Mountain Biking, Sunday 29 May

By Nigel Koenen

Five ski club members joined Monica Boland who had organised the event and was leading the route on a wet bank holiday morning. We met in Diggle at the Sam Road car park and got under way about 10.30am.

Although it was windy throughout the ride the rain had abated somewhat as we climbed out of Diggle. Our first test was a road closure in Kilngreen, which prompted a detour along a footpath, crossing a stream and rejoining the road on the far side of closure. We then picked up the Pennine Bridleway (PBW) which runs parallel to the railway and the Huddersfield canal, down to Uppermill (as its name suggests an old cotton spinning town which was situated here because of the water supplies). Uppermill has many imposing buildings which implies glories of past grandeur! Also the area is a haven for brass bands. The Sam Road car park is near a band building and the PBW skirts the headquarters of the Uppermill brass band.

There was a good riding surface and we quickly arrived in Greenfield, crossing the main road and canal again for a climb up past Saddleworth golf club onto a section of the Delph donkey trial into Dobcross village. We then rode up onto Long lane and onto Harrop edge; a wide track with grit and cobbles, where we had a buffeting from the wind but had good views of the surrounding countryside. Next was a good downhill section onto A62 for 1/2 mile before dropping down to Cattleshaw reservoirs and back onto the PBW and a pull up to Standedge the highest point of day at 400metres.

We again crossed the A62 but then were rewarded with a good technical down hill descent again on the PBW all the way back into Diggle. It just started raining hard as we loaded our bikes into cars.

I would like to thank Monica for all her efforts in researching the ride of approx 11miles which had many points of interest and also history of the area and could be ridden by anyone with moderate biking skills.