After starting most events this year with arm warmers & gilet I feel I must resist the temptation to complain about the heat on Sunday, but if the 'slow cycling' section found it too hot you can imagine how it was on the Dales climbs we had to endure. Although I never saw Peter on the day, from the results I see he opted for the shorter 84 mile route. Probably a wise move.
Starting a little after 8am with Roger Palfreeman and a couple of local riders it was already warming up as we climbed Norwood Edge and I had drunk one bottle by the first feed/check at Grassington.
Due to a diesel spill on Fleet Moss the road was closed so we had to climb Kidstones over to Aysgarth and then take the main road up Wensleydale to Hawes. By now it was just me and Roger and the slog up the valley seemed hard, adding extra miles, and despite a brief stop at the Hawes feed/check the road still dragged painfully on up to Garsdale before the punishing climb of the Coal Road.
The descent into Dentdale gave us a cooling breather before tackling the melting roads back up to Newby Head but unfortunately Roger was now cramping very badly (along with many others we passed) and unable to do his share.
It had really hotted up on the Attermire climb out of Settle (joined by the 84 mile route from Halton Gill) with the heat bouncing off the limestone walls and Roger was ready to throw the towel in, but a bit of encouragement got him to the feed/check at Airton and over the numerous lumps & bumps to Bolton Abbey.
The stinging climb of Langbar is the last climb and it was very punishing with the sun blasting down but then its a quick run into the finish in Ilkley where I found a hosepipe to cool myself down before enjoying a sausage sandwich and a pint of shandy !
It is a popular event with around 1000 riders and the finish at the Ilkley Rugby Club is busy with a 'family day' for the many supporters, although some people were probably keen to get back for the Tour and/or Wimbledon final !
With the extended route it clocked at 120 miles and only 5 riders managed it under 7 hours.
Mel - 6hr 39min. Peter H - 5hr 25min. (84 mile).
For a picture I am following Peters example and pinching one from Earthdreamer who rode alongside me for a chat (very briefly) at Kettlewell. http://www.blipfoto.com/entry/3243054
petehorne says - another good ride from Mel but not the best day ever for me - everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I got to the start at Ilkley Rugby Club an hour later than intended with only a couple of hours sleep the night before. Mel and Roger had long gone (not that I would have even attempted to stay with them). Then, when I signed on to be informed that due to Fleet Moss being closed a 12 mile detour had been arranged tipped the scales and I took the option to ride the medium route. Perhaps due to the heat and lack of sleep I didn't feel great and had been struggling for the first hour or so. I was caught by a group of patents lawyers from Buxton over West End and managed to sit in as they did bit and bit, this did me a power of good and eventually I was able to go through and do a turn myself. My spirits rose; and so did the temperature. There were many sorry sights at the side of the road, grown men rolling around in agony with cramp - especially as Mel mentions, up Attermire. With Langbar in mind I rode within myself and was pleasantly surprised to be able to sit in the saddle and twiddle away comfortably when I got there (most other riders were walking - until they saw the photographer lurking near the summit whereupon they attempted, not always successfully, to remount. It was a good decision to opt for the shorter
Mel says - There are some good pictures on British Cycling site - even makes it look quite enjoyable. Not sure Peter will agree though !