If you want to go out on a big bike ride for the day, and by the day we mean up to 24 hours maybe more; the Calderdale Big Dog provides such a challenge. The route exists after 7 local mountain bikers set out to conquer 50 of the best off road climbs in Calderdale. The route covers a 152 miles and climbs a staggering 23,000ft, big numbers in the world of mountain biking. At this point you are probably thinking why would a group of people attempt this? The simple answer was to raise funds for Bipolar UK and obviously complete the challenge of a lifetime. The team rose over £3K for the charity completing the route in 23 hours.
So how hard is the actual route….honestly pretty brutal, due to the route being based on climbs the route very much follows a up and down spiked profile with very little time spent on the flat lands just spinning away. If you are not familiar with the area Calderdale is made up of steep sided valleys that offer some of the best natural mountain biking in the UK.
Realistically not many people are going to attempt this ride in one go, think that is best left for the extreme and crazy few of the mountain bike community. However the route could be ridden over a number of days or simply pick a section and enjoy what Calderdale has to offer.
GPS log courtesy of Cycle Calderdale. A full route description for this ride is available on their website here: Calderdale Big Dog
Calderdale Circuit MTB GPS route is 18.3 miles long and starts in Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. It climbs west out of the town for a circular route around Calderdale. There is a good mixture of trails from tight singletrack to wide fast gravel tracks and some technical descending. You’ll need your climbing legs for this one as, although the total amount of climbing is not huge, it comes in big lumps.
GPS log courtesy of Flattyres-MTB. A full route guide for this ride is available on their website here: Calderdale Circuit
Hebden Bridge - Singletrack Route in Calderdale, West Yorkshire is a moderately graded 23.5 mountain bike ride. It starts in Hebden Bridge and follows a big loop to Todmorden and back. It contains some great riding, the first half of which takes in the moors and reservoirs of the area. The second half drops through Calderdale, past the outskirts of Todmorden, following the packhorse trails and singletrack that criss-crosses the valley on the way back to Hebden Bridge.
Kicks off from the car park in the centre of town, just over the bridge from St George's Square, near the A6033.
GPS log courtesy of Flattyres-MTB. A full route guide for this ride is available on their website here: Hebden Bridge - Singletrack Route
Hebden Bridge and the Bronte Way mountain bike route in Calderdale is graded Hard/ Difficult and is 21.4 miles long. It follows the trails across the moorlands north of Calderdale, in South Yorkshire. After starting from Hebden Bridge the route goes through Oxenhope, then along the Bronte Way to Ogden Water, before returning. It's a great ride with a mixture of terrain for the descents, which includes Pecket Well, and some big climbs that will get your legs burning. If you do this on a bad day bear in mind it can be a bit bleak on't moor, as there is nowhere to hide from the weather.
GPS log courtesy of Flattyres-MTB. A full route guide for this ride is available on their website here: Hebden Bridge and the Bronte Way.
This MTB route kicks off from Hebden Bridge and is 24.5km long.
GPS log courtesy of Cycle Calderdale. A full route description for this ride is available on their website here: Heading South Side
Starting at the cycle friendly Stubbing Wharf Pub Hebden Bridge this short (12.5 miles) mountain bike ride features some of the best descents in the area. This route is hilly compared to some of the other popular mountain bike locations in England and effort on the climbs is rewarded on the descents.
This ride features four great descents three of which will put a guaranteed smile on your face and offer experienced mountain bikers a good technical challenge.
GPS log courtesy of Cycle Calderdale. A full route description for this ride is available on their website here: MTB Great Descents Ride
A classic short mountain bike loop starting in the tourist town of Hebden Bridge. This ride is 13 miles long and graded hard. It takes in some great riding around Hardcastle Crags, Walshaw, Widdop, Blackshaw Head and Ragley. The route begins with a steady tarmac climb until the road rolls down to Hardcastle Crags. Just before the visitor car park there is a hidden bridleway to the right and the real challenge is clearing it without putting your foot down ‘dabbing’ over this very short but technical climb, both power and bike handling skills are needed to overcome the first real challenge of the day.
The route continues up through the Crags before you take a left up to Shackelton Knoll. This climb is steep on a good day and the time of year can really effect traction as you make your way to the top. A grass descent then drops you through a small hamlet and onto a fast section to Alcomden Water before climbing up to the Calder/Aire Link at Clough Foot.
GPS log courtesy of Cycle Calderdale. A full route description for this ride is available on their website here: Hebden Bridge MTB
This ride starts in the Upper Calder Valley town of Todmorden and dips two wheels firmly in the counties of Yorkshire & Lancashire. Featuring 5 challenging climbs of mixed terrain and variety of natural trails this mid distance mountain bike route is superb.
GPS log courtesy of Cycle Calderdale. A full route guide for this ride is available on their website here: Land Of Two Counties
The Rochdale Route in Calderdale is 29.5 miles long and is graded difficult / hard. It starts from the Watergrove reservoir on the Mary Towneley Loop and Pennine Bridleway at the North East edge of Rochdale. The ride circles Todmorden and drops through three steep sided valleys on the way, which includes some fantastic riding on the famous Calderdale packhorse trails. Be careful though as, while there are lots of rocks, in the wet this ride can be quite muddy in parts.
GPS log courtesy of Flattyres-MTB. A full route guide for this ride is available on their website here: The Rochdale Route
The Todmorden Packhorse mountain bike ride covers over 25km of terrain packing a punch and stamping its authority as a quality natural route.
The route begins in the town centre of Todmorden which boasts the steepest hills of all the Calderdale towns in our opinion and proves its worth from the off taking on ‘Pexwood Packhorse’ Calderdale off Road Climb 21. The climb is super steep and technical with the elevation gain surprising as you look down into the valley floor and admire the historic railway and canal architecture.
GPS log courtesy of Cycle Calderdale. A full route description for this ride is available on their website here: The Todmorden Packhorse
Starting at the Shepherds Rest Inn this mountain bike route takes in all the hills above Todmorden which has a unique 3 sided valley. The route starts with some great off road terrain in the form of the Pennine Bridleway and the first climb features Calderdale Off Road Climb 14. The route continues on an old pack-horse trail before sharply descending to the village of Walsden. At this point comes the biggest challenge on the ride in the form of Calderdale Off Road Climb 19, a mix of steep road and technical terrain up to the areas trig point. The next section on Limers Gate offers a fast fire road before linking into the regeneration project of Flower Scar Rd and the country road descent to Cornholme. Some challenging tarmac lies ahead before you enter some of the best natural mountain biking in the area and a technical descent to the valley floor. It’s uphill back to the start from here with one more installment of Pennine Bridleway descent.
GPS log courtesy of Cycle Calderdale. A full route guide for this ride is available on their website here: Above the Foxes Den
The route will leave Cycle Factory and head east on the A646 for riders to spin their legs and warm up before heading to the hills. The first climb of the day heads out the valley floor on the Strava segment known as the ‘Stoodley Lung Buster’. The aim on the day is to climb this fire style road at a steady pace to the top.
From Harvelin Park the route follows a flat section before climbing up to one of the popular climbs in the area ‘London Road’. This bridleway hugs the hillside and the climb is gradual to Swillington. The wind can feature and be in your face but fingers crossed the weather will be kind. On the final section to the farm gate there is a rock garden that can be ridden or bypassed depending upon one’s mood.
From Swillington the route follows a fast farm style road before heading to high ground on Whitaker Road. This part of the ride forms a loop of Erringden Grange and then retraces the steps back to Harvelin Park. On route the descent of London Road is a feature and rides well the majority of the year.
A short section of the bridleways and Pennine Bridleway around Mankinholes and Lumbutts takes you to the Top Brink Inn. There is a steep cobbled descent on offer for the braver riders and those that don’t fancy it can loop around through the car park. The route continues on the road climbing up to the Shepherds Rest Inn before heading off road for the final time descending into the heart of Todmorden. A simple roll on the main road back to Cycle Factory and you are done.
GPS log courtesy of Cycle Calderdale. A full route description for this ride is available on their website here: Project Test Ride
The Trail Mixer Route starts and finishes at the Todmorden Bike Shop the Cycle Factory. This 24.5 KM route gets its name for riding over the same ground twice on a certain section and cleverly linking into two different descents that are both first class and a technical challenge. This mountain bike ride also features a mass of packhorse trails and elements of the Pennine Bridleway.
From the off you leave the bike shop and head along the A646 towards Burnley, we recommend breaking off into Centre Vale Park and re-joining the main road at the other side of the park. About ½ a mile up the road up you head to the trails and climb up through heavy woodland track of Jumps Lane until you reach open moorland.
GPS log courtesy of Cycle Calderdale. A full route guide for this ride is available on their website here: Trail Mixer