Baildon Road Climb Challenge

Baildon Road Climb Challenge

In my year of fitness I have asked people to set me challenges to keep my mind on the straight and narrow rode to fitness.

My friend Liz Simpson who lives at the top challenged me to ride up Baildon Road. It’s only a mile but bye heck to a fatty it feels like 10!!

Born and bred in Baildon I know the hill well and when you look at its profile it’s really not that bad.

Inside im happy
Baildon Road Climb Challenged by Liz

Finally I managed to tie everything in … visit to Mum who lives in Baildon, out celebrating birthday with old school friend, in Baildon and the hill, in Baildon (if you don’t know Baildon, you soon will!!!)  Go visit it’s a love little village which backs right onto the moors which are mostly unspoilt apart from one section. As you go over the cattle grid to the left hand side, there are some flat areas with a hole in them and then a stick with a bit of material on top, looks bloody awful and really spoils the moor……. Oooh hang on … just a mo…. Someone’s just telling me…. Ooh sorry my mistake it’s meant to be there, apparently it’s called a ‘golf course’.

‘Golf a good walk spoilt’ Mark Twain?

Anyway me being me.. some days I do wish I was someone considered to be NORMAL …..

Mum wanted to see me ride to the top of the hill, I think mainly to see for herself that I could actually still ride a bike and not push it, then we were to call at Liz’s for a cuppa, so I thought in my wisdom, park van in Baildon, ride to bottom of Baildon and back up again. Fine no problem……

….not until that is I was driving up the hill (something I have done literally hundreds of times) and began to look at it in a whole different way. Some sections looked VERY steep, that steep I started picking out my stopping points as I drove along…… get to here, rest …. on to here, rest…. Before I had even got my bike out of the van I was doomed, I had psyched myself out, you berk!!!!!!!!!!

Crickey, it’s only a mile … blinking nora just get on with it you pathetic tub of lard!!!


Setting off, a head wind had really got up and swirled around as I passed the little side streets. Oh hell, please don’t let it be like this all the way?!

Down West Lane and passed my old middle school. It was a bit of a reminiscent ride as I passed places where I used to play and visit as a kid.

West Lane/Lucy Hall takes you to the Glen (as us yokels call it) or Shipley Glen for you all visiting. We used to spend hours up on the Glen running and playing in the rocks and down at the water.

Baildon Road Climb
Shipley Glen

Turned left down Prod Lane and passed Shipley Glen Tramway (everyone HAS to ride the tram). As kids growing up in Baildon to ride the tram in our family was a great treat. We generally had to walk up the track that runs parallel with the tram line. It’s just as well after hours of playing on the glen it was downwards home!

At the bottom of the tram way you come out opposite Roberts Park, a lovely family park with a beautiful bandstand, lovely children’s play area, bike park and beautifully managed gardens with the river Aire running alongside as well as the Leeds Liverpool canal. Sited between the river and canal is the historic and world heritage site of Salts Mill. Another must visit place.

Only one thing that spoils Roberts Park … big flat open spanse of green that no one is allowed to wonder onto unless you ‘belong’…. Ooh silly me again … it’s a cricket pitch!!!! OR ..

…Cricket, A good field gone to waste…. Me said that I think!

It’s the sync in me, sorry I just can’t help myself. I will find a positive in the negative….. there is the Half Moon cafe opposite the pitch and plenty of grass around the pitch from where to sit eat your picnic and watch the world go by OR sit and watch some blokes stand in a field (sorry lost the positive but it’s in there somewhere).

……… Look the ride was only 4.5miles I’ve got to fill this blog out a little otherwise it would just say…

………… got on bike, rode downhill, rode up hill, stopped twice, got off bike, had tea….

Anyway, Rode along Coach Road where I used to deliver milk. The silence around Roberts Park and Coach Road at 3.30am is wonderful. The quiet of early morning sounds is deafening.

Out onto Otley Road then a kick up to the left for Baildon Road climb.

Because I am overweight and unhealthy I get hot very quickly and take a long time cooling down.  Should have thought about that before started up the hill.  Only did about 100 yards then had to quickly stop to take jacket off (I didn’t count this as one of my stops but if you want to be picky it can be!).

Onward ..Plodded steady away, not that I could have gone any quicker after psyching myself out before starting. Got about 100 yards past what used to be the Bay Horse Pub (where I had my 18th Birthday) at 3.6miles and had to stop, unfortunately it was a stopping place I had sussed out when driving up earlier (naughty me).

I don’t tend to worry about potentials of an accident whilst out riding. Obviously I prepare before I set out and am alert when riding but I think that if you think about something happening it is more like to happen.  One niggle I do have when riding uphill is that I end up cycling so slowly I stop and won’t be able to unclip fast enough and fall. It’s not actually the falling so much as the landing in the road into traffic and ending up under a car. Potential of me being better off than the car??

It’s with this in mind and knowing how steep the final section of the hill is that when I restarted I didn’t clip in which didn’t help my case for reaching the top in one go. With the top in sight I stopped AGAIN (pathetic lardy!) My mother could have done better.

Anyway, back on again, still unclipped until I plateaued, clipped in and rode as far as the cattle grid that leads onto the moor.  Wasn’t quite sure where Strava Baildon Road Climb finished so didn’t want to finish too short and have to do it again.

Mum had made her way to the village centre at the roundabout to see me ride past but bless her, she nipped in to the café for a cuppa and missed me (I was going so fasssst!!!!)   Forgot to turn strava off at the cattle grid but heyho it’s just the climb I wanted to time.

After finding Mum we walked to Liz’s to join her for a cuppa and to thank her for setting the challenge.

My reward from Liz … a lovely little knitted lavender scented rabbit, thank you Liz.

Strava Baildon Road Climb
Lavendar Bunny Prize for Riding Baildon Road Climb


Disappointed really. Strava Baildon Road Challenge

Ok so I went out and did something someone challenged me to do and as I say to everyone else a ride is a ride BUT I’m such a cop out and I just can’t understand why I do it. Why didn’t I just push that bit harder and not give up when near the top. I could have done it, I just told myself I could so I didn’t. What a berk!!

In my head I ALWAYS have the potential to ride a good ride BUT as soon as I straddle my trusty steed that’s it, complete tub of lard!   Aaargh!!! Come on lardy you can do it!!!

Did give it a clean before setting off
Strava Baildon Road Climb

Remember to visit Baildon and surrounding areas, the scenery is stunning and theres lots to do for all the family. I know i’ve ribbed golf and cricket but apparently they are both good clubs and the scenery around both clubs is simply beautiful.

Later on in the year I hope to cycle around Baildon visiting all my childhood haunts and show you all how beautiful it is. There’s a lot of history in Baildon so if they will let me back in and i’m not stoned by the cricket and golf clubs (which I also hope to visit, please?) I’ll do a little blog on my home village.

Thanks for reading and remember all thoughts and comments on here are my own.

Ride safe and wear your helmet

Jo x

P.S: computer running extremely slow today so will add rest of images and video at later date.

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