It was promising to be a fantastic day weather-wise as we set off en-masse from Mytholmroyd. Condor Road Club were present in numbers and set a fantastic pace as we rode through Hebden Bridge, Todmorden and Whalley. I’m never particularly comfortable riding in big groups (how will that work on LEL!?!) because I find that motorists get very, very impatient. And so as we headed down from Dinkley woods towards the bridge over the Ribble at Ribchester, a motorist got very impatient. On a narrow lane, blind bend, he tried to overtake on the wrong side of the road and narrowly avoided hitting an oncoming car and the peloton. Of course, he blamed the cyclists, and although there were some questionable road positions, the fact that he tried such a dodgy overtake was clearly lost on him.
So despite being comfortable in the pack, at the first control I stopped and let them disappear off into the distance. I rode the rest of the first half with Nephi from Saddleworth Clarion, a little bit down the A6 to the garage control, and then back through the pan flat northern route to Glasson Dock. We’d passed a few of the 600km riders and so expected to see Steve and Chris at the Lantern o’er the Lune cafe, but despite a good half hour or so we didn’t bump into them – although Mike told us he’d seen them earlier in Blackpool.
The second half of the ride was back into a bit of a headwind and quite lumpy back towards Whalley. The weather was by now fantastic and the ride really enjoyable. From Whalley I pressed on alone, and retraced the route out back to Todmorden, before diverting to Hollingworth Lake. On the way I saw a car try to overtake a car overtaking another cyclist, and hit the kerb on the wrong side of the road. Unbelievable.
A quick stop at 120 milesat the lake visitor centre and then up and over Blackstone Edge before a fast descent down Cragg Vale. The sun was still shining brightly as I rolled into the finish, 3 minutes faster than last year! A lovely day on the bike.
Ride stats : 127 miles in 7hrs 16m at 17.4mph. 6262ft ascent, 4818kcals. Average HR 122bpm.