The day didn’t start well. Anthony was late picking me up, and then we drove past the HQ following the worst sat-nav in the world, which seemed to take us on ever increasing concentric circles away from where we needed to be. Martin and Martina were both waiting for us, tapping imaginary watches as we pulled into the car park.
The route, of course, was hilly! The first half, heading over from Denshaw towards Holmfirth, was really 4 or 5 longish drags followed by some great descents. The halfway point was at Squires Tea Room in the Anglers Country Park, where we met members of Calder Clarion and Saddleworth Clarion, as well as a chap from Seamons RC.
Suitably refreshed after some hot food, the return ride encompassed 6 big climbs, and they started getting a bit steeper, and building to a crescendo. We rode past Emley TV tower and into the rain for a while. There was an info control in Slaithwaite where Martin and I watched a canal barge going through a lock whilst Martina tried to buy the Co-op’s entire stock of flapjacks. The climb out of Slaithwaite was pretty tough but that only led to a descent to the bottom of a hill known locally as Penny Hill. This was really hard work. The first quarter mile consisted of a 20-25% cobbled section that was wet and slippery. The next quarter mile must have hit 30% before flattening to mere teens near the end.
The ride back to the HQ was a long, exposed moorland climb over Saddleworth which was okay once I got into a rhythm.
As per usual, great catering at the end from organiser Don Black and a good day had by all.
Ride Stats : 78 miles in 5hrs 48m at 13.4mph average. 7,463ft climbing, average HR 136bpm and 4,315kcals used