Day 21 — Halifax to Tottleworth via Tom Odell and Todmorden (twice)

by | Jul 1, 2024 | 0 comments

Family tickets to the Tom Odell concert at the stunning Piece Hall dictated that I start a week or more* riding through northern England by packing the bike in my wife’s car for a journey to Halifax.

The concert was great, and despite being well to the rear of the audience I grabbed some interesting iPhone shots.

(Prior to the concert watched the England match in a rough pub with daughter Hanna.)

Left Jude at the hotel in Ripponden and, from Sowerby Bridge, hooked up with (Sustrans) Route 66 which links up bits of the historic Rochdale canal.

In Todmorden I chatted the (industry) breeze with Mark Alker, co-owner of Singletrack magazine and website.

Riding in the pouring rain from Todmodern I reached Mereclough when I got an email from Mark said I’d left my specs in the Singletrack office. Bugger.

I got back to Tod before a text came through saying Mark had driven ten miles home — with my glasses — and where was I?

I turned around and slogged back to Holme Chapel to meet Mark who kindly brought my left behind specs. I refused the offer of a lift in his nice warm car (in the boot there’s a carrying rack that could have easily carried my bike) and squelched on through to Burnley, following the Leeds & Liverpool canal before soggily reaching the Dunkenhalgh hotel south of Tottleworth and a little west of Clayton Le Moors.

It’s a Mercure hotel, quite posh and I arrived caked in canal towpath filth.

The filth didn’t faze the hotel receptionist who, despite my state, said I’d been chosen as “guest of the day” and I’d been upgraded from a bogstandard single room to a signature suite. Get in!

This suite had several rooms, including a large bathroom in which I could clean up. (And I spent a while cleaning up the bathroom.)

With two huge tellies I could watch Channel 4 news in the bedroom and, at the same time, could catch the best bits of ITV 4’s Tour de France highlights in the lounge. Luxury!

The * above is because my plans are having to evolve. I had planned an 11 day trip, before a day back in Newcastle and then setting back out to ride more of northern England, but the atrocious weather means I’m now thinking of perhaps going back early. There are certain of the book loops that I have to capture in good light, and had been hoping for some glorious sunrises and sunsets, and some wild camping. It’s no point me riding some of the routes in pouring rain so I’m taking it day by day right now and — depending on the weather forecast — may spend more time at home than I’d planned. This will mean extra trips to mop up those routes I have to miss.

Meanwhile, I’ll be up at 4am tomorrow to catch the best of the light on a Forest of Bowland loop. Ninety or so hilly miles ahead of me, and more bloody rain in the afternoon! Some July!


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Ride Stats

  • Moving time
    04 hours 09 mins 42 seconds.

  • Elapsed time
    06 hours 22 mins 42 seconds.

  • Distance
    46.4 miles (74.7 km).

  • Elevation
    2,575 ft (785 m).

  • Average speed
    11.2 mph (17.9 km/h).

  • Max speed
    25 mph (40.2 km/h).

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