Road… Ride of the Falling Leaves

In honour of the ‘Race of the Falling Leaves’ which takes place tomorrow in Italy (Il Giro di Lombardia, The Tour of Lombardy), I decided to nip out this afternoon and do a ‘Ride of the Falling Leaves’. Autumn is suddenly upon us and the local hills are looking lovely as the leaves turn golden brown. I didn’t have much time, so I just headed for one of the finest of the local steep-sided wooded valleys – the glorious Luddenden Dean…

The sun was shining and it was good to be away from the computer, if only for 90 minutes or so.

I climbed up to Pecket Well, turned right for Old Town and then on up to Heights Road, pausing on the way to take a picture of Dodd Naze, with Hebden Bridge nestling in the valley below, and Heptonstall on the hillside opposite.

Dodd Naze, Hebden Bridge, Heptonstall
Dodd Naze, Hebden Bridge, Heptonstall

It is evidently silly season. I rounded a bend on Heights Road to find a car coming towards me on my side of the road. I gently indicated to the driver that he might be better driving on his left; this the UK, don’t you know! Another driver did the same thing a couple of bends further on. If I’d been driving a car I certainly wouldn’t have been able to squeeze into the small gap he’d left me.

Once, I had a woman overtake me round a blind bend up there. I caught up with her 5 minutes later with her car embedded in the front of a van which had been coming the other way. Fortunately, neither driver was injured. I can’t get my head round people cornering on the wrong side of the road when Lord-knows-what could be coming the other way…

I turned left in Midgley and headed up the lane along the western edge of the Luddenden valley. As expected, it was looking great in its autumn finery.

Here’s a a picture of Oats Royd mill in the valley below me. It’s a listed building, now being converted into luxury flats. It is great that these old buildings are being preserved. There isn’t much demand for such large industrial premises round here these days, and mills were just being left to rot. The lucky people who can afford such properties have fantastic views to enjoy.

Oats Royd mill, Luddenden
Oats Royd mill, Luddenden

There was a lot of gravel on those roads, obvious evidence of the recent flash-flooding in the area. It made some of the descents a bit tricky.

I took Jerusalem Lane back towards Booth; it is one of my favourite lanes.

Autumn trees, Luddenden Dean
Autumn trees, Luddenden Dean

After that fine little valley, I plunged down to Luddenden Foot and had to cross the busy A646. Shucks, back to reality…

I decided to test my legs gaining some altitude as quickly as possible, and get back to quieter roads. Jerry Fields Road, Brooks, Shield Hall Lane, and Steep Lane are pretty, er… steep!

Soon, I descended to Mytholmroyd and headed home on the Calder Valley Cycleway to avoid the evening traffic.

It was only a 15 mile ride but it crammed 2,100 feet of climbing in (24 km, 650 m). A nice little trip on the bike.

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4 Responses to “Road… Ride of the Falling Leaves”

  1. I can’t get my head round people cornering on the wrong side of the road when Lord-knows-what could be coming the other way… yes I know what you mean….I live at Old Town and the place where cars overtake me that always amazes me is the sharp bend below Pecket Well on Keighley Road…they must be mad!!!!

  2. Hi Charlie.

    Mad drivers – yes indeed!

    I was out cycling with a friend once, heading from Old Town down towards Midgley and he was ahead of me just about to go round the right hand bend by the cottages before you come to the woods. From my position further back, I could see round the back of the cottages to the road further on. I spotted two cars coming the other way at a ridiculous speed and it seemed to me that they were racing and weren’t about to slow down for the bend. I called out a warning but my friend was already at the bend as the cars came round and were almost upon him. He had to swerve off the road to avoid being hit and ended up crashing, sustaining some very nasty ‘road rash’. Both drivers failed to stop and seemed completely unconcerned about what they had done; perhaps they didn’t even notice? I screamed at them as they went by. It made me feel better, but they just sped off without a care in the world. Unfortunately, we didn’t get their numbers… 👿

  3. site just gets better and better, well done for persevering with it ! i truly hope in time it can help contribute towards your living costs.

  4. Hi Andy.

    The site has become just a bit of an online cycling and walking diary really. I had intended to post detailed maps of my routes, GPX files (for people with GPS units) and so on but I didn’t get round to doing that. As for making money… I’ve made about £2 so far but perhaps I’ll eventually come up with a viable money-making scheme!

    Let me know when you’ve picked up your new bike and we can ride out to somewhere nice while we still have a few hours of daylight and the roads aren’t covered in ice!

    CJ

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