Sunday, 16 September 2012

Hubey to Carperby - Tuesday 4th September

Today was an epic day. I was keen to leave at least on time, with no dawdling, and did get away at 9.15. The route started flat and with a brisk cross wind. I could see the North York Moors ahead of me.

I skirted around to the south past Byland Abbey, and then climbed up to Helmsley, where we meet and I gave Denise my wallet in exhange for a Belgian Bun and a bottle of water, and then it was off again climbing slowly out of Helmsley north, taking the sustrans route across to Ostmotherly. Which included a great descent. Part way down I came acorss sheep in the road, and sheep being non to clever started going down the road, rather than sideways back into the woodland. Couple of hundred yards later, as I was trying to decide if it was wise to get past them, a la collie dog, or should I shepherd them back to their farm, they gave up and jumped into the woodland.

I now turned west into the wind, and zig-zagged through the lanes, sometimes catching the wind full on, sometimes hugging hedges to find shelter. Oddly the wind was back in the west where it started. On top of the moors it was a Northerly in the face job. Something about winds and relief comes back to me, but that degree was a long time ago.

As I came to cross the A1 there was another closed road. 3rd of the trip. As is the tradtion, I pushed on, I can walk through most things. In this case I was foiled, the bridge over the newly widened A1 was missing. Retracing my steps I found a totally new underpass and roundabouts and all sorts, and eventually rediscoverd the sustrans route now on a closed road on the other side leading me traffic free to Bedale.
Cart Track Passing for a Cycle Way
The way forward
Now the flat interlude between national parks was over, and the climbing started. 25 miles of it generally up. This was not helped by the sustrans planner taking me down a cart track. I like getting off main roads, but when the grass down the middle is knee high. The surface is marble sized lumps of stone and there are puddles up to 6” deep I do protest. Still it helped get the bubbles out of the Sprite fizzy drink that I had put in my water bottle at the last shop. Oddly there had been a strange noise coming from somewhere on the bike,which turned out to be the valve on top of the bottle venting the gas shaken out

Through Middleham and the climb started in earnest. I had already done 4000 feet of climbing and here comes the second batch. I caught a bloke on a mountain bike, fully knobbly tyres in the dale. He too had ridden miles, and was going to Kettlewell Youth Hostel. I think he deserves a medal, heavy bike and wheels. Mad. I hope he go there. There was a nasty sting towards the end, a 100 foot drop down and over the stream as the road crossed to the south side of the valley. A 20% climb soon retrieved the height, but did elitic my first squeak/groan of the day. I had done well only to have my body have enough at 85 miles this time. Another energy gel bribed it to go on.

First Summit looking back

The top came about 1640 feet. I stopped, put my gilet on, and tore down the 1000ft descent, chasing a car, and brakeing where necessary. Which turned out to be very necessary on the 25% hairpins where the back wheel skipped around even at walking pace.

Down Part 1

Down Part 2

Kettelwell, where Desise feed me with cake and I was off with another gel to push me on, to climb the end of Wharfdale back up to 1400ft. The descent was sublime, straight and fast, I out paced a van through the bends and he caught me a mile later, giving a cheery wave (really) as he went by.

Looking back on last ascent

Me on last climb
Two last short climbs up to Aysgarth and then to Carperby didn’t seem that bad, though in reality they were steeper than 1 in 10.

I enjoyed the day, it was epic, but I feel the need to moderate tomorrow. I don’t think I have another one of those in me, not after 400 miles in 4 days in the bag already. I got to personal records today. Four consecutive 100 mile rides and most time on a bike, the previous being 7h57m doing 130 miles.
Aysgarth Falls

I would tell you about me studies of road kill, but that is a story for another day.

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