Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Richmond 5 Dale Sportive

Tan Hill again ! -and in the same strong westerly as two weeks ago. It's 100 miles and Gold is set at 6 hours - a tall order in these conditions.
The route heads north from Richmond on quiet lanes to bring you over The Stang to Arkengarthdale, then right to Tan Hill for the first check at Keld. At this stage there are a few more wheels to share the work but its still tough going. We catch Dougie and Martin Croft who decide to let us go, obviously trying to enjoy their day out.
Birkdale Moor over to Nateby and we grip the bars tight on the exposed descent - not a day for deep section rims. The wind is kind to Garsdale and then blasts us down to Hawes for the next check.
The 80 mile route goes straight back to Richmond but we turn right up the steep side of Fleet Moss which, thankfully, is reasonably sheltered.
The fun starts down Langstrothdale with the sun coming out and a howling tail wind and I am on my own. After the check at Kettlewell the fun stops because we go over Park Rash with 80 hard miles in the legs - I catch a young guy and persuade him that Gold is still possible so we grind it out together and then fly down Coverdale with the tail wind - fantastic and almost car-free !
Left in Middleham up to Leyburn and then its painfully lumpy over to Swaledale and my legs are complaining. To make matters worse my new friends computer just clicked over 6 hours so he stops working and leaves it to me.
I get my print-out at the HQ showing I managed Gold but I am more in need of the chilli & rice.
This is a well organised event and they allow you the option of chosing the 50 or 80 mile return at the check points - which many chose to do on such a hard day.
Just over 100 riders did the 100 mile event with only 6 inside the 6 hours. I was pleased with 5 hours 48 mins. and 3rd position. The fastest was 12 minutes quicker than me (but the 2nd only 2 seconds quicker !).
Martin Croft 6 hours 21 mins and Dougie Burnside 6 hours 43 for silver.

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