The Calder Divide Trail Challenge – new bikepacking route

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Perhaps you’ve missed out on the Jenn Ride, or are inspired by the HT550? Or maybe you just want to do every route that’s out there, or raise some money for a good cause. Calderdale resident Adrian Wright has devised this route in memory of his good friend Will Norman. You can join in the first Calder Divide Challenge to raise funds for the hospice that cared for Will in his last days.

Calder Divide Challenge 17th / 18th September 2022

  • 98 / 124 / 152 mile options
  • Suitable for gravel bike or MTB
  • Entry field of 100 riders
  • Entry fee is £40, in aid of Overgate Hospice
  • Campsite with basic facilities £5
  • Campsite with luggage transfer £15
  • Limited availability on the campsite option
  • Entries close July 29th 2022
  • With the generosity of our partners we are able to offer a brilliant selection of spot prizes including bikepacking bags, cycling caps, t-shirts as well as useful bike accessories. No ‘on the day’ entries – We need to know how many pie n peas to order!
  • Enter here.

The Inspiration: Will Norman (1979 – 2021)

The Calder Divide Trail Challenge is a tribute to the memory of local rider Will Norman. Will was part of a mountain bike group called ‘Bike Club’. Tragically Will died last year from cancer. We lost a riding buddy. His partner Liz lost a friend and a husband. Their two children lost a father.

Will’s last few days were in the care of Overgate Hospice and so the Calder Divide Trail Challenge will aid the work of the hospice.

Will joined ‘Bike Club’ after a chance meeting in a pub called the Big 6. The photos show Will as I remember him, enjoying bike rides with a group of local lads in the hills and on the moors around Halifax, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden. In the photo below Will is the rider in blue with the big smile. He always had that smile. He always had time for a chat. He always looked forward to the next ‘big ride’ out on the moors. He would have been on the start line.

Adrian Wright

The Route

Riders follow a circular route from the event HQ in Mytholmroyd along the River Calder to Hebden Bridge, up into the hills and over to Castleford where the Calder meets the River Aire before heading to Marsden then Todmorden and back to Mytholmroyd.

Riders have three routes to choose from:

  • a short route of 98 miles and around 9,000 feet of climbing,
  • a medium route of 124 miles and around 10,000 feet of climbing,
  • a long route of 152 miles with 12,950 feet of climbing.

Each route is approximately 80% off-road and has a mix of bridleways on the high Pennine Moors, or ‘tops’ as locals call them, gravel tracks on the low floodplain, traffic free greenways through Cleckheaton and Wakefield and quiet country roads through small towns like Hebden Bridge, Kirkburton and Marsden.

The 152 mile long route takes in three very steep and technical descents down weather beaten bridleways. On a gravel bike these sections will be very challenging but experienced gravel riders have cleared these sections. The short and medium route keep to non-technical bridleways and flowing gravel paths. All routes are very rewarding.

A full GPX of the long route is here, though check the Calder Divide website for any updates.

If you choose to ride the route solo, perhaps you would consider making a donation to Overgate Hospice in recognition of Adrian’s efforts in plotting the route, and in memory of Will.

Adrian Wright, plotter and planner of this new route.
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  • The Calder Divide Trail Challenge – new bikepacking route
  • Premier Icon dunroving
    Free Member

    Why can’t we save the YT video to watch later, or to a playlist? It says it’s because the content is made for kids, but that’s obviously not right.

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