Distance: 1096 metres, Ascent: 126 metres, route map
There are a few rides that can be done around Walsden which share certain characteristics. They’re on some fairly modest no through roads which lead to farms up above the valley. The minor roads climb steeply upwards getting ever more minor as they do so . It’s not long before their overgrown tarmac gives way to rough farm track and the ride comes to a halt.
This is one of those rides, indeed it’s the pick of those rides. But, if you’re on something a little more substantial than your average road bike then this is one route that doesn’t need to stop when the tarmac does. You can follow the track over the tops all the way to Lancashire and an entertaining ride it is too.
For the road-based challenge, start on the Rochdale Road A6033 in Walsden across the road from the Post Office. The climb starts at the foot of Inchfield Road and does the standard Calderdale thing of going straight up the side of the valley. It’s only a short climb and so there isn’t time for much of the old not-very-steep bit and this ride gets straight on with things. A road sign warns you of that there may be horses around but they’re less likely to be a problem than vehicles as this is a narrow road but with a fair number of houses on the way. These seem to get older the higher up you get until you leave housing and reach farmland. The climb remains tough until you clear the trees and emerge onto the upland plateau. OK, “plateau” is hardly a fair description as it implies something flatter than you’ll find up here but you get the idea.
The top road is between two stone walls but with a generous amount of grass verge and nothing too challenging in the way of gradient to stop you from motoring on towards Foul Clough Farm. This route stops at the cattle grid but as mentioned before don’t let me stop you extending your adventure…