COAL ROAD CHALLENGE 2011
LUNE RCC Reliability Ride Sunday 27th February. Bull Beck Picnic Site, CATON. 67 miles.
Reliability Rides have been a feature of club cycling for over 100 years. They are NOT RACES and are
organised to require each entrant to ride over a pre-set course within an agreed time. The route is planned to
necessitate all-round riding ability and not sheer speed. Organisers must not publish finishing times or finishing
order. Extract from BC regulations
The road between Garsdale Head and Dentdale was once the main route between these two Dales. It was also
the road connecting the two high railway stations serving these isolated communities. It marks the turning
point of the Lune Cycling Club’s Coal Road Challenge. The primitive mines above Dentdale were abandoned
after the railway brought cheap coal from farther afield. But the traditional name remains and road is a testing
focal point for Northern cyclists.
The Challenge starts at Bull Beck Picnic Site, Caton (near Lancaster). The riders, in 3 graded groups, set off
through Wray to High Bentham. Here they turn to cross the A65 at Ingleton and started the climb towards
White Scar Cave and Ribble Head. Here the groups will split and continue to climb up to Newby Head before
swooping down to Hawes. The next section is to Garsdale Head, the halfway control, sign in, have a quick
break, a chance to refill depleted drinks bottles and take an energy bar from Vanillabikes.co.uk
The climb of the Coal Road reaches nearly 500 metres and is the high point of the challenge. This road, re-
surfaced two years ago, gives a testing but smoother ride before the swoop down to Dentdale. Once beyond
Dent village the route leads over the short but steep climb to Barbondale and on to Casterton and Kirkby
The final miles are via Whittington, Arkholme and a crossing of the River Lune at Gressingham. The last few
miles are through Hornby to finish at the Bull Beck car park where between four and five hours earlier the
adventure had started. A certificate is presented to all finishers.
START AND FINISH Bull Beck Picnic Site is on the A683 , 3 miles from Jnc 34 M6 just beyond Caton, with
parking, toilets and a Snack Bar. GR 542,650 Full route details will be available at the start. All for only £3
Three start times
8-30 ‘B’ for older Club riders and those wishing to ride in a steady paced group.
- 9-05 ‘B+’ for faster Club and Sportive riders
- 9-20 ‘A’ for 3rd Cat and above racers
Full details will appear on the Website in the New Year.
The Challenge is supported by www.vanillabikes.co.uk
Contact Brian Greenwood Tel 01524-735838 email@example.com
Pictures from last year’s Coal Road Challenge are available here (courtesy of Bob Muir): http://jalbum.net/browse/user/album/509178/