Spring into the Dales 100 km


Survived the climb out of Hebden Bridge with lots of others, descended into Oxenhope alone.  At around 10 miles there was a fast, clear descent along a reservoir after which I heard a strange noise – rear mud guard had broken under the saddle bag and was resting on the tyre.  The duck tape fix held until a couple of miles before the finish.

Spring into the Dales, mudguard

First checkpoint was a guy in his car stamping cards, boot full of bananas and cereal bars.  It was pissing down by this point.  Next control in Gargrave, two chaps in a bus shelter opposite the Dalesman cafe, which I then went in to warm/dry/eat.

Spring into the Dales, Dalesman Cafe

A couple of info controls, gel and jelly beans required at the second before I fell over.  Hard work climbing out of Keighley, and then the climb from Oxenhope was brutal, but ridable; a very long time in the little cog.  Mutual photo taking with another audaxer at the top.  Not sure where his mate had got to, who had been carrying a selfie stick around all day.

Spring into the Dales, top of Oxenhope hill

All downhill after this, cold hands permanently on the brakes.  Felt a bit sick toward the end, there was a good spread on at the arrivée which I probably failed to appreciate, but the chocolate soy milk that I had with me went down well.  A thoroughly soggy ride, the worst bit being trying to get wet gloves back on and being cold when starting again after a stop.  And a new mud guard will be required.

Spring into the Dales route

115 km, 2.25 AA, 8 hours 39 minutes