Skylark Descents

We’ve designed the Skylark Sportive to be a rider’s event. In other words, we’ve looked at every inch of the ride with the aim of looking for the best all-round riding experience.

To this end, we asked local riders to recommend their favourite roads. On this page we look at some of the event’s key descents. Riding downhill requires skill and judgement, but it’s undoubtedly the element of cycling most of us prefer. The Skylark features a wide range of downhill runs, ranging from wide sweeping upland A-roads to tight and technical rural lanes.

Here’s a selection of the major descents on the Skylark routes:

Blackstone Edge – a fast, sweeping and hugely enjoyable descent from the Pennine Escarpment, giving access to the upper Calder Valley. The views and long sight-lines of this descent make it an exceptional experience on a bike:

Tower Causeway – a contrastingly narrow and twisting descent with a mild start, but with a major sting in the tail in the form of a series of tightening corners with very average road surfaces – one to treat with respect. Wonderful views again!

Mytholm Steeps – we ride down one of the areas most famous climbs. Going down, it’s still a challenge with ever-changing gradient, sharp hairpins and a narrow, switch-back lower half. Again, this road needs handling with care.

Cragg Vale Summit to Baitings Reservoir. After the long climb up Cragg Vale comes this absolutely wide open descent 2km in length, dropping 120m at 5%. The road is wide, the corners, near the bottom, are gentle and the lines of sight throughout are superb. If the winds have been in your face up the Cragg, then they will be on your tail down here and you’ll swoop down in a couple of minutes.