The original 240 was a CTC West Yorkshire DA Standard Ride organised by Halifax CTC and remembered with affection (?) by many of the DA’s veterans, and some of the younger riders too. In its original form, the aim was to cover the 240 miles in 24 hours.
The challenging route takes in a lot of majestic country and some substantial hills including the climbs of Barbondale, Hartside, Yad Moss, Kidstones, and Cock Hill Moor.
It was revived in 2002 as an Audax event by Frank Branch and Judith Willcock, who converted the old handwritten and much roneo’d and photocopied route sheets into intelligible form, making appropriate modifications that enhanced the route and kept it true to its origins. The route was modified in 2007, in order to accommodate the early start and to remove a section of trunk road, while retaining and enhancing the scenic qualities
The challenging route takes in a lot of majestic country and includes substantial climbing with 6.5 AAA points. There are no compromises as regards route or comfort. The route will take you to remote and inhospitable places (e.g.Yorkshire) as it climbs its way through majestic Pennine landscapes. There are long distances between controls and it is likely that you will need to carry food and drink, and be resourceful about your victualling. You should have complete confidence in your abilities and in your bicycle and its equipment, and will need to have adequate lighting to cope with unlit and poorly surfaced country roads in remote and hilly areas. Riders who successfully complete this event have the satisfaction of knowing that they have overcome one of Audax UK’s hardest challenges.
This year the event returns to the X-rated status trialled a couple of years ago. The start is at Sowerby Bridge Market, Wharf Street, Sowerby Bridge, and the finish will be at the organiser’s house in Sowerby Bridge, a short distance away. Camping is available in the organiser’s garden before and after the event. Please bring your own tent and sleeping bag etc. If you don’t have a tent, we may be able to help as we have access to several two-person tents. If you would like to use or share one of these please let me know beforehand and we will make sure that it is pitched and ready for your arrival. Please be quiet at night as this is a residential area. Access is via Salisbury Street, and a map is enclosed. Sowerby Bridge is easily accessible by rail (cycle-carrying trains from both Leeds and Manchester stop twice per hour). There is no car parking available at the start but if travelling here by car you may be able to park on Station Road between the police station and the railway station, or at a pinch on Sowerby New Road. A map showing where parking is possible during the event is overleaf.
There is also a Travelodge in Halifax, approximately 3 miles away. The Tourist Information Offices in Halifax (01422 368725) and Hebden Bridge (01422 843831) may be able to provide details of more up-market accommodation in the area.