Bowland Badass Climbs #16 – Pendle Hill
The StatsStarts at mile 106.20 Length 2.9 m Feet of height gain 667 Average gradient 4.4%
Ok, you’ve done the ton, and finally dropped down into the pretty village of Downham at mile 106. There by the green is feed stop 2, replete with delectable goodies and fresh water into which you can stir into your hocus pocus energy brew. Oh, oh, ooh it’s SO tempting just to lie down for a bit on the beautiful green grass munching a hunk of cake, while the hot sun beats down on your upturned face and the lactic acid seeps out of the aching crevices of your leg muscles…….But wait! What is that malign, wedge-shaped monstrosity blocking out the clear, blue sky above you? It’s the “Evil Anvil” of course!! Pendle Hill looms satanically above the feed stop, and the climb up round and onto its eastern flank marks the start of your journey into the Pendle Forest Hell Zone. It’s a long, painful grind, and the purgatorial precursor to the hideous steeps that follow in quick succession after its descent. From the base of this hill to the summit of Nick of Pendle you’ll be squirming and burning on your pedals like a worm under a sadist’s magnifying glass. Yes you’ll come at it cold and lead-legged from the feed stop immediately onto the lower slopes of an almost 3-mile climb up to a height of 1136 feet. Why did we do it? Well, we figured that this was where you really need to stop and top up on your energy supplies because you’ll have long since blown your body’s intrinsic reserves right out the back door. Every calorie you burn from this point on will come through your mouth, and the easy gradient will allow you to spin and digest at the same time. Oh, and if you’re going to sit in a van and hand out sarnies to exhausted cyclists all afternoon it may as well be in a pretty village. Whatever! Get eating!
Stravasaddoinfopoint: There are a couple of segments here but the one that dips to the bridge then climbs up over the shoulder is called Downham Village to Pendle Big End (http://app.strava.com/segments/1407990).