The Hills' Angels are a bit in love with Simon Warren’s 100 Greatest Climbs. This route was designed to give us a testing ride taking in three of them near Sheffield. Winnats Pass, Curbar Gap and Rowsley Bar!
The route starts at The Fox House, a popular base for hiking, climbing and cycling adventures.
From here we can take in some fast, sweeping descents and three limit expanding climbs as well as cut through some back roads that give us some nice riding between the main events.
From Fox House there’s a great descent through Toad’s Mouth, Surprise View and down to Hathersage. From here, it’s a good flat ride up the Hope Valley to Castleton with Winnats Pass looming into view at the end of the valley.
Winnats Pass is a long standing favourite of mine, but it’s tough. Some really brutal steep sections on it. Just has an amazing atmosphere.
After Winnats, there’s a good run mostly on some nice quiet back roads, there’s one small section on a busier road, complete with a nice switchback climb just before you get off the main road again. That next section of back roads is a great favourite, with some nice views.
Up to the gliding club and there’s another fantastic descent through Abney, back towards Hathersage. look out for the section where you drop into the woods, there’s some sharp bends and often gravel/wet surfaces to contend with tucked in there.
After the descent, you can nip back into Hathersage for the Cafe at the swimming pool, or carry on down the valley through Gridleford to Calver where there’s the Insomnia Cafe and Spar shop.
Immediately after that however, you hit into Curbar Edge, which is a good test of if you’ve eaten too much at the cafe stop…
Once through Curbar, another cracking descent towards Baslow before snaking through Chatsworth to hit Rowsley Bank. Rowsley is the last epic climb. It’s tough. It goes on long and shallower at the finish. But it goes on. Also, look out for cars, traffic can make a tough climb tricky. Certainly has for me on a few occasions.
After Rowsley, it’s a good chase back across the top with epic views to one side or the other until you’re back at The Fox House, where you can have a pint and re-fuel!
The Fox House is a regular base for outdoor adventures in the peak. If you use the free car park, then make sure you use the pub! Failing that, there are other car parks and on-road parking nearby. But it can be busy parking!
Insomnia at Calver is just after half way round the route, but just before a beast of a climb. There’s a decent but not amazing cafe. But also a Spar if you just want to grab and go. There are other options on route.