Based around nearly 10km of non-stop singletrack, this challenging Cumbrian route is one to savour — just don't underestimate it!
This classic ride in the Howgill Fells is a loop which can rival the best the Lakes has to offer — but without the traffic that can blight the best Lakeland trails.
It takes you up into the mountains of Cumbria to experience a natural and otherwise fairly inaccessible piece of singletrack beside Bowderdale Beck, before returning you back to the start.
There are no shortcuts so don’t take this ride lightly — when you set off you have to be prepared for the whole hog, with no half-measures.
The ride naturally splits into three sections; the initial climb, the singletrack descent, and the return leg home.
Starting from Sedbergh and after a quick tour of the streets, it’s straight into the main climb where you gain over 500m of altitude in one hit courtesy of a slow but steady crawl up a grassy hillside — beware the false summit!
After taking in the views and reaching the top of the Calf you have nearly 10km of non-stop singletrack ahead of you, so just find a good pace and enjoy.
It starts steep and gradually flattens out until it eventually hits a gentle uphill before reaching a road in Bowderdale. This signals the start of the final section that will test your navigation skills, your gate-opening etiquette and, above all, your enthusiasm. At least there’s multiple options for a food stop in Ravenstonedale in case the latter is waning.
Expect lots of fields, roads, tracks, undulations, wrong turns and, every now and then, a thoroughly enjoyable rocky gulley descent before Sedbergh appears ahead. Never have pain and pleasure so perfectly coincided.