Saturday 20th May 2017
The B2 ride was set to go a different route from the B1 ride today to avoid the infamous climb of Birdy Brow (something I had agreed with the Chairman early in the week).
10 B2 riders thus headed off towards Longridge Fell. I stopped outside the Kenlis Arms to brief the riders on what lay ahead. You would have thought that there would be nothing but thanks for managing to wangle out of firstly Harris End and then Birdy Brow but not for one individual who almost spat his dummy out at the thought of climbing Butt Hill – Garstangs answer to Mount Ventoux.
The harmonious group (bar one for the time being) trundled up Butt Hill along Bleasdale Road to Chipping enjoying pleasantries and wondering if a photographer would jump out at any moment to snap the group. We need not fear for he had gone with the B1 and unless we were to find an extra bit of speed unlikely to cross paths before the café.
We had been told that we had to be at the café for 11.45am which was doable but only if we didn’t have a mechanical / puncture and we were able to push on. I was conscious the pace was a little faster than normal as we descended from Chaigley and waved at the mouth of Birdy Brow – not today I said.
The climb I had chosen today was up by Stonyhurst College to Old Clitheroe Road. A long steady climb that is by no means easy when you are racing against the clock. Once we had reached the top apart from the undulating ride to the café we had one more hazard to negotiate the dreaded rain promised for 1pm arrived early and we briefly stopped to put on waterproofs.
As we rode into the café carpark (puncture free for once) I quickly checked my watch only 12min late which was not bad all things considered.
The café stop was most pleasurable especially listening to the rain pounding on the polycarbonate roof of the outside area of Little Town Dairy.
I think we were the last to leave the café (probably the longest café stop in history) which if Luke had is way would of been even longer if we had waited until the rain stopped around 4pm.
At the café Martin and Miriam bid us farewell. Martin the ride back to Ribchester and Miriam the ride back to Lancaster in a car (yes a car – lucky beggar).
The flatter roads through Whitechapel were most welcoming as we took the shortest route back to Garstang. The rain, slightly eased off for the home ride and by the time we reached Garstang you guessed it had pretty much stopped.
A most enjoyable ride with a great bunch. We averaged 13.5 mph, and over 2500 ft of climbing covering just short of 40m.