Changing landscapes

Recently, I’ve been using Holmfirth Road as my local hill climb and also as part of weekend rides. I feel like I have a relationship with this hill: I visit regularly enough to know what mood she’s in, what her surroundings are doing, whether she’ll let me see the reservoir or if I’ll enjoy the descent back home.

I’ve been up in all seasons, sometimes those seasons have happened in the same day but there’s always something to appreciate about riding up this hill.

Isle of Skye (I’ll let you google the reason we call it that) is 5km with an average grade of 6%. It’s such a great climb for settling into. Once you get the first kilometre out of the way and float just past the layby, it’s easy to find a gear you’re comfortable with and chug away all the way to the top. All the while on your right is a view steeped in beauty and multiple colours depending on the time of year. Occasionally, it’s impossible to see the top if the clouds haven’t yet lifted their lazy souls.

Many will tell you there’s always a tailwind going up the ramp but I’ll quickly contradict them and remind both of us of deep winters grinding in the easiest gear.

There are so many options at the top of this hill. I can sail back down without so much as thinking about my brakes, I can carry on and go straight down into Holmfirth (then back over Holme Moss if I’m feeling particularly sadistic) or I can turn left and drop into Meltham. The evening is your oyster up there and on days where the light is lasting and the company too good to give up, I try to elongate my time up there and appreciate every single pedal stroke.

You wouldn't believe this is late March

You wouldn’t believe this is late March

And just one month later, April

And just one month later, April

And just ten days after that

And just ten days after that

Some days it's just really stunning

Some days it’s just really stunning

A real treat

A real treat tonight

And the best part of all is this climb is just 20km from where I work. Lucky is an understatement.

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GraceQOM

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