gRVOL Ride

So, I rode the route on Saturday in …. interesting weather conditions. With some stops for photos, some route option checking, and some faffing. It took me 6.5 hours. Frankly, it’s what I wanted it to be – a big ride that I can use for Tour Divide training, on that bike, that will give me a minor pummelling.


Basic stats:
40/60 – road/off-road mix – where the roads = back roads and cobbles.
95/99km in distance.
3,250 ish METERS of climbing.
Many, many food options…well some anyway.


Starts at Hebden Bridge, at the Carpark beside the pedestrian area – then up a nice little opener to Heptonstall….yes, nice.
0-10km has 550m of climbing – if you’re not happy after this, possibly turn around, ride some trails, go to the pub. This is probably the easiest bit of the route.
10-35km – mixture of some road, mostly off-road on gravel, bridleway, grass, some packhorse. All ridable -the most technical bit of riding on the whole route is on this bit, on the way to Wycoller.
35-60km – Industrial North, road + cobbles + climbs. Once through the bridge at Colne it’s the original RVOL route with some tweaks.
60-85km – Back into Yorkshire over the tops on a mixture of gravel – road – bridleways – some random trails. High, and exposed to the wind.
85-95km – Calderdale at its finest. You drop into Tod – then up to the top again, along London Road, then down a nice descent to finish you off.


Don’t bother trying to ride this on a road bike – it’s not the RVOL.
Seriously, don’t.
You’ll easily get a CX bike, with decent volume tyres around it – if you’re the kind of rider who thinks it’s quite normal to ride CX bikes around the 3 Peaks.
A rigid MTB would be fine. It’s what I used.
It’s definitely singlespeedable – but the road sections may suck a bit.
Suspension, sure, why not. But there is nothing you really need it for TBH.


There are some steep downs – obviously you’d be smart and watch your speed and watch out for other users.
Due to building works on the Clowbridge Reservoir – and the Bridleway across it, the route diverts up a footpath, the way everyone else has been – naughty, but it’s the current diversion in place. Obviously you’d walk this.
In order to get onto the RVOL loop at Colne, there is some footpath at the side of the river for 500m. Obviously you’d walk this.
The Pennine Bridleway still has gates. Close them after you.


Not going to lie. This route is harder, and better, than what I thought it was going to be. I’m quite, quite happy with it.

I’ll be riding out from Hebden at 9am on Sunday morning from the carpark –  – info here for 7 Days


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