In Which I Ride And Ride And Fall And Ride
The White Rose Classic is a cycle sportive organised by the Ilkley Cycling Club, and therefore starts (and finishes) in Ilkley. There were three options of route: Short (50 miles), medium (84 miles) or long (114 miles).
I chose the medium route, and it turns out so did John (Sarah’s uncle) and Peter (Sarah’s uncle, not the same uncle as John, obviously) whereas Ironman Tony opted for the long route. (He changed for the medium route on race day to ride with me and his brothers.)
Tony picked me up Sunday morning and after we’d loaded up my bike we drove over to Ilkley (Ilkley rugby club to be precise). There are two feed stations on the medium route, but just incase I’d put two extra bottle cages on my bike behind the seat to make sure I had enough energy drinks.
(Race number 333: Number of a half Beast)
We could get going anywhere between 7:30-9:30 and we were on our way just after 8am.
This report will be quite rubbish because all the hills and stuff kinda blur into each other. There was a decent hill around mile 10-12 where I had to have a breather halfway up before getting on with it and getting to the top. I think it was not long after this that there was a beautiful downhill section looking down on a reservoir and woodland area, which then led us towards Grassington and the first feed station. (This isn’t my pic of the reservoir, but it is A pic of the reservoir…)
The feed station was a welcome break as my right knee had been complaining quite a bit, but it wasn’t gonna stop me. They fed us up on pork pies and pasties, along with sweets and crisps and the chance to top up drinks bottles. Before long we were off again.
A steady section followed, and we followed the valley floor. Went by some massive rocky hills with people hanging off them (or climbing up them) and then we turned left into the rain and uphill, deep in the Yorkshire Dales.
Thing about Yorkshire Dales is there’s plenty of cattle, so plenty of cattle grids. For the inexperienced rider, this might mean you’re out of the saddle on an uphill climb, and might mean your back wheel spins on a chuffing cattle grid. You’d then unclip, lose your leg down the cattle grid and go over with your ankle at a funny angle and wait for a snapping sound.
This all happened, of course, to me. (Luckily all apart from the snap. But it was close!) John came to help me but slipped down the cattle grid too. Eventually we both got up with help from Tony and Peter, but I had to walk to the top of the hill from there to test my ankle. Seemed ok. The pain in my ankle took my mind of the pain in my knee at least!
Before long we arrived at the next feed station and the sun had come out. Filled up on more pork pies and pasties and had a coffee, then went and did the last third of the ride which I found tough. Plenty of big hills where I had to get off and push, but I kept going forward. Eventually Tony told me we were at the top of the last hill, and the last few miles were downhill or flat. Then before I knew it, we were done.
84 tough miles done. (Well, 80 tough miles and 4 easy). At the end we got a food voucher each so I had cottage pie. It was proper nice.
Massive elevation though! No way I’d’ve gotten through the ride without the support of Tony, John and Peter, or without the support of the pork pies. Also the support of Norman and Peters wife (Sarah) and daughters (Rachel n Mellissa) who cheered us on from a few different places. Oh wait! We got given a snood too at the end!
That’s pretty much all I can do with it…
Still looking for sponsors!! 12 days til Ironman UK!!! Argh!!!
SPONSOR ME PLEASE!
Only time for one more blog update before the big day… Oh dear!
Damn we never get pork pie!! Well done getting back in the saddle sir!
Only in Yorkshire would a sporting event be fuelled by pork pies. Yum