The Cam Road
Stats: 22 miles with 2629 feet of ascent
Ample in Hawes. Good little tea shop in Bainbridge.
This is a hard route. From the moment that you take to the saddle, the road climbs steeply, leading onto a further 3 1/2 mile climb along the Cam Road. Even the descent into Hawes from Cam Houses takes some technical skill and will test your fitness – it’s an all in fast and rocky descent. You are well rewarded though, as the route eventually takes you back to Bainbridge with a mega fast racing straight descent – all you have to do is enjoy! A top draw route for the real mtber.
1. From the village green, head up the lane signed towards Semer Water, twisting up and out of the village on the narrow road. This climbs steadily on tarmac for approximately 1/2 mile, then joining the bridleway (Cam Road) ahead – signed to the Beggarmans Road. Looking ahead, this track seems as straight as they come, with an expansive view of the long climb ahead for approximately 3 1/2 miles until it begins to level out.
2. As the track continues to climb, at a halfway point is crosses High Lane, the tarmac road between Semer Water and Burtersett. Be aware of this on the descent, as you will be travelling fast.
3. The rocky track continues to climb , eventually twisting you to the top, taking a wooden gate on its route to the moor summit. As it evens out the rocks continue, meaning this route is rideable all year, if a little slippy when wet.
4. At the junction of the tarmac lane (Beggarmans Road) which rises from Gayle down to the right, continue ahead and slightly upwards on tarmac,heading towards Cam Houses, being wary that you will turn off after 1/2 mile – or end up in Kettlewell by mistake!
5. As the road now bends away to the left, signed Kettlewell, a junction ahead, with pull in area and a gated poorly metalled road should be taken. This is signed to Cam Houses and climbs steadily for 1/2 mile before gently dropping you down with views across towards Pen Y Ghent.
6. After 2 1/4 miles (from when you entered this Roman Road) a wooden BW signpost indicates a track down to your right, The Pennine Way – take this and head towards Hawes. This excellent track rolls up and down for 2 miles before a track junction signs the Pennine Way off to your right. Do not take this – the easier route – do stay on this rocky and now steeply descending track as it takes you down left and over technical rock drops and a boulder field, before allowing the brave to open up the brakes and speed on down on the graveley surface where good control is a necessity.
7. After slowing for the gate, this descent continues, inducing a wide grin, all the way to the junction with the B6255 road to Hawes. Now race down on tarmac and have a brew in Hawes.
8. After refreshments and tales of this epic rocky descent, climb the tarmac to Gayle, leading through and upwards as the Beggarmans Road leaves you breathless. Struggle to the scenic top, attempting to enjoy the view, and eventually re-joining the Cam Road BW to your left as you summit.
9. This track now provides the real reason for the route, climbing gently for 1/2 mile, with a level trek across the moor top for a further 3/4 mile before it spits you down the fast and straight descent to Bainbridge for a further 3 1/2 miles! Yes…3 1/2 miles – just be wary of the tarmac road that crosses at halfway.
Now home in time for tea and medals – or a pint in the pub at Bainbridge.