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Off Road Trails - Sowerby - Hebden ?

PopehPopeh Posts: 115
edited September 2008 in Routes
Hello all,

Lurking on the forums for some time, great and inspirational reading!

I just got back into biking after 10 years, dragged a friend out where we started from Sowerby dropping into Mytholmroyd, up cragg vale, left at the reservoir and back down into Sowerby.

Very hard for my first ride and i'm hoping to god my censored cheeks become tougher on the saddle as time progresses.

A search on the forum in this area have suggested a number of trails around this area and found that most routes suggested involve only road routes.

Driving for the past 10 years I have become aggitated with drivers and busy roads and generally want to have a lot of play on off road routes (Woods, trials etc - places cars can't go!).

I'm planning on hitting my old past-time favourites (Stoodly Pike, Hardcastle Crags) in the next week but wondering if anyone knows of more closer to Sowerby routes. I love the above routes but it's a hefty ride to get there for a new biker and involves road riding getting there (albeit towpath can be used most way).

I had a drive near Stammington (?)(Rochdale exit on the Elland bypass roundabout) which looked like it had potential but need to explore out of work time and may be further than Hardcastle Crags.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
- Marin 2005 East Peak

Posts

  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    Given the amount of trails in the Todmorden/Hebden Bridge/Walsden/Rochdale/Whitworth area, the hills around Sowerby, Rishworth, Ripponden, etc., are surprisingly devoid of decent off-road riding.

    I've tried might and main in the past to string a decent route together in the Sowerby/Halifax area, but it seems well nigh impossible without including a lot of road riding. Seems a shame really because given the history other area and the terrain you would have thought that there would be more old pack-horse trails.

    Be careful in Hardcastle Crags - the only legit trail here is the one which goes straight up Crimsworth Dean out of the car park. You can either carry straight on up to Lumb Spout and then out onto the Hebden Bridge/Oxenhope road, or switch-back left about half way up the hill and round by Walshaw and then out onto the Widdop road

    The actual crags themselves are off limits - and given the popularity of the place with families, walkers, etc., I'd say its a best to keep that in mind.
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  • PopehPopeh Posts: 115
    Thanks for your reply dave_hill.

    Is that a recent change do you know? It's obviously been a long time since I was there but I don't remember there being limits.

    Even Stoodly Pike is mainly geared towards walkers and not really for cyclers. It's sad to hear there isn't anywhere in the area - I asked a local cycle shop yesterday when I picked up some new lights and even they only knew of one long route, Pennine Bridalway National Trail - have to check out the details.

    With moors and woods everywhere I thought the area would be brimming with trails I needed to discover, this area obviously sucks.

    Thanks again, If i do find anything new and worthwhile i'll update the thread.
    - Marin 2005 East Peak
  • LaSantaLaSanta Posts: 25
    I live in the Halifax and I agree that bearing in mind the surrounding area you'd expect more off road riding.

    My suggestion would be to join the club that bases its self out of Pedalsports cycle shop in King Cross. They have rides every Thursday. Tag along with them and they'll show that there is infact a fair amount .... just have to know where it is.

    The shop is owned by Mark ..... very nice guy and happy to help/advise even if you're not buying anything !!
  • PopehPopeh Posts: 115
    Pedalsports-

    Where abouts is that? I thought there was only Cyclegear in King Cross at the junction corner or is it the same place?

    Thanks
    - Marin 2005 East Peak
  • LaSantaLaSanta Posts: 25
    It's the same place .... hasn't been Cyclegear for a while.

    Just had a thought - Have a look at http://www.flattyresmtbroutes.com/YorkshireRoutes.html
  • PopehPopeh Posts: 115
    LaSanta wrote:
    Just had a thought - Have a look at http://www.flattyresmtbroutes.com/YorkshireRoutes.html

    I literally can't wait to try this route!

    Thanks :-)
    - Marin 2005 East Peak
  • LaSantaLaSanta Posts: 25
    Enjoy !!

    Let me know how it goes.
  • seatalteaseataltea Posts: 594
    I'm Brighouse based, new to MTBks and appreciate the link, I can almost ride my daily 8.5 mile round in a blindfold (I'm also commuting to Halifax most days)

    This afternoon I discovered an area close to the the Corn Mill which Google Earth suggested was passable as an extension to my ride, it was actually part of Middle Earth and totally impassable thanks to a path overgrown with plants not seen since Jurassic times.

    I was challenged on the Armitage Estate yesterday by 'staff', fell off once in a deep rutted farm track and twice today into nettles.

    Being closer to 40 than to 30 and having had my mid life crisis with superbikes a few years ago I'm glad I discovered MTBs, shame about the mud though.

    I'd look to ride out with the VS Cycles bunch but I've sworn not to have anything to do with the guy who runs that shop, both myself and a friend were recently treated with disdain when we visited for advice.

    Friends from work have spent close to 5k on new bikes in the last month and I've bought two (wife not too happy), some of that would have gone through that shop were it not for the old guy behind the counter.

    Anyhow tomorrow is another day and with Google there's time to find a different route, maybe one that that I can manage to ride this time.
    'nulla tenaci invia est via'
    FCN4
    Boardman HT Pro fully X0'd
    CUBE Peleton 2012
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  • PopehPopeh Posts: 115
    I enjoyed your description of the Corn Mill :-)

    You'll always have your bad days on bikes, but you have the same thing with cars and other bad drivers which is one of the key reasons I'm overly enthused to find offroad tracks.

    You should try and get some out of work treks going with your work pals maybe?
    - Marin 2005 East Peak
  • PopehPopeh Posts: 115
    Thanks again for the info LaSanta.

    Had a ride up with my mate starting in Mytholmroyd and up Cragg vale to the trail at the side of the reservoir. Didn't have as much time as I'd of liked as it was getting dark and only have visual lights, not high powered ones but did a fair bit on the off road. Loved it! Work allowing we're back up on Sunday to try the whole route, assuming my legs recover.

    Called in the Pedalsports today to grab some more stuff and chatted to the owner who brought up the club and would welcome new riders. As you mentioned, he also commented that most decent off road routes round Halifax are knowing where they are and apparently there's tons!
    Prolly gonna hook up with the club in a few weeks once I can climb a hill without being overtaken by hikers. Didn't happen, but i''m sure it could of!
    - Marin 2005 East Peak
  • LaSantaLaSanta Posts: 25
    Good stuff .... really glad you enjoyed it. Not always good idea to recommend places/rides/folk cos what one person likes isn't necessarily another persons cup of tea.

    I set off the do the Mary Townley Loop today - not my idea, one of the lads I ride with came up last night - anyways, 20 miles in and my derailleur shattered !! How p'd off was I !!

    The reason I mention it is that it's a great trail that you can build up to doing .... some of the tracks you'll go on above Hebden may be part of Mary T. I was thinking that between now and say early next year you can build up to doing the route in one day (takes about 6-8 hours).
  • Just picked up a book some might find useful from my local discount book shop.

    Calderdale Biking Guide by Paul Hannon
    ISBN 978-1870141468
    £2.99

    There are five routes between Ludd Foot and Tod plus one at Ogden ranging from 7 to 12 miles, three are around Hebden and could easily be linked for a 20 mile plus route.

    Paul Hannon also publishes MTB guides to Aiire Valley and Wharfedale.

    It's worth the price of a sarnie and a packet of crisps.
    'nulla tenaci invia est via'
    FCN4
    Boardman HT Pro fully X0'd
    CUBE Peleton 2012
    Genesis Aether 20 all season commuter
  • Dave H very kindly sent me some routes. The Ogden loop is a top ride (although me and the Mrs got lost on our first attempt!!!). I've varied it every time I've done it and really enjoyed it.
    Interesting post about VS, lets just say I've yet to join them on a ride, I'll say no more.
    Be interested to know of clubs in Calderdale (I'm in Lightcliffe).
  • Hi MattRhino,

    The club I mentioned to Popeh which is based out of Pedalsports in King Cross have their club rides mainly starting from Elland Cricket Club - not too far from you? ... the idea being that there is a comfortable bar post ride. Plus, they put on a bite to eat for those that want it e.g. pasta etc. Suggest that you pop into the shop for a chat with Mark.
  • Cheers. I'll pop in and have a word.
  • I'd also recommend Blazing Saddles in Hebden...they've just moved, to where the model railway shop used to be...Alan and the gang are ace, and do great night and sunday rides from the shop...
  • PopehPopeh Posts: 115
    MattRhino wrote:
    Be interested to know of clubs in Calderdale (I'm in Lightcliffe).

    As LaSanta mentioned - the owner seems like a really great welcoming person. Number is 361460 (on his card) but it'd be better to call in like you said. They ride every Thursday meeting for 7 in Elland and split into different groups (MTB/Roadies/Newer etc).

    I said I'll call back once my health gets up to scratch which I'm just about happy with - don't think it's an issue but I like to be prepared.
    I'd also recommend Blazing Saddles in Hebden...they've just moved, to where the model railway shop used to be...Alan and the gang are ace, and do great night and sunday rides from the shop...

    They just moved into Hebden? Handy if they have - my riding mate has had to have repair work on his bike and lives in Hebden, but had to go to Pedal Sports as they only other one we knew of was Dougies in Mytholmroyd.
    - Marin 2005 East Peak
  • The Ernest Press 'Mountain Bike Guide to West Yorkshire' by Nick Dutton Taylor is worth picking up too, it has a few routes in that area.
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    Popeh wrote:
    They just moved into Hebden? Handy if they have - my riding mate has had to have repair work on his bike and lives in Hebden, but had to go to Pedal Sports as they only other one we knew of was Dougies in Mytholmroyd.

    They've been in Hebden for years - it used to be on the West End of Burnley Road, just near the zebra crossing but they've moved closer to the town centre now.
    Give a home to a retired Greyhound. Tia Greyhound Rescue
    Help for Heroes
    JayPic
  • For everyone Calderdale based you might be interested in the Calderdale Mountain Bike Marathon which is on Sunday 12th October.

    £15 entry fee, 26.3 miles, 0900hrs..

    START Sowerby SE039224
    Soyland SE033201
    Mytholmroyd SE006263
    Hebden Bridge SD995270
    H'castle Crags SD989291
    Midgley Moor SE031279
    Luddenden SE041261
    FINISH Sowerby SE045231

    http://www.cmbm.org.uk/index.html
    'nulla tenaci invia est via'
    FCN4
    Boardman HT Pro fully X0'd
    CUBE Peleton 2012
    Genesis Aether 20 all season commuter
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