Ride Reports

Saturday 15th April 2017

B1 Ride to Ingleton by Phil Morgan
Looking at Facebook during the week, it seemed to me that we would be short on numbers for this week's B1 ride. We had a number of defectors (or should it be mental defectives) absconding across to the attractive looking A Riders Park 'n Ride which headed off to the Western Lake District, plus folk otherwise engaged in social activities of one sort or another. I am in the usual for this time of year pre Fred Whitton training mode, so one way or another, this would be a longer ride than the official 42 miles.

And yes, this was Easter weekend, which went a long way to explaining why the roads were chocka with close passing and generally idiot drivers- and all the tourist hot spots overflowed with, well, people. So there was a lot of stuff going on elsewhere.

Arriving at Hornby Car park at 9.40 am, it was already thronging with the GCC B2 riders, some of whom, like me, had ridden from home rather than drive.
Having introduced myself to budding member and first timer Chris Benson ( Joanne Berry ) out with the B2 ride, I left him in the capable hands of Steve (or Cervelo Jackson, as he likes to be called- North Korea is watching us you know) . Chris and Steve seemed to have bikes of similar vintage i.e. vintage- so riding together would be a good idea as in case of mechanical malfunction, one of them would be handy for spares for the other....

On the stroke of 10, or so I thought, the B1's set off- I didn't actually check, but heard someone say in a female voice (clue) "you might as well set off now Phil"- so I did. Seemingly, Cervelo was going to join us, but we slipped out unnoticed...and a late Steve Mackalso arrived as we left- so we were 2 short- but I didn't know it. Cherry Scone I think would like to also have come along, but hubby Ian Gibson was delayed with a puncture and a late Park 'n ride arrivee Martin Oglesby, so she too missed out. Sincere apologies to those left short, but in light of how the weather turned out i.e. very strong wind, a real toughie when heading into it, I don't think at the end of the day too many were miffed?

So, 3 of us shot off towards the turn into the wind point at Helwith Bridge- with the wind behind us- myself on my first time out Weapon of Mass Destruction aero bike, Chris (what is his last name for Gods sake?) on his old but fast aero'ish Bike, and Vince, on his usual road bike, hanging on for grim death.
Heading up through Horton in Ribblesdale, a place usually deserted in winter, we wended our way past lines and lines of cars parked either side of the road, throngs of people wandering around, a jam packed camp site- all good reasons why not to travel anywhere at Easter.

Continuing north towards Ribblehead and the Ingleton- Hawes road into the strong north westerly wind was hard going- the pain of which was partially alleviated by trying to work out in my head why on earth had Ian and Sarah Jane G, and Martin O sailed past us heading the other way.
Lost again?
Yes is the answer, and they did the B ride in reverse, which in truth was a good decision given the wind direction.
At Ribblehead- again teeming with people variously walking in large groups towards the viaduct, or looking fit and active running along in long distance mode (there was an event going on); or congregating around the tea van which was doing a roaring trade---- I suggested rather than turn left towards Ingleton, why not head north to Hawes, then west to Garsdale and hence over the Coal Road? Chris didn't know where he was in any case, so no problem. Vince did, but with his much improved cycling fitness of late, was game. Brave man!
Now , I had in advance planned a rather extended B ride, not 42 miles, but 112 miles in actual fact- with a view to foreshorten and adjust according to who rode with the B1's. In the event the route was slightly altered in that we headed out of Dent up and over Barbondale, a slightly easier plan than climbing out over Deepdale- but whichever way you look at it this was a tough ride.
Moving on, we lunched in Hawes, which was so busy as to be ridiculous, then the hard work began- a block headwind all the way to Garsdale - the switch back main road which leads to Sedbergh is a toughie in wind as the exposed nature of the road and the incessant long climbs, then descents, were strength sapping.
Next- over the Coal Road, quite a climb that, completed by all 3 of us without incident, then the fast descent down past Dent Station on poorly surfaced road made lethal by the gusting headwind- hairy on an aero bike, which was blowing me all over the shop.
Final Big Climb ... up the steep climb out of Dentdale into Barbondale (easier than Deepdale, but with over 75 miles under our belts, preferable ). On a normal day Barbondale is a fantastic road to ride, but not today- murder into that wind.

With Chris leaving us at Devils Bridge to head directly back to Hornby,his car and the waiting Pete; Vincent George gamely followed me along the top road towards Nether Kellet, dropping down to Hornby via Gressingham. Leaving Vince to get second wind, I rode home again, retracing my steps from the morning ride out over Littledale and Jubilee Tower, thankfully not busy with tourists.

Kudos to Chris and Vince for covering that sort of distance : Vince in particular- he rode from Garstang.... and at a pace which wasn't shabby given the amount of climbing- and that wind. Apologies for those we left behind, but are you really that sorry?....this is what you missed...
Ride stats- 116 miles ~~ 9783 ft climbing ~~ 14 mph av. ~~8 hours 20 mins riding.

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