Mary Towneley Loop CX
When? – Sunday August 9th 2015
Where? -Watergrove Reservoir Car Park, Rochdale. OL12 9NJ
Grid Reference – SD 911 176
How far? – 47 miles/ 75km
How high? – 7000′ / 2070m
How much? – £25 (or £30 on the day)
How many people? – 300 max
And more to the point what is it and why? And who is Lady Mary Towneley?
Think of all the bridleways you love to ride, most of which are possible thanks to the work that Lady Mary Towneley and her horse put in, tirelessly campaiging to get them open again and for all of us to have access. Lady Towneley never managed to see her work as we are lucky enough to see it today and the 47 mile Mary Towneley Loop was named in her honour and opened up in 2002 as part of the Pennine Bridleway National Trail.
However, don’t worry, we’re not asking you to take the two to three day horse powered route, nor are we asking you to take the easy option of riding round clockwise as the MTB riders do. We’ve had a much better idea, we’re inviting you to ride round on the 9th of August on cyclocross bikes in a anti-clockwise direction!
You’ll be fully supported with two feed stations loaded high with all of our favourite snacks and drinks, along with support from Clifbar and a hog roast at the end (just let us know if you’re vegi of coeliac).
Each rider will receive a brevet card designed by Matthew Burton Illustration which upon completion will earn you a cloth badge and limited edition map of the route, also designed by the man himself.
Not for the faint hearted The Mary Towneley Loop CX is a challenging ride with sections of remote moorland, ancient roads of gritstone setts mixed with gravel tracks and paths climbing and descending as they wind their way around the South Pennine landscape. We can’t deny, it’s really harsh on the bikes, good job Fibrax have donated a pile of spot prizes for the most broken bikes, no cheating and deliberatly breaking them though!
For those of you who have ridden the Mary Towneley Loop before you will remember the gates, many many gates, (all of which must be closed in order for events like ours to continue). We have decided that part of your entry fee will be donated for the purchase of horse friendly gas closures for the gates. Yes, that means they will close themselves without a bang!
Entry opens on Wednesday 11th March and places are limited to 300.