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  • Rate My Gate | 10 of the Best and Worst in Calderdale
  • stwhannah
    Full Member

    Amanda and Hannah think they know what makes a bad gate – and a good one. Here is their appraisal of local gateways.

    If you have ever ridden the Mary Towneley Loop solo, you will perhaps understand the importance of gates to riders. This trail is punctuated by gates of many kinds. Some seem to be deliberately positioned so at to be out of sight of one another, luring you into getting back onto your bike only for you to dismount again after barely a pedal stroke. Not only that, but it seems like it’s a showcase for gate closures: every mechanism is slightly different to the last. For the tired rider dreaming of pies and cool ale, it’s mental torture.

    As regular users of gates, we have become connoisseurs. We have favourites gates, and hated gates. Gates which make us happy, and gates which make us sad. There is a gate so terrible near Hannah’s house that she will plan walks just to avoid it. It is everything a gate shouldn’t be: horrible to the touch galvanised metal, stiff to open and close, and makes the most awful ear wrenching noise in the process. Terrible.

    There are other gates which are beautiful tactile experiences, ones with great views, satisfying clunks, and reliable mechanisms. Ones with character, history, or pleasing signs.

    Having recently invited our subscribers to the area in our Issue 131 Classic Ride, we feel it is our duty to brief you on the gate situation. Come with us for some serious gate geekery, as we rate our gates, focusing on these key aspects:

    • Position
    • Ease of use
    • Likelihood of inducing injury
    • Would visit again

    By stwhannah

    Get the full story on our front page at:

    Support us from less than £0.06/day and help us keep the content flowing by becoming a full member.

    Free Member

    Thanks for this, I do like a nicely fastened latch, polished with use.

    My local evening loop has two gates worthy of discussion. The start of the loop is guarded by a sheepfold,* with entry and exit gates at the same corner on adjacent sides. The entry gate opens inwards, across the exit. Riding solo this a bit awkward. Riding with a daughter, the challenge is to allow the rider to trackstand and turn in the sheepfold, and exit without a dab.

    The end of the loop has a gate that swings shut under gravity. It can be gently boffed open with the front tyre without dismounting, then swings shut on departure.

    * The field has adorable beef cattle in it, never sheep, but I don’t know the equivalent term for a cowfold.

    Full Member

    “ can be gently boffed open with the front tyre…”

    Spine line.

    Free Member

    “but I think this is one sexy gate”

    50 shades of gate

    Free Member

    Re: The Forum… I bet you won’t find this on Pinkbike.

    Free Member

    Gates… Another weird and not exactly wonderful thing about Great British Countryside. Even after almost 15 years of experiencing them here I’m still finding them odd and slightly annoying at best.

    Example of bad gate? Peak District, just before final downhill – or uphill, depend on your direction – to or from Roych Clough. Frustrating piece of disobedient, slightly rusted and noisy piece of metal forcing you to stop mid good descent or re-mount on uneven, steep uphill.

    Give me another 15-20 years and maybe, just maybe I will start to appreciate them…
    … at least a bit…

    Full Member

    Good writing but I’d take issue with your ranking – none of these are in the top fifty worst gates in Calderdale. What about that completely broken bastard half way along London Road, with the rock step just after it that’s weirdly impossible to clean? The one on the Pennine Bridleway near Callis that swings away from you like a toddler on methamphetamine? Cc me in when you do a follow-up please.

    Full Member

    Awesome article.
    Could have gone on for much longer and as ADH says there are certainly far worse gates than that in the valley.!
    I feel your pain on the last gate as I go through it regularly, but you can at least squeeze through without having to fully open it.
    And correct me if I’m wrong but I think the Walsden zig zag gate has now been replaced with a beautiful new gate that doesn’t drag… I could wrong though… Good excuse to and ride the descent to check if you ask me….. please report back @amanda..

    Full Member

    A superb off beat article. This is the stuff I like, a bit wild and wacky. Totally relates to the sport but in a totally not obvious way! Regular feature, regular feature! Love it. And TBH makes me want to visit even more to take in these wonders/horrors! Thanks ladies. XX

    Full Member

    Can you do a Rate the Gate on tour, it would be brill. There is a gate nr me that is just frustrating as hell, no matter what you do it will always cause you problems, it’s now called Bojo gate.

    Full Member

    Ok, by popular demand, let’s do a crowdsourced gate rating thingy! Email with your submissions, same format as above, and we’ll adjudicate on those worthy of inclusion. Get them in to us by Monday 13th July – you’ve got a week to go bag the pics of your favourite/nemesis!

    Full Member

    I can’t believe you wrote an article about gates and I can’t believe I read it and enjoyed it! Top work, gang, as always. The gates around here are all very nondescript so not worth a mention; it’s the stiles that are falling apart. Apparently. I never, ever use them, of course.

    Free Member

    We have a lovely snecked/latched gate similar to Withens Gate locally, the only downfall is that it has an extra lock ring which can make it a little tricky one handed and one foot clipped in! Worth it though…

    Full Member

    Landowners have a duty to maintain their gates so that they are operable. If I find a gate that doesn’t have a working latch or at least a loop of rope that can be used to secure it and which doesn’t swing freely on it’s hinges it gets reported to the HA. If it still isn’t fixed next time I use it it doesn’t get closed.

    There was one on the Pennine Bridleway near Earby that only had 1 hinge, didn’t clear the ground beneath it and the rope required you to lift the gate 8 inches to get it over the post. It got left open a few times after reporting it and hey presto nice shiny new gate with a working latch that opens freely.

    I don’t understand how a HA or NP can spend money on resurfacing to improve access when most of the gates on a ROW will present more of an obstruction than the surface.

    Lack of signage and poor access controls are the biggest limitation to access across the network for all users if you experience a poor gate report it it doesn’t cost the HA anything it’s the landowners responsibility to maintain their stock controls. (unless the HA installed it to restrict vehicular access.)

    I’d personally prefer it if HA’s had the power to remove poor access controls if not repaired within 6 weeks of serving notice on the landowner.

    Full Member

    @andrew mee – the Walsden gate has indeed been replaced. And the boggy rough next to it has been cleared. Thanks Ranger Bill!

    Free Member

    Nobody claiming to bunny hop over these yet?

    Full Member

    Excellent article, the rusty swing and clang of bad gates is the heartbeat of real British mountain biking, I’ll have to make an effort to savour and record the good ones in future. Maybe bike manufacturers targeting the UK market ought to focus less on test rides in sunny Spain and more on frame geometry that better suits holding a gate open while your mates get through unhindered.

    Full Member

    For the gate nerds out there, most of the gates we put in on the PBW are specified to have an adjustable bottom hinge. This means every so often you can lift them when they inevitably drop (about every 6 months).
    Unfortunately on some gates the pins are set in stone or old telegraph posts which means you can’t fit an adjustable bottom hinge. Most of the gates mentioned fall into this category.
    For info a 30mm spanner is all you might need to tweak your most hated gate.
    We have found some money so some of the most hated gates will be being ripped out and replaced soon…ish

Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)

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