Huddersfield has hosted one of the toughest and most spectacular mountain bike challenges in the UK for the last 20 years … but this year will be the last one.

Colne Valley Mountain Bike Challenge has routes of 20 or 30 miles with the first one staged in 2004 but now it’s reached its 20th anniversary this will be the final time it will be held.

Although the quickest riders will complete the gruelling 30-mile course in just over two hours it’s not a race, it’s a personal challenge for riders to go round the course and enjoy it. People with electric bikes are also welcome to take part in either route.

It was set up by Jonny Brook from Golcar and has always raised money for Leymoor Cricket Club in Golcar and the 39th Parkwood Scouts who are now based at St Mark’s Church in Longwood.

The race starts at the bottom of the ultra-steep cobbled road Dodlee Lane in Longwood at 9am on Sunday (May 12) and riders need to be there and registered by 8.30am.

People can still apply to take part in the race on the Colne Valley Mountain Bike Challenge website at until midnight on Friday. It costs £20 to enter – £23 if you want a T-shirt – although riders can still enter on the day when the fee is £25 but no T-shirt.



Jonny said: “This will be the last ever event so if people have thought they’d like to give it a go then this is their final chance.

“People ask me why we give the riders such a gruelling start up Dodlee Lane but we’ve had 300 riders at times so we need to string them out before they get to Lamb Hall Road at Longwood which is quite narrow. Dodlee certainly does that.”

The 30-mile route takes in Outlane Golf Course, Scapegoat Hill, Pole Moor, Nont Sarah’s at Scammonden, Cop Hill, West Slaithwaite, Marsden, Tunnel End, Pule Hill, up Wessenden Head valley, back down Wessendenhead Road towards Meltham and across to Deerhill, Blackmoorfoot Reservoir, Linthwaite and down past Huddersfield Narrow Canal to Wellhouse, Bolster Moor and back to the start.

The 20-mile route is similar but cuts out a chunk after Marsden. The routes will all be clearly marked, there are marshals all around the course and there are four drinks stations which will also have biscuits and bananas to keep the riders’ energy levels up.


Riders are coming from as far away as Devon, London and Lincolnshire.

Jonny said: “The scenery is absolutely stunning. We often don’t appreciate what’s on our own doorstep. We live in a fantastic area and people who travel to take part love it.”

Anyone aged 12 or over can ride in the challenge but under 16s must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Although a fun event, the course is challenging and not for beginners.

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.

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