Taking a departure from our usual stomping grounds, in weather that we hope to get for the rest of summer, our ride for today started at Holme Chapel, heading down through Todmorden into the market town of Hebden Bridge.
Our route was to take us over Cragg Vale, made famous in the 2014 Tour de France, the longest uninterrupted ascent in England, rising almost 1,000 feet in 5.5 miles. Respect for this climb could be seen all along the road surface where fans had written the names of famous cyclists, Wiggo being a prominent feature. Other noticeable additions were kilometre markers across the road. I'm not sure whether knowing how far we still had to climb helped, or hindered.
Once at the top we took a well deserved rest by the edge of Blackstone Edge Reservoir, before the long descent through Littleborough to Hollingworth Lake for our scheduled lunch stop.
After lunch we returned through Littleborough before heading north back towards Todmorden, where the medium and short distance riders parted company.
The short ride heading over Sharneyford into Bacup, and then returning to the start via Deerplay moor.
Those on the medium ride, turned right towards Mankinholes and Eastwood, past Yorkshire's answer to the New York Flatiron building (see photos), before dropping back into Hebden Bridge along the canal towpath for coffee and cakes at "The Electric Bike Den" (where we did not succumb to the charms of the electric motor!.)
Refreshments over, and as temperatures reached almost 30 degrees, we headed for Church Lane and the "ascent" to Blackshaw Head (even electric assist wouldn't get you up here!), before returning to the start along the Long Causeway to Mereclough and Cliviger.