I arrived at the Oddfellows Hall with more than a degree of uncertainty; seven hours in the saddle always seems excessive. I had a plan to split at Kilnsey and head alone up Littondale over Darnbrook or possibly Silverdale and back via Malham. For some reason I failed to make the turn, you know how I love to follow a wheel, and found myself in a group heading up Wharfedale to Kettlewell, Buckden and the climb of Fleet Moss.
I nearly didn’t make this group at all having been comprehensively dropped by all and sundry on the climb out of Halifax,I was however lucky to be caught by Simon who’d been delayed by chain problems who then paced me back to the second group comprising Pete H, Big Phil, JK from the Imps and Paul a fell running mate of Pete’s.
Simon Pete and JK dropped off up Fleet Moss leaving myself Phil and Paul to make our way to Hawes past Helwith Bridge (start finish of the Three Peaks – less than two months now) to Settle where our no stop strategy allowed us to pass the first group who were enjoying their bacon butty repast in Ye Olde Naked Man making us, for a while at least, leaders on the road!
This situation only lasted until Mitton where we were caught and passed and the natural order was reinstated. The pack reshuffled at this point resulting in me dropping off the pace, losing my erstwhile comrades but linking up with Dougie. We made our way back to Halifax together just in time to see Melvyn depart for home.
Pete and Simon appeared about 20 mins later Pete declaring that it hadn’t been his best day and that he was heading off for his bed; better day for me, no really bad patches and my second 200k of the summer.