From Struggle Dales Feed Station One, it's a gradual ascent through Coverdale culminating with a cycling climb crescendo atop Park Rash. Here's how to tackle the Coverdale climb on Struggle Dales Reverse in 2024.
Coverdale is a quiet valley that runs along the River Cover between Nidderdale and Wensleydale. There's a network of old moorland roads popular for off-road cycling, including the old unclassified road between Scar House Reservoir and Arkleside over Dead Man’s Hill, which has a gory history of headless Pedlars.
In Struggle Dales we're concerned with the quiet, tarmac road connecting Masham to Kettlewell. The road joins the dots between a handful of small Hamlets; the narrow, twisty lanes are slow-going by car. Therefore there's little through-traffic on this road, especially on the 15 mile stretch from Middleham.
This makes it extremely popular for road cycling in either direction - so long as you've got the fitness and courage to take on Park Rash.
How to Cycle Up Coverdale
From Middleham the road keeps pitching up; stay seated and don't burn any matches. The worst is still to come...
The real climbing begins at the humpback bridge outside Coverhead Farm up the Scabbate Gate Climb proper (2.4km at 6% average). The steepest section ramps up to 15% and even though it eases nearing the top, it's exposed and often very windy. Dig in all the way to the Richmondshire sign at the top and get ready for the technical descent down into Kettlewell.
If by a twist of fate you are blessed with a tailwind and are feeling good, 6 minutes 35 seconds is your KOM to best (Tom Bell) and 8 minutes 2 seconds is your QOM to attack (Abi Smith).
Have you ridden Coverdale? Let us know what you think of the climb in the comments section below.
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