The climb at White Horse Bank makes for a fairly intense descent. It is tight and narrow with lots of sharp bends and, in places, a pretty rough road surface. I parked about a third of the way down the climb at a big car park where a lot of dog walkers and family groups were parking up before going for a stroll through what seems to be a very popular forest park. Be warned, on a nice sunny day the road up White Horse Bank can get very busy which only highlights how tight it is in places.
The car park is directly underneath the so-called white horse which was created by a local man keen for Yorkshire to have a White Horse of its own to rival those of the South West. The white horse in question is crap. Thankfully it is below the end of a gliding clubs runway and on a sunny day you are treated every few minutes to a plane taking off at full throttle as it tows a glider into the air. This is far more impressive than the chalk decapitated pig/ dishevelled dog/ white horse but I wasn’t able to get my camera out quickly enough to photograph a plane. Sadly the white horse was going nowhere and I felt duty bound to take a photo.
Breathtaking in it's crapness
The descent down to the start of the climb was quite bumpy and on starting my climb back up I seemed to be lacking any form of rhythm. The lower part of White Horse Bank isn’t too steep but I just couldn’t get the pedals turning with any form of conviction. It was probably a combination of struggling on Rosedale Chimney and then having to drive for 40 minutes. Whatever it was it took me until about halfway up before I finally settled into a riding pace that I was happy with. It was sadly a very slow one but it would have to do.
The hill itself is actually quite pleasant; in between the increasingly steep corners the gradient backs off a bit and, for an on form cyclist, these straighter sections represent a chance to build momentum for the next steep uphill bend. I didn’t really feel comfortable until near the top and by then I was on the steepest part and by default going slowly. Once finally at the top I had a bit of a cruise along on the flat road that runs alongside the gliding club before turning back to the car and heading off to Boltby Bank which wasn’t far away.