Saturday the 11th June saw the return of the Staveley 3 Valleys Mountain Bike Challenge after a brief hiatus due to Covid restrictions. You may be thinking you’ve never heard of this event?! That’s because this popular and well-established charity event here in the south Lake District has had a major name change; what was formally known as the Sam Houghton Challenge has now been renamed as the Staveley 3 Valleys Mountain Bike Challenge. The drive behind this friendly mountain bike ride though, remains exactly the same despite the name change; raising money for the Cancer Research UK. To date, before the 2022 edition took place, this brilliant timed mountain bike ride had already raised over £200,000 for charity.
Riders set off from our Wheelbase Lake District store…
On the day we were greeted with high winds but dry conditions; starting and finishing at Wheelbase HQ in the Mill Yard in Staveley riders headed out in small groups to the stunning south Lake District taking on some of the challenging terrain that surrounds Wheelbase HQ. Each rider was individually timed on their ride and participants were able to choose between a long route and a shorter route option, with event marshals posted at various checkpoints throughout both routes.
This is a super-friendly, laid-back event.
As the event name suggests, the Staveley 3 Valleys Mountain Bike Challenge took in the picturesque valleys of Longsleddale, Kentmere & Troutbeck and included the infamous Garburn Pass. With a large gathering of like-minded mountain bikers who had travelled far and wide to participate the atmosphere throughout the day was laidback and friendly; there were some great check-point cakes for all riders and a well-earned party after the challenge had been completed!
This inclusive event caters to all riding categories.
It was great to see such a diverse mix of riders taking part with a great mix of genders and age groups being represented. There were some really nice, inclusive categories to participate under including Solo (male or female), Pairs or Team (groups of 3 or 4) and electric mountain bikes were welcome across all categories too. Riders taking on the shorter route included younger riders accompanied by an adult making this a great day on the bikes for all of the family.
The grin-factor was high thanks to such a fun course.
Riders chose between the short 25km course with 700m of ascent or the long 46km course with 1,400m of ascent.
Starting just outside Wheelbase in the Mill Yard riders headed north up the Haw Lane, then took the bridleway to the south of Skeggles Water and down into the Longsleddale valley. They then followed the bridleway along the valley to Till’s Hole joining the road and heading north-west to Checkpoint 1 at Sadgill (Grid Ref: SE 484057). They then took the bridleway south then west over to Brockstones, riding the Low Lane track into Green Quarter and down the road into Kentmere Village to Checkpoint 2 (Grid Ref: SE 457039). Riders followed the road south for a short distance before heading up Green Water to the west of Skeggles Water, onwards to the derelict barn and Checkpoint 5 (Grid Ref: SE 473033), then back to Staveley Head Fell, turning west to descend through HP Plantation. All that was left was to take the road back to the finish point outside Wheelbase at the Mill Yard (Grid Ref: SE 472983)
Riders completed the same route as the short course until they reached Checkpoint 2 at Kentmere Village. From Checkpoint 2 riders took on the infamous Garburn Pass over into Troutbeck Valley to Checkpoint 3 (Grid Ref: SE 413028). Riders then climbed up Moor Howe road then along the tracks up to High House and over Micklemoss, descending back into Kentmere Village to Checkpoint 4 (Grid Ref: SE 457039). From here riders pedaled over Green Quarter via Checkpoint 5 (Grid Ref: SE 473033) and completed the same run back into Staveley as the short course option to the finish point outside Wheelbase at the Mill Yard (Grid Ref: SE 472983)
The Staveley 3 Valleys Mountain Bike Challenge would like to thank everyone who marshalled, supported or otherwise helped out with the event as well as each and every rider who participated, helping to make the Challenge such a great day in the Lakes while making a massive contribution to the raising of valuable funds for Cancer Research UK.
Below are a selection of some great event images from our friends at Sportsunday. Take a look through and hit the link at the bottom of the feature to see plenty more great riding images from the Staveley 3 Valleys Challenge…
Written by Johnny Dodgin
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