Spanning West Yorkshire and Lancashire, this mostly off road 80km loop takes in the best gravel tracks of the South Pennines. There is very little flat on the route but the terrain is varied and the scenery is spectacular. A glorious summer off roader.
Distance: 80km | Elevation: 2,200m
Ride Difficulty 4/5
Technical Difficulty 4/5
Percentage of Route Off Road 80%
Terrain & Bike Choice: The route is largely off road (80%) on a mix of gravel, singletrack, bridleway & even some pave on the famous Cotton Famine Road. A hardtail mountain bike will be ideal for comfort though a gravel bike will be good for experienced riders.
Countdown to June 18th
– Glorious 80km off road loop in the South Pennines
– Varied terrain from grass, gravel tracks and backroads
– Ride over moorland, past canals and over cracking climbs in the South Pennines
– Social drink at the finish village
Wardle: 80km, 2200m
This circular loop is up or down almost the entire way and mostly off road. A modified version of the Mary Towneley Loop taking in some backroads to give you some relief from the bumpy terrain.
Our first major climb of the day is over the Cotton Famine Road, a legendary section built during the American Civil War. This takes us to the highest point on the route at 466m and is followed by a long off road descent to Clough. The route then rolls up and down over the northern part of the loop with almost no flat sections until hitting a punchy 2.5km off road climb through the woods near Hebden Bridge. From here, the last 15km is probably the easiest of the ride without any nasty climbs before a beer and food back at base.
After such a long off road section, we have a fast and welcome 14km back on the tarmac before one last gravel climb before a long (14km) descent part on gravel and part on tarmac. In total there 5 main climbs, 4 of which are gravel on a lumpy but very rewarding route.
Physical Difficulty: 4.5/5
What type of bike should I ride?
The route is almost entirely off road with loads of climbing & descending. For good bike handlers, a gravel bike will be great but most people do this on a hardtail mountain bike.
How do I find out my start time?
We will send you an email after you have booked to choose your start time between 8am and 10am, if you are riding with a friend you can choose to start with them.
Where is the start / finish?
The ride starts and finishes in Wardle near Rochdale. There is free parking onsite as well as toilets & refreshments.
What happens if I have a mechanical / accident?
We have first aiders & mechanics at all the feed stops and ride captains along the route to support.
What shall I pack with me for the ride?
You need to have a water bottle, basic kit to repair punctures, inner tubes & riding with a helmet is compulsory. Our feed stops have water, coke, cake, fruit & the best tasting sports nutrition bars & nut butters from Outdoor Provisions.
When will I get my GPX file
Our local team do a final recon ride 1 week before the event and can make final tweeks then based on route conditions. We will then send out the route GPX within one week of the ride.