This year Robert’s foot prevented his continuing efforts to finish this annual event in under three hours, so it was just Alastair and I (the former after a break of six years) who started on a sunny Sunday morning from near the hamlet of Sowerby Bridge.
It was a lovely day, but difficult to concentrate on that fact as we pedaled along, often in single file down muddy tracks. It was indeed muddy, but not as excessively so as in some earlier years, when it has been virtually impossible to pedal over Midgley Moor in particular. This year I seemed to have retained some bike fitness from August’s Transalp trip, so I only needed to push at one point – the short ascent up to the Midgley Moor track – though others seemed to be doing a lot of pushing hereabouts. It was a bit sticky.
I’d stayed near Al and waited for him at the food and drink stations until about 15+ miles, so could have gone faster, but still managed a respectable 3 hours 18 minutes, only just outside my previous best. Al came in a bit later in 3 hours 29 minutes, but that was a pretty good personal best considering he does very little cycling. Our bikes were two of very few without suspension – I certainly saw no others at the finish – and we probably lost about ten minutes to those who could descend more safely at a fast speed. But we did our best and enjoyed the morning.
The rocky descent to Mytholmroyd was more enjoyable this year as more people were cycling it, though some were presenting obstacles to be cycled around!
Here’s the scene at the finish.
And here’s Alastair coming in 201st out of 325 finishers.
The winner took an impressive 1 hour 58 minutes, and another 172 folk finished before I did. The last person finished in 6 hours 3 minutes, long after we’d returned home to our hot baths.
I took a camera but failed to get it out en route, though one of the photographers on Midgley Moor should have a good shot of my bike rearing up behind me as I lost concentration (the photographer put me off) and narrowly avoided a nose dive into a deep bog!
A very jolly event, well organised and supported, and really enjoyable on a sunny day like this one. Excellent.