Distance: 1719 metres, Ascent: 126 metres, route map
The important thing to remember is that Sowerby is a “sore bee” rather than a “sour bee”. The pronunciation shows the village’s Norse roots. Get it right and you’ll be buzzing.
This isn’t such a difficult route, the hardest part is in knowing where to stop. It’s one of those climbs where the steepest and most satisfying section is the one that gets you out of the valley. Once you’re on the tops the road does continue upwards but not at a constant gradient and it’s never particularly taxing. I’ve stayed with the name of the ride and decided to halt proceedings once you reach the church of St Peter’s in Sowerby.
The start is at the bottom of Sowerby Street where it joins the A58. Cycle uphill from the A58 with the entrance to Tesco’s on your right. The road soon turns to the right, renames itself Sowerby New Road and then works its way uphill in a fairly straight line and at a pretty steady gradient of no more than, say 8%.
Victorian terraces on both sides of the road give way to open fields and then 20th century semi-detacheds to the left. While the tree-lined road is all very much your leafy suburb on the left-hand side, the view through the trees to the right opens out into a great vista of the Pennine countryside.
As the road starts to level off a little you should see the Church Stile Inn on your left and the architecturally interesting St Peter’s Church to your right. You’re now in Sowerby village and once you reach the turning on your left for St Peter’s Avenue you’re done.
St Peter’s Church Sowerby (photograph: Betty Longbottom)
That’s it as far as this climb goes but now you’re here it’d be a shame not to keep going and see where the road takes you.