Norcliffe Lane

Distance: 1887 metres, Ascent: 139 metres, route map

I like to think my navigation skills are OK. After all, I’m here now so I must have been able to find my way back from wherever I was before. My nav skills let me down on this ride though. Not with doing the actual ride which is a very simple process of following the road but with getting to the start. So I’ll explain things carefully so you don’t go bombing off in the wrong direction.

There’s a big junction with traffic lights in the middle of Hipperholme. Head from here briefly along the A58 towards Halifax and take the turning left into Tanhouse Hill. The road swings round to the right and after about 100 metres there’s a minor turning on the left for Station Road. There’s a blue notice here saying something about there being no through route to Brighouse but what I took it to mean was “No, Pete, this isn’t your road”.

I returned a while later clutching my OS map and headed along this no through route until I reached the junction with Badger Lane where I stopped and did some more map staring. Quite why it took me so long to head down Badger Lane I couldn’t tell you but I nearly got run over several times by the non-existent traffic from Brighouse.

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Badger Lane starts off looking fairly substantial but by the time you have freewheeled down to the bottom of the hill it has started to fizzle out. This is where it becomes Norcliffe Lane and where you need to start doing some fizzling of your own.

The climb starts next to a terrace of cottages and heads up to first a left-hand hairpin and then a gentler right-hand bend. The road is narrow and overgrown with vegetation crowding in from the sides and hanging down from above.

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The tarmac itself is in poor condition, just a patchwork of thin layers over a rough track. It’s a combination which means you’re unlikely to meet much traffic and can concentrate on working against the pull of gravity.

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Soon enough you hit the outskirts of Bank Top where the quality and width of the road both increase and you can speed on your way along what is now called Marsh Lane until you reach the junction at the end.

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