Although there was snow on the ground at daybreak four plucky riders braved the conditions and set out from Cliviger in wet conditions. Some squally showers through Todmorden and Littleborough justified an early brew at Hollingworth Lake. The rain and sleet relented after this stop and the long climb of Blackstone Edge was tackled with help from a nice tailwind. Descending towards Ripponden we forked left before Baitings Dam into the Blue Ball lanes - so called because of the Blue Ball pub on that road. The pub has now closed and been converted into private houses but they still have kept the Blue Ball over the door.
The secret to these lanes is to keep turning left to keep your height on the ridge and we were rewarded with some fine views of Halifax, Huddersfield and even caught sight of Ferrybridge Power Station in the far distance. Eventually it is necessary to make the steep descent of the valley side into Mytholmroyd and the aftermath of the recent floods was much in evidence here as also in Hebden Bridge - some cafes were closed - that's how bad it was! But we found somewhere eventually.
What goes around comes around as they say and the morning tailwind had to be paid for. Leaving Hebden Bridge centre we walked up the steep cobbled lane that comes out on the Blackshawhead road. In plummeting temperatures and stiff headwind the climb to Slack Bottom and Top, Colden and Blackshawhead was tough enough and felt more than the 11 miles it was. The sunset casting a warm glow on Pendle Hill and a fast descent to Cliviger and anticipation of warm soaks in the bath completed this 38 mile ride.