I wondered if I’d be fit to write this, either due to the ride or from the stress of organising it.
The two-mile climb of Holme Moss after 10 miles is the ‘iconic’ climb, but the ‘killer’ comes before that, after five miles.
This is Wessenden Head, short and sharp and with a cattle grid halfway up. My triple chainring had a bottom gear of 30-25!
After the climb came the descent which lasted for about three miles and was taken at a pace of 40-50mph.
Luckily there were no mishaps except for one lad who fell going too fast on a badly surfaced road in Barnsley. He was OK.
Sunshine with the odd downpour kept us fresh throughout the ride, as did the flapjacks and bananas available at the 25 and 50-mile point feedstations.
Through Dunford Bridge, downhill through Denby Pie – famous for the world’s largest pie – then over Emley Moor down to Mirfield and up to Ainley Top.
Over Buckstone Moor we had a headwind. Bit of respite down to Denshaw, Lancashire, then through Delph and up over the Pennines again, back to Yorkshire.
The sting in the tail is a severe climb to Meltham, and five rolling miles to the finish. I scraped inside the 5-40 cut-off by a mere three minutes to bag silver.
Brian Robinson congratulated all the finishers with a handshake and it was good to know we’d raised some £7,000 towards Prostate Cancer and the Dave Rayner Fund.
It was a great event and the only real concern for us was tracing the six riders who were DNF, because they went home without reporting to HQ! In future, please tell us!
Sportive Sound Bites
York Holden (12)
York was the youngest finisher. The East Bradford CC track racing enthusiast rode with his dad, Tim. “It was my longest ride. And harder than I expected.” Did he have to walk any hills? “No.”
Dave Watson (69)
“It’s a hard circuit. The worst bit? “The penultimate climb, to Denshaw, which came after 60 miles.”
The best? “Shaking hands with Brian Robinson at the finish. Made my day. Such a nice guy.”