What this week’s route lacks in distance, it makes up for in height taking in one of the most infamous climbs in cycling – the majestic Nick O’Pendle.
There are loads of great starting points, but I opted for the Griffins Head pub (there is a theme developing) on Burnley Road in Huncoat, near Accrington. From there head down Lowergate Lane and right onto Altham Lane over the Leeds Liverpool Canal for a fast, easy start.
At the bottom of the road turn right onto the A678 and then left into Simonstone Lane. At the main road head straight across up Trapp Lane, where the hills start to kick in.
It really starts to bite as you pass the Higher Trapp Country House Hotel, but resist the urge to quit because the views over Sabden from the top are really fantastic.
From there its a really fast descent into Sabden before the tortuous Nick O’Pendle climb, which averages around 10% for about a mile. Some of the early sections hit around 16%.
This is where a young Chris Boardman won his first hill climb championship in 1988.
Take the fast descent all the way down to the A59 coming back on yourself towards Whalley.
Keep left towards Padiham and take the A671 through Read back to Simonstone Lane.
Turn left back towards Altham and retrace your steps back up to Huncoat for a rest (or a well deserved beer in the pub).