Sunday 4th September 2016 – Big Ride – ‘TriRick’s Scammonden Reverse’ // 08:00am

Route Link: TriRick gpx
Distance: 70 miles
Elevation: 5,400 ft approx.
Moving time: Approx 5.5 hours – 6 Hours // Total Time approx 7 hours-7.5 Hours. (very approximate dependent on rider pace, length of lunch stop and general stops)
Start: 08:00 at St Mary’s Flower Park, Prestwich
Lunch: Rick to confirm – Hebden Bridge/Albion Farm Shop/Elsewhere.
Post Ride: All The Shapes, Warwick St., Prestwich (approx. 15:00 / 15:30)

Summary: A reverse of some routes we’ve done previous with some new roads thrown in. An absolute belter from Rick McGrath aka TriRick here. Taking in the hilly Saddleworth Moors, skirting the Yorkshire hills, ascending Cragg Vale and then a couple of beauties around Rishworth and Booth Wood.

Another 8am start from St Mary’s Flower Park, we set out for what’s sure to be another challenging but top day in the saddle.

We navigate east past Alkrington and Middleton before heading North towards Rochdale to pick up our first climb at New Hey. Tipping the climbing scales at around 2 miles at an average gradient of 6% this is a great climb. This one was super enjoyable on the reccy for this ride and it certainly doesn’t feel like you’re only a few miles from Oldham, the climb taking on an almost alpine like feel (obviously not in altitiude) as you are shaded by trees and the road winds up to the summit. The descent at the other side is a total hoot! Enjoy.

Hopefully you enjoyed that descent because almost immediately after Denshaw you are into another climb. This time it’s around 3 miles up and over Buckstone Pass into the moors and this is a beautiful part of the ride. I think on the reccy we had about 2 cars pass us on this whole stretch, so it’s a great climb to get your head up and take in the beautiful surroundings.

Turning left off Saddleworth Road, we have another fantastic descent. It’s one of those that’s just like being a kid again. If you enjoy descending that is. If you don’t, get your brakes on and your head up and just enjoy the views. Otherwise, enjoy the thrill of the ride and ease the legs before the next set of hills come into play.

We climb steadily out of Ripponden and here the route changes slightly from the reccy we did. We needed more miles, so miles 28-44 are tacked on. It’s some tack though. Some really lovely roads out this way and it’s the usual descent/hill/descent/hill profile that’s so typical of this area which takes us down to Sowerby Bridge. We have to take the main road between here and Mytholmroyd, as the lovely quiet descent of Scout Road is still closed but the end justifies the means as we use it to pickup the famous ascent of Cragg Vale. It could also be a top spot for your lunch break, as Hebden Bridge is just up the road and offers plenty of places to grab some food and drink. You’re going to be around 40 miles at this point with a shade over 30 to go.

Cragg is long and steady and depending what mood you and your legs are in, it can either be a nice steady tootle or it can feel like an endless drag. I’ve experience both and I know which one I prefer, so make sure you’ve got some energy for this one.

From the top of Cragg, at Blackstone Edge, we turn left and descend a couple of miles to pick up the original route that Rick provided by turning right at the Baitings Reservour. We follow the fantastically named ‘Back O’ Th’ Height’ road, turning off at Pike End Road to head towards Booth Wood. Here be dragons another steep climb. Better step it up for this one!

Coming out at Booth Wood, at the side of the Turnpike Inn, there awaits a long, and times steep, drag back towards the moor we passed earlier. If the wind is in your face then you’ll need to grit the teeth and dig deep on this long stretch and be mindful of the traffic especially at the motorway junctions. The height of the ascent leaves another option for lunch at Rams Head Inn but the cafe wasn’t very accommodating to us the last time we passed, so we instead opted descend and ride the short few miles to Albion Farm Shop on Oldham Road. This is an absolute corking lunch stop, with great views over Saddleworth, stonking food and nice staff. Highly recommended. At 57 miles it’s pretty far into the ride, so the decision can be taken by the group/Rick/Rob on the day.

From here you climb Oldham Road, naturally, and then it’s a steady tick-a-long back into Prestwich. Be mindful of the right turn – marked on the ride with gps route -at around mile 60, get in the right lane early, ready to turn onto Shaw Road.

After climbing Sheepfoot Lane to return to Prestwich, you’ll have earned every drop of the beer/beverage back at the clubhouse. Drink to the hills.

Safety and Ride Updates:

Here’s a link to some important information/safety stuff about our rides, please have a read before attending our rides.

Also, please visit the website, Facebook or Twitter channels periodically, and especially the day of the ride, to ensure nothing has changed. We sometimes have to make weather enforced changes to start times or in extremes may even have to cancel rides.

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