Road Ride – Old Town and Mill Bank

We are having a spell of nice sunny spring weather here at the moment. That’s especially good news for the weekend because I am meeting up with a few of my cycling buddies to do a favourite local cycling event – Spring Into The Dales.

I wanted to get out for a while this afternoon, and go somewhere I hadn’t been to this year so far so I chose the village of Mill Bank. It isn’t far off my usual Cragg Vale loop but there is a network of little lanes on the hills above Mytholmroyd so there are many possible variations, all of them scenic, and on quiet roads.

It would have been a shorter ride than I wanted to do if I’d gone straight through Mytholmroyd, so instead I climbed the Keighley Road to Pecket Well, turned off through Old Town and proceeded along Heights Road to Midgley.

I stopped to take a picture across the Calder Valley.

Mytholmroyd and the Calder Valley

Mytholmroyd is down below, and the hillside behind Mytholmroyd was where I was headed. After a quick descent into Mytholmroyd, I had a bit of a struggle to get out onto the A646. I’d chosen a bad time, with many people finishing work early on Fridays. Eventually, I spotted a gap in the traffic, did 50 yards along the main road, and then took a left turn up Cragg Road. I usually go all the way up to Blackstone Edge, but I’d decided to go up Scout Road instead. That’s the first left after going under the railway line.

And that was the last of the traffic! For the next hour and a half I was back on my beloved lanes again. Scout Road climbs up through Scout Wood where I stopped to take more pictures.

Scout Road in Scout Wood

I meandered about the hills, passing through Hubberton Green, Cottonstones and eventually over to the charming village of Mill Bank.

Looking back at Mill Bank

There’s a very steep descent from the village into a valley, followed by a tough climb back up the other side. I spotted some highland cattle in a field beside the road and that gave me an excuse to stop to take some more pictures. I’ve liked highland cattle since I was a boy – they remind me of my annual summer holidays back to my mother’s village on the west coast of Scotland.

Highland cow

Having remounted, I finished the climb feeling fairly pleased at my fitness progress. The last time I rode up there I found it really hard, whereas today it was just, er… tough!

A short stint along Blue Ball Road took me back onto my normal Cragg Vale loop and after another few miles of little hills and lanes, I was back On Scout Road descending back to Mytholmroyd again. As usual, I used the Calder Valley Cycleway to get home to avoid the traffic on the A646.

The wind had been a bit fierce at times, and surprisingly chilly, but it was great to be away from the computer for a few hours in the sunshine.

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2 Responses to “Road Ride – Old Town and Mill Bank”

  1. I love the view in those top two photographs.

  2. Yes, there is certainly some splendid cycling countryside round here. Those pictures were taken only about 20 minutes ride from where I live.

    I’ve been using a new camera for this blog. It’s a tiny Fuji and it’s very handy for carrying on the bike or when walking. The only thing is, it is nowhere near as good as my old Olympus at getting the exposures right on automatic, and I haven’t worked out how to use the manual controls. That third picture of Mill Bank looks gloomy, and that is after I’ve post-processed the image. The sun was actually shining but you wouldn’t think it from that snap. The first one doesn’t really show how sunny it was either. You can see from the one taken in the woods that it was a nice day. It’s quite frustrating, because the camera is obviously capable of taking good pictures. I must read the user guide and practice using manual control.

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