Snake Pass Short Route
Stats: 62 miles and 6200 feet of ascent
Without question, the friendliest, best-value, most-tolerant-of-wet-cyclists place is the Glossop Cafeteria. Double egg and chips, bread and butter and a big mug of coffee for four quid – how awesome is that?
A grand parade of the highest of the High Peak. This is a shortened version of a ride some of us make ourselves do every winter as a post-Christmas penance. It’s been shortened out of mercy to you and also as a kindness to Ash’s neighbours so they don’t have cyclists parking all down his street every weekend. As I only know this ride from the dark days of winter, I have only seen it at its bleakest. I am reliably informed that the sun does reach these parts.
1. From Wortley, sneak down Finkle Street where the A629 reaches the 40mph zone.
2. After crossing the Don, bear left into Well Hill Road. This undergoes several changes of name but the bearing remains the same – Go West.
3. Where you reach the A628 at a right-angled bend, stay off the main road by turning left into Fulshaw Lane.
4. At the bottom of Gilbert Hill, turn briefly left (I know, East..) on the A616 then right into Midhope Cliff Lane, opposite the Bank View Cafe. You’re now following sign to Strines.
5. Cross the dam of Langsett Reservoir and set an undulating course south over t’moors, taking care with dodgy hairpins on the many perilous descents.
6. At the A57 Snake Road, set the compass to west again, all the way to Glossop. If you’re visiting the cafe (and you should, Victoria Street is left at HSBC.
7. Leave on the Woodhead Road, ambling pleasantly (it’s so much more pleasant after a carb uptake) over to the Woodhead Reservoir.
8. Turn briefly right on the A628 then left to Holmfirth on the daunting incline of Holme Moss. No, Father Dougal, that transmitter mast is not small; it is far away.
9. Descend, under riotous control, to Holmfirth, turning right at the lights into Victoria Street. It’s just road numbers now – A635 out of the Holme Valley, then right onto the A628 back to the start.