Hi all -
I propose to lead an away trip to Calderdale - on Wednesday 18th - Thursday 19th September, its an area you've probably never thought about for mountain biking - being bleak and uninspiring and full of run down mill towns. Think again - the trails here are as good as our local ones and some of those old towns have become desirable places to live.
There are steep technical single track routes, trails over the high moors with extensive views, together with some really steep climbs (if you like them) and you will be following old cobbled and paved packhorse routes along the way; there is even an attractive canal side trail. To get a flavour of the area look at the Flat Tyres mtb site http://flattyres-mtb.co.uk/route-guides/yorkshire-mtb-routes/, Pedal North http://pedalnorth.com/pennine-hills-mountain-bike-routes/ and Cycle Calderdale. https://www.cyclecalderdale.co.uk/route/category/mtb
Its all not too far away either; Kendal to Hebden Bridge is about 1hr 30 min to 2.00 hrs via the M6 and M65.
The plan is to go away for 2 days though if you like it you might want to stay for longer or even go down earlier and stay for 2 nights. Hebden Bridge has a range of accommodation but the favourite is the Hebden Bridge hostel (AKA Mama Weirdigan's) http://www.hebdenbridgehostel.co.uk which has a range of accommodation from £15 in a bunk room and £20 in a dorm to £55 for a twin and £75 for a 4 family room. A cereal breakfast is included. More upmarket possibilities exist nearby. The hostel has car parking (to be reserved at time of booking), though no indoor accommodation for bikes (they can be locked up, or accommodated on or in the cars). There is a hosepipe for bike washing, though no indoor drying room. It is a bit quirky as no meat or fish is allowed in the hostel (eggs OK) and indoor slippers should be brought.
There are plenty of pubs to eat out in within walking distance.
I had originally thought about doing the Mary Towneley loop of the Pennine Bridleway over two days but this has certain logistical issues and would make for a couple of very long committing days especially with driving down or back on the same day.... so perhaps another year. By doing two shorter circular routes we will still get to ride some of the Pennine Bridleway route and get a flavour of the area; its all weather dependant and the precise routes will have to depend on who is interested and the weather on the day.
However, plan A will be to drive down and meet at GR956247; this is a picnic area on the A646 between Todmorden and Hebden Bridge to do the Hebden Bridge Single Track route see http://flattyres-mtb.co.uk/route-guides/yorkshire-mtb-routes/hebden-bridge-singletrack-route/ or a variant of it; the full route is c 38km but it could be shortened. The meet up time will be 10.30 - hopefully ready to roll. The plan is to have a break in Hebden Bridge at the Hebble End Cafe for an early lunch or late 11ses with a further stop along the way for a picnic lunch.
On the Thursday we could do the Hebden Bridge and Bronte Way route see http://flattyres-mtb.co.uk/route-guides/yorkshire-mtb-routes/hebden-bridge-and-the-bronte-way/ at c 34.5km or something shorter if folks want to get back earlier.
If you are interested, and I'll go anyway, please let me know asap - at the moment the hostel has plenty of space for the Wednesday night and if you want to share a 4 bed room with me I can sort that out with the hostel for the first 3 takers, otherwise book direct.