The Good Companions 200k audax is effectively the third stage of a 600km audax that starts in Mytholmroyd (near Hebden Bridge), heads over to Bridlington, back to Hebden Bridge, and then over to Glasson Dock – a coast to coast in one ride. Thankfully I was only riding the Hebden Bridge to Glasson Dock and back 200k! The 600k riders left an hour or so earlier but we set off at 8-30am.
The route was excellent. Hardly any big hills as it headed west through Todmorden, Padiham and then into the beautiful Ribble Valley through Ribchester and Longridge. The first stop was at Fulwood services near Garstang and it was here I caught the first of the 600k crew, including old friend of this blog, Peter Bond. He looked very tired – probably because he was 400k+ in and had only had a couple of hours sleep since Friday. He still managed a smile and a joke though.
I was moving quite quickly, even into the wind blowing from the west, as the route was pretty flat as it headed up to Glasson Dock, not too far from Lancaster. A few more 600k riders were at the Lantern o’er the Lune café as I arrived and refuelled with scrambled eggs on toast. One chap decided his next stop was going to be the nearest pub for a pint – after 500k I wonder how that worked out!
The route back was slightly different until Whalley when it retraced to Todmorden, before diverting to Hollingworth. The tailwind was very welcome at this point for the final climb up to the White House, and then a very long descent down Crag Vale – which incidentally is terribly surfaced.
Very happy with my speed today – I was on my own so no help and no hiding.
Ride stats: 127miles in 07:19:32 at 17.3mph. 6084ft ascent, average HR 136bpm and 5131kcals used