The Bowland Badass, whilst starting in the quiet village of Garstang, is an epic 167 mile road cycling route in Lancashire and Yorkshire, with a series of epic and tough climbs. It was run as a sportive, and we’ve included the route here, so that you can ride it yourself at any time, either in a one day adventure, or as a cycle tour over a weekend.
Stats: 167 miles / 268 km and 5500+m of ascent
Garstang itself has ample opportunities for refreshments. Along the route the options are obvious, with towns and villages such as Caton, Brookhouse, Puddle Ducks Tea Room at Dunsop Bridge and Gisburn Forest. However, common sense dictates that you will be cycling in isolated areas and so do need to carry sufficient food and drink along with you.
Long, tough, unrelenting but rewarding – how’s that for a route description. The route takes you cycling around the lanes and hills of the Forest Of Bowland, with steep climbs and descents on isolated country roads. Strong legs and good bike handling is needed. Print off the OS Map and off you go…
- Head out of Garstang towards Scorton and cross the M6. The route is listed by the climbs as they come. The first climb comes at Catshaw Fell at 6.7 miles and has an average gradient of 3.6% and climbs for 2 miles.
- Climb 2 comes at Blea Tarn Hill at 16.6 miles and rises at an average of 8% for half a mile.
- Climb 3 is at Littledale after 22.5 mile and rises at an average of 4.5% for 1.2 miles.
- Climb 4 is again in Littledale, at 24.97 miles and an average gradient of 9.4% for 0.54 miles.
- Climb 5 is at the Jubilee Hill after 27.4 miles and has an average gradient of 5.4% for 2 miles.
- Climb 6 is at Trough of Bowland after 34.3 miles and has an average gradient of 4.4% for 1.8 miles.
- Climb 7 is at Long Knotts after 40.74 miles and has an average gradient of 4.9% for 1.27 miles.
- Climb 8 is Hall Hill at 47.52 miles and has an average gradient of 5.6% for 1.3 miles.
- Climb 9 is Marl Hill at 49.23 miles and has an averahe gradient of 6.4% for 0.92 miles.
- Climb 10 is Beacon Hill at 57.17 miles and has an average gradient of 5.5% for 0.97 miles.
- Climb 11 is Knotts Hill at 64.35 miles and has an average gradient of 3.4% for 2 miles.
- Climb 12 is Bowland Knotts at 71.77 miles and has an average gradient of 4.5% for 3.28 miles.
- Climb 13 is the famous Cross of Greet, after 82.33 miles and with an average gradient of 3.6% for 4.73 miles.
- Climb 14 is Merrybent Hill after 89.82 miles and has an average gradient of 6.3% for thankfully only 0.67 miles.
- Climb 15, the hilltops halfway point is Waddington Fell at 97.15 miles, well over half way mileage wise, and has an averahe gradient of 6.2% for 2.29 miles. Only 15 more summits left 😉
Let’s continue the climbing theme now 😉 as we head into the final stages of this epic ride…
16. Climb 16 is the famous Pendle Hill of Pendle Witches legend and comes after cycling for 106 miles. It has an averahe gradient of 4.4% for 2.9 miles.
17. Climb 17 is Barley Hill at 110.22 miles and has an average gradient of 10.2% for 0.49 miles thankfully!
18. Climb 18 is Sabden Fold at 112.41 miles and has an average gradient of 6.5% for a mere 0.24 miles.
19. Climb 19 is the Nick of Pendle at 115.4 miles and has an average gradient of 10% for 0.91 miles.
20. Climb 20 is Whalley Nab at 120.72 miles and has an average gradient of 10.9% for 0.68 miles.
21. Climb 21 is Little Town Hill at 127 miles and has an average gradient of 3.5% for 1.55 miles.
22. Climb 22 is Birdy Brow at 134.9 miles and has an average gradient of 11.4% for a thankfully short 0.74 miles.
23. Climb 23 is Longridge Fell at 138.25 miles and has an average gradient of 6.1% for 0.82 miles.
24. Climb 24 is the first of 2 climbs at Chipping and comes at 142.9 miles. It has an average gradient of 4.7% for 0.74 miles.
25. Climb 25 is again at Chipping and comes after cycling for 143.71 miles. With an average gradient of 6.7% for a short 0.48 miles, it’s a chance to start thinking about reaching the finish back at Garstang.
26. Locally, Beacon Fell is a well known climb and it’s easy to see why. This beautiful spot comes at the 145.71 miles point and has an average gradient of 5% for 1 mile.
Click below for GPX file & accommodation