Stony Lane

Distance: 703 metres, Ascent: 83 metres, route map

Way, way back in time, during the previous millennium, BT announced that it was going to get rid of its old red telephone boxes and replace them with something more modern. There was the usual uproar. We’re a sentimental bunch and we like our red telephone boxes the way we like our routemaster buses, dreary weather and bland food so many of these phone boxes were adopted by local groups who pledged to look after them. But when it no longer houses a telephone just what are you supposed to do with an old telephone box? Dilapidated and unloved red boxes now litter the countryside.

The metropolis of Soyland Town has come up with a better solution – their old phone box is now home to a book exchange. And that’s where this ride ends – at the book exchange/telephone box in Soyland Town. So, pack an old paperback for this ride and expand your reading horizons. Got an old copy of “It’s not about the bike” that you want to get rid of? Now’s your big chance.

To get there of course you’ll need to do some cycling. But not so much as this is one of the shorter rides in the 50. It’s also one of the steepest and it’s pretty much steep all the way.

The starting point is near to the traffic lights in Ripponden. Head away from the lights towards Sowerby Bridge and take the first turn on the left. Royd Lane is a narrow side street between the houses that immediately starts its way uphill. About 100 metres up the road there’s a turning on the right which is Stony Lane. Turn right here and the climbing proper begins.

Unless you’re blessed with a generous range of gears you’ll be out of the saddle for most of the rest of the way. Actually, even with a generous range of gears you’ll probably be out of your saddle just so you can keep your front wheel on the ground. Keep an eye on the wall to your left as you climb. The bricks have been placed horizontally which provides a good visual indication of how steeply things are progressing.

As you get near the top things flatten out and the finishing line telephone box should be visible on your left just at the start of the buildings. Have your book handy.

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