Calder Divide Trail

Bikepacking gravel & mountain bike event

16/17 September 2023

“I thought I was volunteering to go to a mountain BAKING festival. Unfortunately it isn’t that, it’s mountain BIKING. I gave up mountain biking 7 years ago and hoped never to do it again. Bugger!” // Ed

Steve Bate convinced Ed to get back on the saddle and join him on the Calder Divide Trail, a multi-day long distance adventure along the River Calder, spanning 12 valleys, 6 moors and 1 floodplain.

Signups are now closed, but keep reading to find out more about this annual event.

The Vital Stats

What? Bikepacking event

When? 16/17th September 2023

How? Gravel bike or a mountain bike

5 route choices

165km/100 miles to 265km/165 miles

Routes graded ‘blue’, ‘red’ and ‘black’

Approximately 70% ‘off-road’

Wild camp, B&B or choose our camping village with luggage transfer option

25 august // Update!

Only 25 places left

Only 25 places left for this year’s Calder Divide Trail, sponsored by HebTroCo.

225 people are signed up so far for the event which takes place in a couple of weeks time.

Everyone who completes one of the routes will receive one of these snazzy embroidered patches (made in Leeds)*.

Green edge – rider who competes a route
Gold edge – awarded to 270km route for under 24 hour time
Black edge – awarded to 150 mtb route for under 24 hour time.

Team HebTroCo has been training. Steve Bate with racing at the World Championships (see bronze medal) and is now off to ride up and down Mount Kilimanjaro. Ed has mostly been riding his motorbike but did also walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

* The UCI bronze medal will not be up for grabs. That is Steve’s latest track win.

Hebden Bridge stands in a beautiful setting next to the River Calder, in a steep wooded valley topped with majestic moorland. We chose to live here because it’s a beautiful place which inspires creative endeavour. We choose to work here for the same reasons and because we like to keep it local.

The Calder Divide Trail (CDT) is a bike packing event that travels all around the watershed of the Calder Valley. It goes all around the edge of where we’re from. The route tracks and explores the landscape, towns and wildlife of the 12 valleys, 6 moors and 1 floodplain plus the innumerable woodlands that we call home. That, along with it being a charity fundraising event for Overgate Hospice, is why we’re sponsoring this event.

You’ve probably seen our valleys on the telly in Happy Valley, The Gallows Pole, Gentleman Jack and Last Tango in Halifax. Now you can come and cycle round it.

Team HebTroCo is doing the black mountain bike route of 146 miles and is an unlikely pairing of “Achieve Steve” World Champion, Paralympic Gold medal winning cyclist and “Steady Eddie” who used to be a mountain biker and once came 3rd in a race.

Steve rides a top of the range carbon fibre, full suspension bike that even has wireless gear change and dropper seat post control. Ed has a steel klunker with no suspension. Steve nearly lost some toes in the snow in a 500 mile winter race. Ed lost his way a long time ago. 

Fancy joining us? Get signed up. If you do it you get one of these fantastic patches which has even got a curlew on it.

More CDT reads:

What bike will Steve be riding?

Steve's bike

We sponsor Steve Bate. We’ve known him for a long time. He’s a good guy. He’s also done some great stuff (more about that here).

Steve’s been up in Glasgow this week racing in the track world championships. Before he set off, he popped by the unit to show Ed his bike setup for the Calder Divide Trail.

Packing your bike for the CDT

Local mountain biker and donut artisan, Laura, popped by the unit to talk Ed through her setup for this year’s Calder Divide Trail. Having completed the shorter of the three trails last year, Laura is getting herself geared up for one of the longer routes. Watch the video to see what she’s bringing along for the ride.

Ed in the Pyrenees with Basque MTB

Don't Call it a Comeback

~ Ed Oxley

I thought I was volunteering to go to a mountain BAKING festival. Unfortunately it isn’t that, it’s mountain BIKING. I gave up mountain biking 7 years ago and hoped never to do it again. Bugger!

The CDT is a big off road ride around the watershed of the Calder Valley, it’s for charity, we’re supporting it and you should ride it if you’re that way inclined Read all about the event and how you can take part here
Calder Tech. There won't be anything like this on the CDT!
We sponsor cyclist, gold medal winner etc. Steve Bate. He’s patron saint of the CDT and casually suggested that I (Ed) should join him for the 165 mile bikepacking version of the event. Like a mug I agreed. So far I’ve talked about mountain biking for a video that’s being made for the CDT and have started riding to work mostly on the canal towpath. Steve says it’ll be fine, but then he’s the sort that does those ramp test things, where you exert yourself to the limit, puke up and fall over. At least he’s going blind so I might be able to catch him up on the downhills. You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete or even a skilled and experienced rider to take part. There are different distances for different fancies and abilities. It will be great to see you there. Me and Steve will be leading some sort of camp fire chat over the weekend of the event, although I’ll most likely be crying, rubbing lard into my arse and eating pies. The Calder valley has magnificent scenery, fascinating history and lots of places to eat and drink. Even if you’ve been before there’s always more to discover in this unique and non conformist part of the Pennines.

WTF has mountain biking got to do with trousers?

As you may or not know me (Ed) and brant both used to be mountain bikers. We met out on a ride and then started to ride and drank a lot together in the after ride ‘debriefing’ sessions.

brant designed bikes and I was a guide/instructor of skills. brant became my first sponsor in a triumph of nepotism. Cheers!

Then it all went wrong, we got into trousers, quit our jobs, stopped riding, sold our bikes and just concentrated on the drinking bit. Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

There’s no doubt that the support we had in the early days from our mountain bike following on social media was significant to the success of HebTroCo. For this we remain grateful. If you’re one of those early adopters, thanks for the money, the cheering us and laughing along with us. If you’re not welcome to the circus. Now get your wallet out and smarten up your act.

brant once had to borrow Ed's trousers after an 'incident' out in the hills

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