MTB/Road Ride – Cycleway to Sowerby Village

Lisa wanted to do another ride out from Hebden Bridge along the Calder Valley Cycleway today. She's still building up her confidence on the bike so she wanted to steer clear of busy roads where possible. She's also still building up her fitness, so she wanted to avoid doing too many hills – a bit tricky round here unless you just ride up and down the cycleway and Rochdale canal towpath all day.

I didn't want to just ride back the way we were heading out, so I planned to take us off the cycleway just before Sowerby Bridge and climb up to Sowerby village, then come back along the quiet lanes through Boulder Clough, and down Scout Road to Mytholmroyd, then rejoining the cycleway to Hebden Bridge. That's quite a nice route for a novice cyclist – scenic and a bit of a challenge, but not a leg-breaker.

I couldn't make my mind up whether to call this a road ride or a MTB ride since it was done on my MTB but there was as much road as there was offroad and the offroad stuff was only cycleway and towpath, nothing at all gnarly. You could do the ride on a road bike if you wanted to. Maybe you wouldn't want to do it on your best road bike, but I certainly wouldn't have a big problem with subjecting my Basso to it.

The weather wasn't  great when we set off. In fact, I had my winter cycling clothing on again. It was overcast and cool, with rain threatening.

As we proceeded down the valley, however, things started to improve.

Calder Valley Cycleway at Brearley
Calder Valley Cycleway at Brearley

(Lisa had stopped for a quick drink of tea – No sports carbo-drinks for her!)

It's nice down the cycleway. The only negative really is that the A646 is just a couple of hundred yards away so traffic noise is usually there in the background.

We continued to our turn-off where we left the cycleway and crossed the river to ride up the hill to join the Pennine Cycleway (NCN 68). It climbs up to Sowerby village, and then heads over to Mytholmroyd on quiet roads.

Wainhouse Tower above Sowerby Bridge
Wainhouse Tower above Sowerby Bridge

I stopped on the climb to take a photograph facing down the hill into Sowerby Bridge. In the background, you can see Wainhouse Tower near King Cross in Halifax.

Towards the top of the hill we turned right and headed towards Boulder Clough on a quiet road with scenic views.

Boulder Clough

It wasn't long before we came to what I call The Munsters' House. It's an old Methodist church that has been converted into several flats. It reminds me of the house that The Munsters lived in (The Munsters was a 60s US sitcom about a family of monsters). It's an interesting building.

Munsters' house, Boulder Clough
“Munsters' house”, Boulder Clough

Soon we descended Scout Road back into Mytholmroyd where we attempted to go for coffees. Mytholmroyd wasn't having any of it. Apparently ‘Royd doesn't ‘do' Wednesdays… 😉 It was only 3 pm, and both the cafes we tried were shut.

We continued along the cycleway back to Hebden Bridge and went to a different cafe for a change – Cafe Belview. It is run by an Italian family and is located in the new block of buildings next to the market car park. The cafe has a few tables out the back overlooking the river so we sat out there watching the ducks and drinking our coffees.

We packed up, went home and as soon as I walked in the door, it started raining! That's the way to do it… 🙂


I'd put a new inner cable on for the front derailleur, but hadn't pulled quite enough through before fixing it. As a result, I still couldn't get into the big chainring! I adjusted it after I got home.

I also lowered the MTB's Deda Dog Fang chain keeper. It had been fixed too high up on the seat tube and the chain was getting stuck on it when it missed the small chainring.

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