So, yes, I’ve been a bit of a toad with my writing this last week or so. It doesn’t however mean that I haven’t been riding, quite the opposite, I’ve done loads. The last time I blogged I was just off to do the Scotton 100 event over near York. What a blast, it’s a half on road, half off road challenge type event. 100km of bashing round farm tracks on road bikes, well I say road bikes, Ali and I were on road bikes, with road tyres, as was our friend Paul. However it felt like the other 90 or so competitors had turned up on cyclocross bikes. There’s some strange kind of sadistic pleasure when riding your best bike through grit, sh*t and sand
Cleaning the bikes afterwards less so!
Finally a teeny bit of tiredness crept in, see, I do get tired. So I spent a day or so playing about with Ali’s single speed bike around Hebden Bridge.
As I’ve mentioned before I’m doing some work for a company called Rapha. They are holding one of the festivals when The Tour de France comes through this summer, the Tempest Festival of Cycling up at Broughton Hall near Skipton. The press days are this week and I’m writing some routes to show off the area. It’s rather fun, joining up all my favourite roads, mixing in bits of the Tour route. Here’s a couple of pictures from one of my recce rides. Next day the dry trails we’re calling. When I was just a road rider I never quite understood the fascination with dust, I totally get it now. This is on the only bridleway near Stoodley Pike. It’s called London road. It used to freak me out when I first started riding off road. Oh how times change!
Saturday saw Ali and I travel back over to York for the launch of Classic Ices. We thought we’d sneak in a quick ride beforehand, alas my navigating in a vehicle skills were a bit rusty and we went the wrong way round the ring road, stuck in bank holiday traffic and had a bit less time that we first had though. Still a lovely jaunt round some gently rolling landscape before we got to try some of the amazing ice creams and cakes all served from the wonderfully restored Betsey the 50’s Ice cream van.
Yesterday we caught the earliest train we could to Manchester to test out the route I’ve been writing for the Rapha Manchester to London Challenge. I took Ali with me, I’m sure she’s always wanted to be a model! We rode Snake Pass, skipped onto the cycleway round Lady Bower in the Peak District before climbing up Hungry Lane, taking tea in Tideswell and then onto the Monsal Trail and into the tunnels.
A jolly splendid day out. I always worry when I’m writing routes for other people to ride, it was really nice to hear Ali chirping along all the way about what fabulous things they we’re going to see. We got the train back up from Derby. I’ll pick it all up from there next time.
Today was a little adventure round the tops again, the dust now settling in the faint rain. I love how in a place like the South Pennines you can constantly see new things on the same routes, new light, a new animal or bird. The light was beautiful. I’m sure it wasn’t my neon glowing.