Road Ride – Heights Road, Blackstone Edge

It was a fine sunny day, temperatures about 10-12 degrees C and I fancied getting out on the road bike again so I decided to do a figure-of-8 route totalling about 40 km (25 miles).

The route: Hebden Bridge, Pecket Well, Old Town, Heights Road, Midgley, Luddenden Foot, Boulder Clough, High Stones Hill, Turkey Lodge, B6138 to Blackstone Edge, Baitings Reservoir, Blue Ball Lane, Hubberton Green, Scout Road, Mytholmroyd, Calder Valley Cycleway, Hebden Bridge. It has some nice steady climbs and a lot of short steep ones. Great views-a-plenty. A fairly action-packed little route which is one of my local favourites.

There was a stiff breeze blowing from the SW when I set off and I knew from experience that it would make the exposed climb of Soyland Moor to Blackstone Edge hard work. Still, it was helping me up the hill to Pecket Well at the start of the ride when my legs hadn't yet warmed up.

My legs felt pretty stiff from Sunday's ride but I can feel that I am getting stronger. I just need to get a few hundred more hilly miles in and I'll be making good progress with my fitness.

I took it nice and easy round to Midgley, just enjoying the views and the sunshine. There were still a few patches of snow in high sheltered spots, but it definitely felt like Spring – at long last!

I did a quick descent to Luddenden Foot and across the busy A646, and then it is straight into some very stiff climbing. The route gains about 240 metres in 3.5 km but about 0.75 km of that is pretty flat so the rest averages close to 9% with quite a few stretches at more like 17%.

As predicted – when I emerged onto the climb to Blackstone Edge, the wind was making it's presence felt. It was whipping up small waves on the reservoir at the top of the climb. I can tell you the exact speed of the wind – it was 20 kph. How do I know? Well, when I turned left at the junction, the wind was behind me and I could hear it until I got up to 20 kph when all suddenly went quiet. As I accelerated I started going faster than the air and sensed a headwind. It was a pretty fast descent and soon I was spinning out so I just got my head down and freewheeled to my left turn. Even without pedalling, I hit 77 kph (48 mph).

Back over the lanes to Mytholmroyd, and then home on the Calder Valley Cycleway. A nice little run.

I've decided that I'm going to try to ride for at least 10 hours a week from now until the end of the autumn. Ideally, I'd do that all year round, but not when we get winters like the one just gone. If there is no snow and ice, why not!

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2 Responses to “Road Ride – Heights Road, Blackstone Edge”

  1. Was a lovely day for a ride!

  2. It sure was!

    I found the winter really hard going psychologically. The valley here can seem very oppressive in dark, gloomy conditions. The fact that I’m working from home doesn’t help because I can be stuck indoors for days at a time without seeing anybody.

    Anyway, enough of that – spring may not officially be here until the end of March, but in terms of weather, it has clearly already arrived – whoopee!

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