Distance: 2549 metres, Ascent: 179 metres, route map
This ride takes you from the civilised shelter of St John’s in the Vale up to the windswept moor top that was once home to Cragg Vale’s notorious coiners. Start on the road outside the Hinchliffe Arms and head away from the bridge and church to the West.
The road sweeps round a corner and splits with the right fork going through an elegant gatehouse. Leave that for another time and take the left fork and the road immediately steepens. Not for long however and things settle down into a steady climb between two walls on a poorly surfaced road with numerous drainage channels angled across it. As you rise out of the trees, and about a kilometre into the ride, you will see a small car park ahead by a dam wall topped with a wind turbine.
The road looks like it will come to an end at a gate but as you approach you’ll see that there’s a sharp right hander as the road stops zigging and starts zagging up the hillside. The zag is smoother tarmac and it’s easier to get into a rhythm.
After another kilometre the road swings round to the left and begins to level off near some houses. Just after the houses the tarmac heads right through a gateway (private) while the straight ahead option is a muddy track to a gate. Time to stop and take in the view.