- Mary Townley Loop virgin – advice required
I'm fairly new to this forum, but it seems like a good combination of humour and knowledge. I'm hoping you can offer me some advice
If the weather is OK, I'm thinking of taking the day off on Friday to do the MTL (with my nephew). I'm not super fit, but the two of us manage to get through 20 – 40 miles off road each weekend without too much trouble.
How long should I allow for the loop? which is the best way round? (I'll be starting at Rooley Moor). Do you have any suggestions or useful information?Posted 8 years agomuddydwarfSubscriber
Starting at Rooley Moor and heading up and over to Rossendale is probably the best way to do it.
The chap who won this yrs challenge did it in just over 5hrs i believe, although a sedate 7 hrs is a nice pace. Several nice places to eat along the way, the Packhorse is OK but for me the best place is the Top Brink pub at the end of London Rd just after Stoodley Pike.
Enjoy the ride, i'm tempted to join in!Posted 8 years agostumpyjonSubscriber
Two schools of thought on direction. I've always done it clockwise and thought that was easiest until this years challenge when we did it anti-clockwise and I knocked an hour off my time.
7 hours is considered good and I wouldn't call that a sedate pace. I did it in 6hrs 55mins and that was semi-supported and no stopping. It's a big loop (47 miles) and a lot of climbing 6700ft. It'll be wet in places too although most of it is reasonably well drained. I wouldn't say it's a great time of to do it for the first time. I live just off the loop on one of the hills and we had serious fog until lunch time.
If you do tackle it leave early and carry lights.
That all siad it is a really good all day on the moors type challenge and well worth doing.Posted 8 years agojustmeMember
as jon says really sub 7 hrs is decent goingPosted 8 years ago
clockise gives the best ride with least pushing
not convinced I'd do it now given the recent rain as it will be a shitty mess in parts- having done it twice in the wet and mud I wont do it again usless its gonna be dry – would be tempted to leave it till may or so next year and use the time till then to get proper fit as you will enjoy it more then gmuddydwarfSubscriber
When i said 7hrs i meant actual rolling time. When i did it as a day out i did it in 9hrs but that was with two pub stops for a meal, a snack and a couple of pints. My actual rolling time was just over 7 hrs.
I would say an 8am (or earlier) start is essential at this time of year. The weather forecast is fairly good although the ground will be boggy in places.
Most of the trail is rocky so that shouldn't present too much of a problem. There will be sections you will be pushing/carrying through though – noticably the climb up from the Todmorden rd at Bottomley nr Littleborough.
Take lights, energy gels etc, money for the pub and enjoy 🙂Posted 8 years agoFelofagenMember
Thanks for the advice. I think maybe the full loop in one day is a bit beyond me at present, particularly since the weather forecast for Friday has now changed to wind and rain.
So I'm thinking of going clockwise from Rooley to Clough Bottom reservoir and then staying to the South of Deerplay Moor, dropping down into Todmorden and re-joining MTL at the other side of the river (~30 miles)- Don't know the area very well – does this sound like a plan?
Of course if the wind speed gets into double figures I won't make it up Rooley Moor Road.Posted 8 years agostumpyjonSubscriber
Yep, best route across is to take the bridleway on the otherside of the A671 off the Mary townley Loop just after crossing the road. Follow it up to the trig point and then down and along until you pop out on the A681 at Sharneyford. Down the road for a few hundred yards and turn right through a gate. Follow the bridleway up to the trug point on Freeholds top and then drop down the otherside towards the empty resevoir. This bit can be a bit indistinct but gets clearer as you drop becoming a track and then finally a road. At the bottom cross the A6033 in Walsdena and go straight up the road on the other side until you rejoin the MTL.
It will be a bit boggy in places and can be a little hard to navigate after crossing the A681, starts off really clearly with a good track which suddenly stops leaving you with a boggy moor crossing. You'll definitely need a map but this shortcut will defnitely allow you to cut the MTL in two.Posted 8 years ago
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