Saturday 4th November 2017
Now I feel it's time here to get our excuses in so here they are. Rick, who'sbeen ill for a long while and hadn't done any long rides. Mick, who was nursing a chesty cough and me, who's pretty much not been riding much, except round and round salty ayre track once a week. So excuses, exchanged we said goodbye to Steve at Wray and headed into the hills. This is where Rick asked us to ride on without him, as he wasn't feeling up to the full ride. I caught up to the riders at the front to pass on the news and even this little effort had the legs barking so I knew I'd be in for a torrid time as we were due to head over the Cross-o-Greet, then Waddington fell, all before lunch!
Danny and Martin were on fine form so decided to ride on and not stop at the cafe. This left me & Mick to amble up the cross-o-greet climb before my legs really started to complain and Mick rode away on the final few steep ramps. I passed him again at the top whilst he was fiddling with his saddle but he flew past me on the downhill and that was the last time I rode with anyone until after lunch! Once at Slaidburn the route took the steep climb out towards Newton then turned left and started to climb over 'Waddy' I could just about see Mick in the distance but had no hope of closing the gap so dug in and struggled all the way to the top, cursing my lack of miles and no lack of KG's! The ride down the other side is always fun and the advantage of being a fatty is a top speed of 48mph without pedalling!
I'd only been at the Cafe for a couple of minutes when Rick rolled in! He'd decided to follow the route after all, albeit at his own pace, which was only about 0.1mph slower than my now diminishing average speed! Fed and rested we set off back into the wind, up through Chaigley and into Chipping. The last few miles were along the back lanes near Whitechapel and down towards Claughton, where we said another goodbye to Rick, leaving me & Mick to pedal over Barnacre and back into Scorton.
A tough day out for all involved on a route with a fair amount more climbing than I'd thought! Stats from my Garmin were 76.3 miles. 6257ft of climbing and an average speed of 14.7mph.