Stats: 10 miles and 1493ft of ascent
Ample in Reeth, including some great pubs. The Dales Bike Centre does brilliant grub and has a top draw bunkhouse that is better kitted out than most B&Bs. Nuff said…just get there and ride.
Setting out from Healaugh this route climbs straight away – sorry Garry. The track is however good and allows you to gain height. The initial section does lack clear signage, so be careful.
Our description should keep you on track – we get lost so that you don’t have to! After the start the track crosses moorland on it’s way to a better stony track which eventually takes you to Surrender Bridge via some fast singletrack.
It’s then a case of a slog to the top of Great Pinseat before whizzing down the twisting lose track, taking advantage of the opportunities for air. A short piece of tarmac, then across the moor again, before a fast descent to Healaugh and the Dales Bike Centre.
1. From Healaugh take the road towards Gunnerside for about 200 yards before turning up right on a small lane to Birk Park as you leave the village. Climb steeply until a gated driveway to the right, signed ‘private Road’ (just before crossing the small bridge). Take this bridleway, seen in the image below and climb steadily.
2. The bridleway soon enters the moorland by a walled meadow area, with a footpath going off to the left and the bridleway staying straight ahead. Be careful here to stick to the bridleway. A short walled section of meadow leads up to Novia Scotia farm before joining a better track which in turn leads to a rocky double track. Follow this, through a small gate which leads steeply down a ravine (fully ridable in dry conditions only), crossing the stream before shouldering the bike and climbing the steep steps (mountainbikeneering) which lead to the heather moor.
3. This is initially boggy in places but eventually opens to sweet rocky singletrack (image above) that speeds you along before crossing above old lead mine ruins and down to Surrender Bridge. By now Garry and I had both been over the bars; but this was down small bogs and misjudgement.
4. From Surrender Bridge climb the rocky track that takes you up Great Pinseat to the moonscape summit. Cross the summit and descend Reeth High Moor on the twisting rocky track, letting go of the brakes and holding the seat of your pants as you grab some air on the bumps and jumps.
5. Re-joining the Langthwaite road, turn left for a short distance before leaving the road onto the bridleway to the right. This track drops down to the stream, which is crossed before the track leads you across soft moorland and along a good track which eventually hardens under the wheels and speeds you back above Novia Scotia and onto the metalled road down to Healaugh.
This steepens sharply, twisting and turning before spitting you out in the village of Healaugh.
Now time for a pub at Reeth or the Dales Bike Centre for tea and medals and some crack about this great ride.