Barnsley Boundary

Heroes Ride  

Cycling Sportive

Sun 22nd August 2021 

In memory of Private Matthew Adam Thornton

4th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment

Matthew's Story

By Nathan Thornton

On the morning of Wednesday 9th November 2011, my brother Private Matthew Adam Thornton sadly lost his life in a conflict in the Lashkar Gah region of Helmand. He was out on patrol at a checkpoint near Babaji when he and his fellow compatriots were attack by small arms fire and grenades, while returning fire an pushing forward he  was caught in a road side IED explosion and unfortunately lost his life. No-one else in his multiple were injured or hurt!

 

He will be greatly missed by all who he touched and by all who knew him dearly. He was the best brother anyone could ever want, and sadly died doing what he did best which was protect those around him and look out for everyone he could. He was a true legend, an absolutely amazing brother to me and my sister, an even better son to my parents. Things will be difficult for a long time to come but your donations and support will help us all dearly, not just our family but the families of all the troops still in the conflicts and sadly those who are no longer here! 

 

Matthew was finally laid to rest on Tuesday 29th November 2011 in what was one of the most amazing turn outs anyone has ever seen. The streets were lined with people taking time out of their busy lives to pay respect to a true hero. Local businesses pulled down there shutters and the village of Darton ground to a halt all for such a special person and amazing brother. The cortege was followed closely from the family home by all his close friends and family and finally lead into the service by his closest D Company comrades. During the emotional service there were tears of sadness, tears of joy and a sense of pride by all. As Matthews favourite song was played my cousins Emily, Millie, Thomas, Maisie and their friend Jess all shuffled along and danced their hearts out, a fitting tribute which my brother would have loved and most likely been there shufflin' with them. Everyone begun to clap and cheer them on and even the 300+ strong in the church did not deter them. 

 

Later Matthew was lead away to a private burial, where he received a 3 volley salute by his fellow TA friends. Instead on laying ashes in his grave we threw stars in with him. A perfect way to celebrate something which he loved and showed on his car and his body with his tattoos. During the wake my mum was presented with Matt's operational medal and walked round wearing it with pride with a huge smile on her face, no doubt Matthew would have been looking down on us all thinking I did my best, I made you happy, I love you all and im glad I made everyone proud. 

 

No one should ever have to feel this pain which my family is going through but without the sacrifices of those special people out there fighting for family and friends the world would be a far more dangerous place. My brother made me proud before he ever left, he made me who I am today, he made me realise what is important, whats not and what never will be. He lived his life to the best he could, wore his heart on his sleeve and gave his all. Me and Matthew are two of the same person we will always protect no matter what the risks, we will always care no matter what happens and most of all we will always love our family and friends the best we can. I love my parents, I love my sister, I love my family, I love my friends but most of all I miss and love my brother so much!

 

With great respect to all, THANK YOU!

 

Donate

Your entry fee for this event will help the funds raised so far reach the goal £100,000 for Help For Heroes.

If you can, and would like to make further donations you can do so via our JustGiving Page

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Charity Registration No. 1120920 (England & Wales) and SC044984 (Scotland)

The Ride

What is The Barnsley Boundary Heroes Ride?

My name is Michael Thornton, Matthew's Dad. Together with Matthew's Mum, Sue and the help of family, friends and supporters we raise funds for Help For Heroes. 

With over £60,000 raised so far, we aim to go above and beyond our target of £100,000.

The Barnsley Boundary Heroes Ride evolved from the Barnsley Boundary Heroes Walk and is what it says. 

 

The supported walk was over 4 Days and camping out after each day. A total distance of around 74 miles along public rights of way. This was in order to raise funds for Help for Heroes but it was time consuming to walk and had the risk of individual injuries. 

 

I found the love for cycling after the TOUR DE FRANCE came to YORKSHIRE in 2014. After a couple of months of cycling, friends who I cycled with mentioned that we could possibly adapt the walk into a ride and would only take a day to ride the Boundary. So plans were set for routing. The very nature of using road bicycles meant that the Boundary would be criss-crossed no less than 29 times and of course the mileage would increase to 77 miles and taking 6hrs to ride. 

The first year, myself, my cycling friends and my eldest Son’s friends and military colleagues took up the challenge. A total of 35 riders cycling as a group and with an ethos of NOBODY gets left behind.

 

After further talks with friends we agreed that we could make this route in to a sportive. This would take some further planning and support and the generosity of local businesses. There are some great people out there willing to support a fantastic cause - HELP FOR HEROES. 

 

The first sportive event was a massive success. Someone just happened to say you couldn’t make it much harder! 

 

The following year a second route was added, taking in some national hill climbs. This was a slightly longer route and was named the EXTREME. And yes when talking to riders after that, someone said yet again now that was a tough one - it’s impossible to be much harder. I laughed. 

 

We now have 3 routes. The CLASSIC, 78 Miles with 6800 ft of climbing. The EXTREME, 82 Miles with 7500 ft of climbing and the ULTRA ,101 Miles 11000 ft of climbing. 

 

This has got to be one of Yorkshire’s toughest Sportives. 

 

DON’T quote me come and try it if you DARE!

 

3

Routes

78

Miles*

6800

Feet of climbing*

20%

Gradients*

*Classic Route

Our Sponsors

A special thanks to all our sponsors and volunteers who give their products, services, funds, help and time.

Without you this event would not not be possible. THANK YOU!

If you would like to sponsor this event of offer help in any way, please Contact Us

 
 

The Routes

Barnsley lies in the heart of South Yorkshire. The boundary passes through some of the most spectacular British countryside a cyclist could ever ask for. As with all the roads in Yorkshire, you are either going up or going down!

The Barnsley Boundary Heroes Ride is designed to be as rewarding as it is challenging.

 

With 3 routes to choose from you will ride on some of the same roads as used in the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart, taking in some of the famous climbs such as Pea Royd Lane, Stocksbridge and Scar Hole Lane and Jackson Bridge.

The routes are fully marshalled and include feed stations along the way to ensure you have the safe and enjoyable day of cycling.

Choose your challenge!
Distance
77.82 mi
 
Climbing
6,798 ft
Distance
88.28 mi
 
Climbing
7,566 ft
Distance
101.1 mi
 
Climbing
10,989 ft

The Classic

Distance 77.8 mi
Climbing 6,798 ft

The second classic route was Registered with British Cycling as a Sportive and put into BARNSLEY ROAD CLUB’s cycling calendar. Because we opened it up to over 1000 riders we needed to find a venue to host the start and finish. We were very lucky that BARNSLEY WOOLLEY MINERS CRICKET CLUB offered the use of their ground and facilities. This meant a slight alteration to the route which wasn’t a problem to plan but put the first climb on the old route to the very last climb on the new route. Oh boy Haigh bank the last climb; we will get back to that after 75 miles in your legs.

 

So, before anybody is allowed off, we all gather together and the ode to the fallen soldier is read out and a minute’s silence is observed.

Staggered start releasing from 10 to 15 riders at a time turning left from the start and heading toward Woolley Colliery/Woolley Grange taking another left through the new village of Woolley Grange and then the first climb, Climbing The Stack which is literally what you are doing. Up on to Woolley Edge taking another left to the highest point, a right down Middle Field Lane towards Woolley Village following black arrows on yellow background meandering through country lanes heading out towards Notton and Old Royston and Shafton. Use this time to get your legs warmed up by the time you have reached Shafton you will have roughly 12 miles done. At the traffic lights in Shafton turn left again and follow the direction arrows up to Brierley just nice and steady away don’t be tempted to race or chase others it’s a long day. At the brow of the hill turn right and head towards Clayton. At Clayton village turn right and head down the hill towards Thurnscoe. At the bottom of the hill turn left through Thurnscoe being careful not to miss any of the direction arrows, if you miss the direction arrows you will end up at Hickleton, so be wary.

 

You should be heading toward Goldthorpe and Bolton upon Dearne as you will have probably realised these are all old mining villages. In the middle of Bolton upon Dearne turning right at the ANGEL PUB, across from that pub in the church yard is the figure of a Golden ANGEL or CHIRST. Keep following the road down on to Manvers Way roundabout. At this point turn right be careful this is a busy road so I would advise using the cycle path taking care at each road crossing, there are 3 roundabouts on the right of the cycle path. At the end of Manvers way follow the cycle path round to the left and head towards Brampton Bierlow and Elsecar Heritage Centre. The first FEED STATION at this point you will have cycled 26 miles. 

RIGHT, at this point from experience, you should just take it steady it’s all uphill for the next 8.5 Miles and 1200ft of climbing, Hoyland Common, Howbrook and Wharncliffe Woods and Grenoside where you will have to tackle JAW BONE HILL which the riders of the TOUR DE FRANCE did. But you are going down it ha ha ha. Down in to Oughtibridge very steep descent with speed bumps and narrows partway down, follow the one way system and head towards Wharncliffe side and Deepcar. At the lights at Deepcar keep to the right and head towards Thurgoland and Greenmoor on Forge Lane take a left up Well Lane where the next challenge unfolds. This climb takes you up to the village of Green Moor and the start of a long ridge ride open to the elements and usually the wind is in your face for the full length 3.7 miles, doesn’t sound far but at this point you have nearly 50 miles in your legs. Only 3 miles more to go to next FEED STATION at the DOG & PARTRIDGE A628.

 

At this point you will be ready for a rest. Grab your food, water up and get ready for the fun to begin, head back down to the roundabout turn left on to where The Flouch Pub used to be and head towards Carlecotes. When you emerge from the small village look back over to the left you can see the Dog and Partridge. Head towards Dunford Bridge, down into the village and start to climb out the other side Windle Edge.  Part the way up the hill take a right and head towards Winscar Res, the furthest point. On a clear day one of the best views in Yorkshire. A great photo opportunity. Go across the dam head, gather yourself and get your breath back and prepare for what’s to come. Head down into the village of Hepworth, once in the bottom of Hepworth there’s only one place to go and yes you’ve guessed it. That’s climbing back out. 

 

First of all from Hell to Heaven  then Dig In  up to Victoria.  Well done you deserved to have finished after that effort but you haven’t just one little switch back to tackle Hogs Hall switch back. Then its downhill from here. Head toward Inbirchworth, Upper Denby and Cannon Hall/Cawthorne Country Park. At this point you have nearly cracked it, 2 more climbs to go. First the Camels Humps  When you have 73 miles in your legs this is like climbing Everest. If you manage to conquer this take a well-earned break and a drink at the Cherry Tree Pub, you’ve heard the term, “you can see my house from here” well I can, as well as the finish. Slight climb up to the church then down hill for 1 mile. You’ve got it come around the last hill Haigh Bank, you may think well this isn’t that bad the locals know different it just keeps on giving.

 

Just a short ridge ride and back down into Woolley Grange. DON’T let this decent catch you out. Nearly there, time to unwind and take it easy. Are you ready for pie and peas. Don’t forget to let us know that you have finished then have a pint and if possible please fill in the survey monkey.

Velo_Classic_1200.jpg

The Extreme

Distance 82.2 mi
Climbing 7,566 ft

The extreme follows the exact same route as the classic route up until Wharncliffe Side where the route turns left up More Hall Lane and straight away easier gears need to be found, an average of 5.5% 517ft of climb and 1.7 miles in length up towards Bolsterstones, this is just a taster for you. 

 

Turn right then left and follow the road above Stocksbridge, meandering to the far end of the town dropping down in front of Underbank Reservoir then head back into Stocksbridge (Fox Valley shopping centre).This is where you have the first of one of our National Hill Climbs, Pea Royd Hill: 0.7mile 504ft 13%. At this point I’d like to say it’s time to catch your breath but every time we have run this sportive the wind as been blowing and never in the direction that the route goes. SORRY! 

 

The second feed station is at the Dog and Partridge A628 at around 54 miles, get topped up with water and food as this is the last opportunity. Only 28 miles to go, but this is where the hard work really starts. Don't chase the finish line, REMEMBER WHY YOU ENTERED; then the pain will ease a little.

 

Heading towards Dunford Bridge and Windle Edge: 1.37miles 439ft 6% waits for you and over the Winscar Dam Head, a fantastic view back down the valley heading towards Hepworth and yes its down hill into the village then a climb back out. Now this climb out isn't that bad until you come out off the woods and in the distance you see this what you could easily mistake as a wall but no it’s a road up towards the Methodist church, all the prayers in the world won’t flatten that stretch out locally know as the climb, Hell to Heaven: 0.2 miles 110ft 9.3%.

 

Once that has been conquered, turn left and yes its a welcome down hill towards yet another National hill climb, Jackson Bridge: 0.9 miles 509ft 9.9%. My advice on tackling this is in 4 stages.

Stage 1. The toughest, with some grades reaching double figures toward the terraced houses on the left. Stage 2. You will be seated just to be able to catch your breath up to the viewers bench which looks back towards Hepworth, Hade Edge and Holmefirth in the distance. Stage 3. Climbs up a little into double figures again then a slight rest bite before tackling Stage 4. Up to the house on the left 300 yard away. From this point you are heading downhill or flat for the next 3 miles towards Cannon Hall, when you reach this point only 3 more hills to tackle. The first 2 are The Camel Humps 1.3miles 281ft 4.1% don’t be drawn into thinking that its only 4.1%. That’s the average, at points they reach 12% and when you have 78 miles in your legs the burn is not the word you will be looking for. 

 

When you reach High Hoyland your destination is in sight, but there’s also the Cherry Tree Pub for a refreshing drink. Only one more hill to challenge you, Haigh Bank: 0.9miles 284ft 5.9% this is a continuous climb and the average is 5.9% but the last 100 yards really ramps up all the way to the junction turning right at the junction up to the farmhouse and you are truly at the highest point on the route  and definitely all down hill to the finish.

Velo_Extreme_1200.jpg

The Ultra

Distance 101.1 mi
Climbing 10,989 ft

The extreme follows the exact same route as the classic route up until Wharncliffe Side where the route turns left up More Hall Lane and straight away easier gears need to be found, an average of 5.5% 517ft of climb and 1.7 miles in length up towards Bolsterstones, this is just a taster for you. 

 

Turn left and head towards the climb Wigtwizzle and Ewden Bank which was part of the Tour of Yorkshire Wigtwizzles: 0.8mile 405ft 9.3% and Ewden Bank: 0.6 mile 425ft 13.1%.  Meandering to the far end of the town dropping down in front of Underbank Reservoir then head back into Stocksbridge (Fox Valley shopping centre).This is where you have the first of one of our National Hill Climbs, Pea Royd Hill: 0.7mile 504ft alt 13%. At this point I’d like to say it’s time to catch your breath but every time we have run this sportive the wind as been blowing and never in the direction that the route goes. SORRY!  

 

The second feed station is at the Dog and Partridge A628 at around 54 miles, get topped up with water and food as this is the last opportunity. Only 28 miles to go, bu this is where the hard work really starts. Don’t chase the finish line, REMEMBER WHY YOU ENTERED; then the pain will ease a little.

 

Heading towards Dunford Bridge and Windle Edge: 1.37miles 439ft 6% continue heading up Windle Edge until you meet the Woodhead Pass turn right until you meet the turn for Holme Moss: 1.9 mile 847ft 8.1%. Now Holme Moss is normally tackled and is tougher from the other direction. The saving grace is that the wind normally blows you up that way, when you get to the top you will be ready for a glass of wine so head down into Holmebridge and up passed yet another hill climb, The Vineyards: HVW CLUB HILL CLIMB Woodhouse Lane: 0.4 mile 270ft 11.8%.

 

Well done if you’ve got to this point, just a little further, then a well deserved feed station after a breather head up flight hill and yes its down hill into the village then a climb back out. Now this climb out isn't that bad until you come out off the woods and in the distance you see this what you could easily mistake as a wall but no it’s a road up towards the Methodist church, all the prayers in the world wont flatten that stretch out locally know as the climb, Hell to Heaven: 0.2 miles 110ft 9.3%. Once that has been conquered, turn left and yes its a welcome down hill towards yet another National hill climb, Jackson Bridge: 0.9 miles 509ft 9.9%. My advice on tackling this is in 4 stages. 

Stage 1. The toughest, with some grades reaching double figures toward the terraced houses on the left. Stage 2. You will be seated just to be able to catch your breath up to the viewers bench which looks back towards Hepworth, Hade Edge and Holmefirth in the distance. Stage 3. Climbs up a little into double figures again then a slight rest bite before tackling Stage 4. Up to the house on the left 300 yard away. From this point you are heading downhill or flat for the next 3 miles towards Cannon Hall, when you reach this point only 3 more hills to tackle. The first 2 are The Camel Humps 1.3miles 281ft 4.1% don’t be drawn into thinking that its only 4.1%. That’s the average, at points they reach 12% and when you have 78 miles in your legs the burn is not the word you will be looking for. 

 

When you reach High Hoyland your destination is in sight, but there’s also the Cherry Tree Pub for a refreshing drink. Only one more hill to challenge you, Haige Bank: 0.9miles 284ft 5.9% this is a continuous climb and the average is 5.9% but the last 100 yards really ramps up all the way to the junction turning right at the junction up to the farmhouse and you are truly at the highest point on the route  and definitely all down hill to the finish.

Velo_Ultra_1200.jpg
 
 
 
 

Enter

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Entries for August 22nd 2021 are now open
via the
British Cycling Website

Donate

Your entry fee for this event will help the funds raised so far reach the goal £100,000 for Help For Heroes.
If you can, and would like to make further donations you can do so via our JustGiving Page

DCMS-logo-official.png
justgiving.png

Charity Registration No. 1120920 (England & Wales) and SC044984 (Scotland)

 

Contact

If you have any questions about the Barnsley Boundary Heroes Ride. I you wish to become one of our valuable volunteers or sponsor the event. Please contact us using the form below.

Or visit our Facebook page 

Contact Us

Event Location

Woolley Miners Welfare Cricket Club,
Woolley Colliery Road, Darton, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S75 5JA

Free parking is available on the day.

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