Saturday 18th August 2018
Nine riders turned out for an 09h00 start in somewhat murky conditions for an anti-clockwise loop around Lancashire. Heading off south-east we skirted Longridge, crossed the R.Ribble at Ribchester and continued to Whalley where the route veered north. On reaching Bashall Barn we came across “Sek” having a coffee, and arranged to rendezvous later at our planned cafe stop in Slaidburn. A short sharp climb at Grindleton served as a warm-up for the longer climb from Copy Nook to just above Slaidburn.
It was here that the ‘Challenge’ began. Not the physical effort of pedalling, but the challenge of keeping the group together. As ride leader I waited at the junction near the top (’Threap Green’) to ensure all took the correct turn, however Mickey R had bonked badly and called Chairman Phil, who selflessly accompanied him to Slaidburn at reduced speed, arriving some 30 min’s after the earlier riders who had been encouraged to go ahead and order their beans. As Micky was in capable hands I rode on to Slaidburn cafe to find only four B2’s there. No sign of Ian G or guest rider Rod C. After some time Ian arrived, admitting to having taken a wrong direction, then turned round only to see Rod also heading to Tosside. By the time the latecomer’s food arrived, the front runners were chomping at the bit and set off ,with S-J and Ian needing to get home early and Simon also arranging to cut and run straight back from Wray.
Mickey called International Rescue, and thus Phil, Martin and Rod set off in pursuit of the early departees over Lythe Fell (Cross of Greet), but never made the junction with Bill D, Chris or the others. Arriving at Wray only 2/3rds of the later group were present. After waiting and calling unsuccessfully the ride leader set off back to look for Chairman Phil, who he came across at the top of the climb (!) above Millhouses, Phil having repaired a puncture.
The three Musketeers then continued for the remainder of the planned route, with a quick refuelling with tea and cake at Leighton Moss. The skies brightened as we took a minor diversion from the planned route through Bolton-le-Sands leading to Caton and the usual drag back to Postern Gate. With 80+ miles in the legs this section felt like riding through treacle, not improved much by the remaining miles through Quernmore to five lane ends. We all hit the ton before arriving back at Garstang. No stats I’m afraid as my Strava auto-paused permanently at 51km!
I’m not sure if any others completed the full 100 after we got split up, but nothing new there for a GCC B ride! Anyway, I enjoyed it, although it was somewhat tougher than the ‘Southport 100’ in May. Also, well done to guest rider Rod - now get your £10 paid and you can come again!