Monday, 4 April 2016

Another Audacious Imp Outing, write up courtesy of Sarah B

Thought I'd write a ride report for yesterday considering how glorious the weather was for cycling.
I had managed to rope two other fellow Imps to follow in my quest to tackle some tough climbs in the Dales.

Myself Paul Cre and Gary Bray braved the early 7:30am damp start from Clitheroe to venture through the Dales and tackle the Delightful Dales 205k Audax. For me this meant a 5am wake up call and 5:45am pick up. A long day ahead.
Our ride started in Clitheroe and we managed to stay in a pretty big peleton of riders all the way to Grassington before we let the riders go ahead as I didn't want to tackle the 1st big climb of Park Rash 30 miles in on the steep side surrounded by 50 other wobbly zigzagging riders. 
As we rolled to the bottom of Park Rash I looked up and there I saw it. A WALL! the hairpin visible from a mile out, it looked devilish! I could see riders already pushing their bike ups and others zigzagging to the point they were nearly coming back down. Hell this is gonna be tough. 

Paul hit the climb first hes a machine he didn't falter. I on the other hand i had my lowest gear engaged and fought my way up past people pushing, and wobbling all over. I passed one guy so exhausted he was lying in the the grass verge with is bike on top of him. Unhurt may I say. Arriving at the top the big group of riders before us had waited to cheer us all over the summit and congratulate us. I felt like a champion..
Park Rash was just the taster of how the rest of the ride would pan out. It was steep climb after steep climb. I had thought every climb would come with a descent to replicate it. I was wrong most descents were rolling with lots of bumps in the them. This ride was going to be harder than I imagined.

We lost time at the first café stop at 72k as all the Audax riders had decided to pack out the same café. Myself, Gary and Paul last to be served. Big breakfast with pots of tea for the boys , scrambled-eggs for me. Food was welcome.
When we hit Grinton moor the views we stunning, the weather was beautiful and the wind was non existent. It was so warm climbing that boys stripped their arm warmers and leg warmers off.. I had to suffer the heat as I had not dressed to accommodate the change in temperature.
After Grinton moor we had another top 100 climb to tackle Garsdale Head... another beast at 90 miles in. Tired legs meant a pretty slow ascent for me and Gary. Paul didn't falter his speed constant all the time,  After this climb we headed through Ribble valley past the viaduct and tackled Newby Head climb under the tunnel.  At this point we passed so fellow riders who were now lagging. the ride taken its toll on them. as us.  The last 30 miles was a case of head down ass up.. non of us really spoke to each other. I didn't have the energy and was focused on getting back.

We arrived at the finish about 7:15pm a little damp as it started raining 10 mins from the finish. From there on to a victory meal at MacDonalds before our drive home.
Overall we had a awesome day with awesome people. Top day in the saddle with weather a cyclist normally only dreams of.
129miles, 13.8mph , 13900ft elevation ( how accurate I do not know but legs felt it)

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