MTB: Sedbergh – the Bowderdale ClassicA truly classic trip that should be saved for a good day. The Howgills reach 676m and poor weather would mean good navigation and difficult trail conditions. The description below takes you up the steep way and down Bowderdale valley, often voted one of the best bits of singletrack in the country. Some prefer to go the other way round – the choice is yours.
The Bowderdale route is on most serious mountain bikers tick list with good reason. This is a mountain route best saved for a good weather day. The route starts in Sedbergh a great little market town sat at the foot of the Howgills. This range of rounded fells is the target for the route which goes over the highest peak.
You leave Sedbergh on Howgill Lane and a short section of tarmac takes you to a bridleway on to the fells. The grassy track is either steep or very steep and is a push for almost everyone. Enjoy the fantastic views on the way up because the descent down Bowderdale will keep your eyes firmly on the trail.
Flatter riding takes you from the foot of the valley around to Ravenstonedale – a lovely village and the only chance to pick up refreshment. A quiet dead end road takes you out of the village up a gradual climb. Then it is back on to a track and a descent into the Rawthey valley. Easy riding for a while and then from Cautley lots more singletrack riding along the valley side before it finally becomes a track leading through to Sedbergh. You will then want to hit a café or pub to celebrate.
If available, the 'GPX' (or GPS Exchange format) files for each route are text files that can be read by GPS devices as a series of waypoints along each route.