Cycling Halifax Lane
Ride 1.6 kilometers gaining 184 meters at 11.6% average grade.
Halifax Lane hosted the British National Hill Climb Championships in 2003 (Jim Henderson won his 5th and final championship this year).
Photo: Pinterest - Luddenden
This climb is quite challenging at 11.6% over 1.6 kilometers. The steepest section is 100 meters through a 15.7% hairpin beginning at 830 meters.
100 meters at 15.7% (hey, we only stopped to get the photo!)
While the climb begins on Halifax Lane, we turn left onto Birch Lane (turns into Raw End Lane) for the final 1.1 kilometers . Both sections of the climb are just above 11% average grade.
Start on Halifax Lane.
Left onto Birch Lane 500 meters up the climb.
Birch becomes Raw End Road at 800 meters.
Steepest ½ kilometer begins at 400 meters (13.6%)
Sites along the climb.
Simon Warren’s #44 Greatest 100 Cycling Climbs (Halifax Lane) begins in Luddenden (pop. 2,331, 2016):
“The name means Ludd valley, or valley of the loud stream and refers to the Luddenden Brook. An alternative meaning refers to the Celtic water god Lud, who gave his name to many water-related features. This was a Brythonic area, speaking a form of primitive Welsh, until perhaps the 9th century as a relict of the kingdom of Elmet.
The spellings Ludingdene, Luddington and Luddyngden are found.
The community is first mentioned in 1274 when a manorial roll in Wakefield described a corn mill operating in Luddenden to grind corn from the east side of the valley. In 1375, a corn mill was moved from Warley Town to exploit the Luddenden Brook. With the introduction of water power, many textile mills were established in the district.
The cobbled packhorse trail which runs through the village, down Old Lane from Midgley, crossing the river and on up Halifax Lane to Warley, was once the equivalent of the modern day M62, providing a major goods route through the Pennines when the main mode of transport was packhorses. This started to change from 1760 as the government approved a Turnpike road to be constructed through the Calder Valley. In the 17th century the village, along with the other locations in the Luddenden Brook valley, became prosperous through the worsted industry. To enable water to be supplied to the 11 mills in the valley, the Cold Edge Dam Company was formed to build the reservoirs at the head of the valley.
The area, alongside the West Yorkshire village of Bramham, West Yorkshire was used for filming external scenes in the 1980s ITV Yorkshire Television situation comedy series In Loving Memory, starring Dame Thora Hird and Christopher Beeny.” Wikipedia - Luddenden
“Halifax Lane climb starts in the village of Luddenden and winds its way up to the top of the moors. It is consistently steep, climbing 189m in just 1 mile, averaging 12%.
It starts in Luddenden and goes up Halifax lane for 300 metres. The climb is steep from the start, averaging 16% for the first 300 metres.
Then you turn left into Birch Lane.The gradient reduces slightly to 10%, but you have to tackle two hairpins, where the gradient increases to a max of 19%. If you ride wide around the Apex, you can limit the severity of the gradient. It is only towards the last 300 metres that the gradient eases off to a manageable 7% as you head towards a junction and the end of the climb.
If you want to avoid the steepest section on Birch lane, you can go straight on up Halifax Lane and take a longer route to the top, but if you’re looking for steep hairpins, then the shortest way up Birch lane is the most challenging.
Halifax Lane / Luddenden bank was used in the 2003 National Hill Climb, where Jim Henderson won in a time of 5.19. (Jim Henderson’s page) He was riding a 42*21 fixed.
When I rode during a long training ride (on a TT bike) I was climbing in a 39*25 and 39*28 on the steepest section. It took me about 7.24 mins for the full climb.
It is not a climb to be treated lightly. 190 metres in one mile is a rapid height gain. But, it is never too ridiculously steep. If you have the right gears and avoid the steepest apex, it is manageable. It is a little hidden away in the village of Luddenden. It is quite close to the much more popular Cragg Vale, hill climb so there’s another type of climb, you could always include in the same ride.