The Road on the north side takes an uncharacteristically for this area oblique route up the side of valley making its three hundred and fifty vertical metres a joy of changing views, alternating steep and gentle gradients and varying road surface gravelly leafy mucky slippinesses. This side in fact also has a little brother, an unmade fork that comes up from the valley further west, well known to mountain bikers, shooters and motorists caught up in the great Crackpot bad GPS directions incident of 2006. From the cattle grid at the top can be seen the Dales’ only significant natural lake to the South, limestone not being great for water features, the far side of the valley you’ve just left to the North, the Cleveland hills to the East, and some heather and stuff to the West, or completely bugger all in any direction if you didn’t pick a very good day.
The road down the other side is a nastiness of steep uneven narrow lanes, tight turns and an almost permanently wet surface. On the plus side it does lead to a café with one of those old metal winged wheel badges on the wall where they still like bike riders. The sublime goingupness of the northern end of this road and the horrible brakegripping 25%ness of the southern section mean the best thing to do would surely be to go back down the way you came up but there must be some inner fear of terrible divine consequences because I can never do that. If the cycling press reports a North Yorkshire cyclist struck down by lightning on an otherwise fine day whilst crossing Low Whita Bridge the wrong way you’ll know who it was, and why.