of traffic at 6:00 pm. My preferred route these days is the more direct but steeper Mount Road. The last time I went up there (a few weeks ago), there was a temporary bridge at the bottom of the hill. The road surface down there was pretty awful, but above there it had been resurfaced and the climb itself now has top quality tarmac.

    Eventually you'd come back onto the A62. You'd still have about 1 km of gentle climbing and you'd just have to put up with the traffic for that and about another 500 m down the other side.

    I used to go Buster49's route through Uppermill and Greenfield, but a couple of months back I checked out the lanes through the village of Diggle and found them to be a much nicer way to get to the climb of Saddleworth Moor. I therefore recommend that you take the first left for Diggle soon after the top of the A62 climb. The lanes are very scenic and quiet. They do go up and down quite a bit but you said you are okay with climbing...

    Eventually you'd come out on the A635 having missed out the busy roads round Uppermill and Greenfield. Turn left and climb Saddleworth Moor. Very scenic views to your right as you are on the fringes of the High Peak District. It is a long steady climb.

    There are two shortcuts to your left back to Marsden but I recommend that you descend off the Moor all the way to Holmfirth. By the time you got there, the traffic should have died down a bit.

    Take the left turn up the B6107 through Netherthong. I did that climb last week. It is fairly stiff, but again, it has been resurfaced and is a nice surface to ride on.

    Follow the B6107 all the way back to Marsden via Meltham. The road surface through Meltham is terrible so watch out! The climb out of Meltham is a 2.5 km drag, fairly steep at the bottom.

    Once you get to Holt Head you have a nice 3 km descent back to Marsden.

    That's a 39 km loop with just short of 1,000 m of climbing (24 miles, 3,000 ft).

    There is a detailed GPX file of the route here. You'd probably want to edit that down to just show the junctions.

    Map and Profile

    marsden_saddleworth_moor_loop.jpg

    I hope that it stops raining for your ride - it's pretty exposed up on Saddleworth Moor so you don't wanna be up there in a thunderstorm!
  • terongiterongi Posts: 318
    Thanks Colin and Buster for all your detailed and helpful responses.

    I have created a couple of courses on my Garmin based on your recommendations and I will give them a go next week.

    I will let you know how I get on.

    I really appreciate all the time and effort you have put into advising me.

    If either of you are heading towards North London at any time, let me know and I will give you the benefit of my knowledge of the hills of Hertforshire.
  • MossriderMossrider Posts: 226
    Terongi,

    It's a good route, but my money is on the A640. Ride from Marsden to Slaithwaite and turn left for Outlane. Its quite a climb but drop down over the motorway and turn left at the end for Rochdale. This is Buckstones and is a popular ride out in local cycling circles with a steady climb up to a fabulous view. The other advantage is that it is very quiet despite being an A road (presumably because it is parallel to the M62, but only in sight of it for a short distance). There is then a swift descent to the Oldham border. Turn left at the bottom (sharp left!). Follow it back to the A62 for Marsden and back over at Standedge.

    I live in south Huddersfield and work in Rochdale - the A635 is the logical route to work, when i cycle, but i find the traffic disconcertingly fast (and few other cyclists seem to use it). The A640 is far quieter and on a nice evening you probably see as many cyclists as cars. I once went over and only was passed by a single car in the whole distance (though i think there was an England match on at the time).
  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    Mossrider wrote:
    Terongi,

    It's a good route, but my money is on the A640. Ride from Marsden to Slaithwaite and turn left for Outlane. Its quite a climb but drop down over the motorway and turn left at the end for Rochdale. This is Buckstones and is a popular ride out in local cycling circles with a steady climb up to a fabulous view. The other advantage is that it is very quiet despite being an A road (presumably because it is parallel to the M62, but only in sight of it for a short distance). There is then a swift descent to the Oldham border. Turn left at the bottom (sharp left!). Follow it back to the A62 for Marsden and back over at Standedge.

    I live in south Huddersfield and work in Rochdale - the A635 is the logical route to work, when i cycle, but i find the traffic disconcertingly fast (and few other cyclists seem to use it). The A640 is far quieter and on a nice evening you probably see as many cyclists as cars. I once went over and only was passed by a single car in the whole distance (though i think there was an England match on at the time).

    I think the description of that climb, Scapegoat Hill, is 'Cruel and unusual punishment'! I rode it a few weeks ago on the way back from Coventry to Hebden Bridge. I found it particularly testing at the end of a longish ride and carrying 15 lbs of luggage on my bike. What made it worse was the drunken shirtless meathead running down the hill towards me with a Jack Russell and a big black labrador running alongside him. I ended up with the man lurching straight at me, one dog nipping at one ankle, and the other launching itself at my other. At this point my patience ran out and I suggested that the guy take himself and his dogs elsewhere and let me grovel in peace. Well, words to that effect anyway... :x

    As for Buckstones - yes, it's a nice climb. Last time I went up there I did it in the other direction from Denshaw. True, there weren't many cars about but a bunch of born-again bikers made up for that. I was repeatedly buzzed by loony motorcyclists going up and down the road. At one point I saw a couple of sheep sitting in the middle of the road, so I chased them off, but as soon as I was past, they moved back onto the road. I heard a motorbike coming up the hill at great speed and looked round, expecting the rider to slow down as he passed the sheep. No chance - he went past them at about 100 mph, and only about 3 or 4 feet away. Some guys have a death wish...
  • MossriderMossrider Posts: 226
    Agree with your thoughts on Scapegoat, though I've never come across your "friend"

    I regularly ride from South Huddersfield to my job on the Oldham / Rochdale border and I've tried all three transpennine routes - summer and dark winter nights. Buckstones remains my choice. Although you do get a few bikers, most tend to be considerate(and you can hear them coming). It's more than made up by the lack of commuters racing home in their Beamers.

    There's little traffic other than the odd biker
    The road is relatively straight so the cars / bikers know you're there
    The scenery is tremendous and (although that could also be said for the "Isle of Skye" road in to Holmfirth).

    I'm not normally nervous of traffic (I've done quite a bit of riding in South London over the past year) but I prefer to avoid the Holmfirth - Greenfield road.
  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    Mossrider wrote:
    Agree with your thoughts on Scapegoat, though I've never come across your "friend"

    I regularly ride from South Huddersfield to my job on the Oldham / Rochdale border and I've tried all three transpennine routes - summer and dark winter nights. Buckstones remains my choice. Although you do get a few bikers, most tend to be considerate(and you can hear them coming). It's more than made up by the lack of commuters racing home in their Beamers.

    There's little traffic other than the odd biker
    The road is relatively straight so the cars / bikers know you're there
    The scenery is tremendous and (although that could also be said for the "Isle of Skye" road in to Holmfirth).

    I'm not normally nervous of traffic (I've done quite a bit of riding in South London over the past year) but I prefer to avoid the Holmfirth - Greenfield road.
    Fortunately I don't come across my dog lover "friend" very often either!

    That's quite a commute by bike - It must be pretty tough in the winter!

    I can well imagine that the Holmfirth-Greenfield road is one to avoid when commuting, but wouldn't it be okay by about 19:00 when terongi would be getting to the foot of the climb? I've only ever done it at weekends when I've seen a few people speeding over the top of the moor but it's been generally okay on the ascent and descent.
  • Buster49Buster49 Posts: 42
    I agree the A640 is a good ride but nor have I ever had a problem on the A62 as it's a wide road. The A635 can be busy but I also would have thought that at the time of evening you're intending to ride Terongi it should be fairly quiet, same for Uppermill and Greenfield, going round the lanes involve some steep climbs and descents but some good views.

    Mossrider & ColinJ: I tend to do either the A635/A62 loop or the A640/A58 loop (both in either direction) so I'm interested in your ideas for linking the A62 and the A640 - I've got streetmap open now - Is Scapegoat Hill the best link? Are there others taking into account road quality etc?
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Oh the Holmfirth - Greenfield road

    i could tell tales about it.

    Colin your route in the above link goes past were i used to live in Netherthong (or Lower Meltham as it was known as years ago).
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    Buster49 wrote:
    I agree the A640 is a good ride but nor have I ever had a problem on the A62 as it's a wide road. The A635 can be busy but I also would have thought that at the time of evening you're intending to ride Terongi it should be fairly quiet, same for Uppermill and Greenfield, going round the lanes involve some steep climbs and descents but some good views.

    Mossrider & ColinJ: I tend to do either the A635/A62 loop or the A640/A58 loop (both in either direction) so I'm interested in your ideas for linking the A62 and the A640 - I've got streetmap open now - Is Scapegoat Hill the best link? Are there others taking into account road quality etc?
    Hi Buster. Scapegoat Hill seems to have a fair amount of traffic on it at busy times and it is quite a narrow road so that can be a pain, especially if you climb steep hills as slowly as I do! An alternative is Pole Moor a couple of kms to the West of it. The West Yorkshire Cycle Route climbs up to that from Booth Bank in Marsden. That however is even tougher than Scapegoat hill, at least at the bottom. A stretch at about 20 % goes around a right-hand bend and then rears up to about 25%. It is too narrow to zig-zag on and there is a cobbled strip down the centre there which would make it unwise anyway. I think the top half is easier than the top half of Scapegoat hill.

    You could just head left up the A640, but there is another nice option from Pole Moor - Drop down to Scammonden, go round the reservoir, then do a tough climb up Deanhead (very narrow road, poor surface) to Moselden Height. Turn right, drop down over the M62 to Ringstone Edge. Take a hairpin left turn at the reservoir and follow the WYCR to Booth Wood where you then have 3 choices:
      (1) Turn right, drop down to Ripponden, then turn left at the traffic lights and head up the A58 to Blackstone Edge and beyond. That's probably what you normally do
      (2) Turn left and take the A672 to Denshaw
      (3) [This is the route I like to take] Turn left up the A672, but shortly afterwards turn right and follow the WYCR through Pike End to Baitings reservoir. This is a quiet country road, very scenic (apart from the electricity pylons!), up and down quite a bit. At Baitings you can turn left up the A58 for Blackstone Edge, but I like to cross the A58 and take the lane opposite. Keep taking left turns on this to Hubberton Green, drop down to Sowerby village, as you leave the village, left at a pub down Pinfold Lane, on to Sowerby Lane and Boulderclough. Follow that road until it becomes Scout Road. Drop down that through the woods to Mytholmroyd [
    Caution - take it easy on the descent - narrow road, steepish, blind bends, adverse camber and finally sleeping policemen!]. At the junction with the B6138, take a left and begin the ascent of 'The longest hill in England' through Cragg Vale to Blackstone Edge. Take a right at the top on the A58 and proceed as you normally would down to Littleborough and beyond.
  • MossriderMossrider Posts: 226
    I simply find the Greenfield / Holmfirth route too fast, though its probably better later. It is a nice climb up from the Greenfield side but i find climbing the Holmfirth side a bit boring (a long drag).

    It is quite a commute but I tend to keep it down to once a week and with the recent arrival of Mossrider jr I am in temporary retirement. In winter you just have to be very careful with the weather forecasts - up there its a fine line between pouring rain or ice in winter and so you pick your days. It a lovely ride though and even in the dark in winter it is marvelous to have the whole road to yourself (with no street lights its surprising how much better you can see).

    As for alternative cut overs - I'm not too sure as I tend to go through Huddersfield on my commutes (its not so busy at 06.30 and on the way home I'm glad of the long descent). There are numerous small roads round there and I've been down one or two. I've been from the old Chapel at the top of Pole Gate through Bradshaw and come out at Booth Bank previously - but be warned you need very good brakes for the final section!
  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    Mossrider wrote:
    As for alternative cut overs - I'm not too sure as I tend to go through Huddersfield on my commutes (its not so busy at 06.30 and on the way home I'm glad of the long descent). There are numerous small roads round there and I've been down one or two. I've been from the old Chapel at the top of Pole Gate through Bradshaw and come out at Booth Bank previously - but be warned you need very good brakes for the final section!
    I second that! I did it with Warburton in the rain a couple of months ago and we both descended very carefully. It wasn't just wet, slippy and steep - there was also a lot of gravel washed down onto the road.

    Don't even contemplate doing it in the winter if there is the slightest chance of ice - I would be surprised if that lane gets gritted very often :shock: .
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