Pedalthon Across Yorkshire - Part Two

Following my team mate Ruth's recent blog, here is my view on the event!

The team drove up straight from work in Telford to Harrogate the night before the event. The route around Manchester was fairly kind to us – only taking about three and a half hours and we were all glad that we were staying over night, so we wouldn't have to do the journey first thing in the morning before the ride.

A wander around Harrogate found us an Italian restaurant where we all filled up on pasta and then to the supermarket for bananas / jellies / energy drinks for the ride.

With the morning came the rain – a constant companion for us. Setting off from Ripley Castle, the first 30 miles to checkpoint 1 was the first challenge. The first 20 miles was relatively straightforward with the next 10, and the run-in to the first stop, being difficult as the rain soaked through everything and our body temperatures dropped.

The first stop – not much more than a layby – gave us all a chance to warm up. The traditional cup of tea raising spirits and temperatures and readying us for the next 30 miles.

However, after just a short few miles into the next section, what would be the first categorised climb on the 2014 Tour De France waited for us! Whilst not in itself a major problem, what it did manage to do was sap the legs to such an extent that every uphill for the rest of the ride was most definitely UPHILL!

There were brief moments where the rain did stop ever so briefly – and it was mused that, but for the rain and visibility – what lovely views there would be on this ride. But the reality was the rain made it a tough day and it would not have made our team too unhappy if the 60 mile checkpoint had actually been the end of the race.

Worse about the second stop was it was at the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham. Seeing all the sensible people (non cycling visitors) enjoying themselves and knowing that it was 20 miles before our team could partake of any ale ourselves was not the most joyous of occasions. Still, there was soup, and more tea, and plenty of sugary sweets to try to replenish the body for the last push.

A review of the map showed there were no shortcuts to be gained, our team of four set off for the last part. With little left in our legs the pace was a little slower than it had been that morning. Fortunately this had been planned for by the organisers and the last stretch was very forgiving with short little climbs that could be easily managed (in a low gear!).

Finally, after a cycle through Studley Park, the end was in sight (although in the constant rain not until you were pretty much face to face with it). A beer and some food was a welcome reward, before a quick return to the cars, search for dry clothes, and then the long journey back to Telford.

Welcome to Yorkshire’s chief executive Gary Verity (who rode the ride) was quoted as saying he must ensure that he booked the good weather by the time the Tour came through in July (looks like he managed that!)