Wood Lane and Gibb Lane

Distance: 2141 metres, Ascent: 147 metres, route map

Two climbs for the price of one, linked by a section of undulating road that takes you past Long Can Hall and through the newbuild of Fountainhead Village. When I rode it, Long Can Hall was intriguingly advertising its soon to be award-winning food. It wasn’t clear whether they had been told they were going to win an award but hadn’t yet received it, or were just a bit cocky about the quality of their cuisine. I didn’t stop to find out because I was on a mission. Another time maybe.

The starting point for the ride is on Wood Lane at the junction with Hebble Vale Drive. From here follow the tarmac of Wood Lane up round the corner and between some slightly crumbly stone walls. The construction of the road is quite obvious as stone setts are visible to either side of the thin ribbon of tarmac. It’s a straightforward enough climb rising upwards as you pass under the railway arch towards the junction with Ovenden Wood Road.

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Indeed, this first climb exists just to warm you up for the second. At the top of Wood Lane, you need to turn right and it can be a tricky junction if you’re poised, clipped in to your pedals just as traffic approaches. But it’s not a busy road so more likely than not you’ll get away with it. Now head along the flat past Long Can Hall. It’s an easy kilometre before you reach the junction of Riding Lane and Gibb Lane. You can easily spot which way you’re going by the start of the stone setts. Yup – you’ve got to climb them. This is a much tougher proposition than the first climb. In truth there’s only 400 metres of the cobbled section but it’s enough to make you grimace.

If you only had the time to look around you, you’d be able to appreciate that this is a very attractive rural route, all leafy trees and crumbling stone walls. When I did this climb, I overtook a runner near the bottom and could hear his footfall behind me all the way up the hill. He finally drew level with me towards the end of the steepest cobbled section.

Once you’re clear of the stonework the hard part is over. It’s an easy enough ride from here to the finish which is at the junction with Moor End Road.

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