Killer Climbs - Two Stoops (Naught Bank)
Starting just a stone’s throw from the foot of the Peat Lane Climb this adjacent ascent features a very different profile and environment.
The climb makes its way right up the valley side, from the fields through the trees and out onto the moors at the very top. Tight and windy this climb is tougher than it looks.
Begin at a low point in the road on the far side of Bewerley just over Turners Bridge (by the turning for the riding centre). The first part of this climb is a long gradual traverse along the valley wall with the odd undulation in gradient and twist in the road rarely getting above 7%.
There is however one big exception to this and that big exception is the 25% left hand hairpin 100 metres into the climb.
This corner makes sure you have a sting in your legs and an oxygen debt from the very start as you roll into what would otherwise be a quite enjoyable spin up the hill with pleasant views down the valley.
Once you’ve traversed the hillside the road turns to the right and begins to tackle the gradient more directly, the surface deteriorates in a tell-tale sign that you are not the only one who struggles to get up these slopes.
Deceptively steep, this is probably the hardest section of this climb as you push up alongside the dry stone that lines the road. Your pace will likely be so slow that you have time to admire the skilled stonework that has stood for over 100 years, as you measure every pedal stroke for the risk of burning out.
Eventually you emerge once more into the open, the rocky hillside in front of you instead of just a wall of tarmac. You can begin to relax, while the road now twists and turns to find a way up through the intricate hillside. The gradient here is nowhere near as brutal as the slope you’ve just tackled. As it levels out you can take a breath and enjoy the cooler breeze that comes with the altitude as you emerge onto the heather moorlands.
Keep your eyes open for birds of prey above you and deer skipping across the moors between the patches of ancient woodland that are separated by this stretch of heather.
Ahead of you is the Two Stoops car park and beyond there the road turns left and kicks up again but this last slope never seems so bad at 12% quickly fading to less than 10%. The open views across the moors will lift the spirit and soon have you out of the saddle and dancing the pedals up and away.
Your end point is the summit where the road kinks slightly to the right, before giving way to a gentle descent with open moorland stretching away on both sides and views that, on a clear day, stretch to the mast on Emley Moor and the power stations of West Yorkshire on the horizon.
See the rest of Nidderdale's Killer Climbs here.
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