Distance: 1595 metres, Ascent: 158 metres, route map
Bank House Lane takes a bit of finding. And then, once you’ve find it, it takes quite a bit of cycling.
To get to the start of any ride it’s always best to take a scenic route. With Bank House Lane that doesn’t reduce your options any because all the routes to get here are scenic. If you’re not worried about a taking your bike along some unmade roads then there is a track that roughly follows the course of the river from the middle of Luddenden village. Starting off with the Lord Nelson pub behind you there is a rough track that goes round to the left (west) of the church. This joins onto Mill Lane before a terrace of cottages and continues vaguely parallel to the river until it wants to take a hairpin left. Continue straight ahead along Cow Lane past a sweep of cottages on your right and you’ll find yourself at the foot of two climbs. Booth Hill climbs severely to your left while today’s ride of choice, that’s Bank House Lane to your right, has pretty little bridge under some trees and maybe even a donkey in a field. It presents a much more inviting challenge.
It’s a trap of course. Bank House Lane turns out to be yet another one of those Calderdale roads where the local highways department had a moment of madness and decided to lay some tarmac on a highly unsuitable track. Oh, the laughs they must have had.
But, because it’s there, it has to be climbed so off you go. It soon becomes alarmingly steep and the narrow road weaves its way into the woods upwards ever upwards.
If you can stop worrying for a moment about being able to breathe then you might appreciate quite how attractive your surroundings are. Not for too long though as you’ll soon be rattled on your seat when the tarmac gives way, firstly to some concrete and then some cobbles. They’re mercifully brief and it’s not long before you suddenly clear the trees and can see quite how much height you’ve gained in such a short time. The road continues to rise but after a couple of turns to the left things relax a little. I wouldn’t say it’s flat but you’ll want to be out of your smallest gear.
Pick up some speed as you head towards the Give Way sign at the T-junction. It’s a sharp pull up to your right but then you’re on the tops and can motor along Wainstalls Lane towards the crossroads and the Crossroads Inn.