The Dales Delight 200k audax packs 4 AAA points into its 125 miles, starting in Lancashire, and running through the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbria. As seems usual with an Andy Corless event it’s full of hills!
I spotted a few regulars at the start, including the usual mad ones who seem to think it’s sensible to ride to and from a 200k 4AAA as clearly it isn’t long enough on its own – hello Peter 😉
The weather was very chilly at the start but clear, with the sun pushing through, and it remained so for the whole day. A bit of a wind was blowing from NW to SE which made some of the riding a bit tougher than it needed.
Once off the A59 the route was absolutely superb. Hats off to Andy for that – for 20 or 30 mile stretches I didn’t see a car – and the countryside and scenery was superb. The only problem was the hills! There were some real beasts. Buttertubs from the North side (8/10 in the 100 climbs book), Fleet Moss from Hawes (9/10 in the 100 climbs book) and several other bumps like Newby Head to-boot.
I did think I was a reasonable climber but every so often you get put very firmly in your place. On a climb that was somewhere between 15% and 20% over 3 miles a guy went past me and put about a mile into me. He went past like I was stood still (I almost was!) but he didn’t seem to be struggling that much, whereas I was weaving about and gasping for breath! So there’s clearly still work to do for me. On that note, this time last year I’d earned 4.5 AAA points and had done 45,967ft of climbing at the end of March 2011. This year I’ve earned 10.75 AAA points, and up to the 18th March 2012 I’ve done 72,621ft, and I’ve still got two weeks to go! I guess I need to start working on rate of climb now.
My HR strap was playing up somewhat – seemingly slipping out of position on the big climbs meaning my HR was in the 130’s whilst I was gasping away – so the average HR and calorie total will be off slightly.
Controls were pretty good – I did end up on my backside on the stone floor of one when my cleats slipped – and Andy popped up from time to time taking photos, so I look forward to those!
All in all, a really great day – very tough but very rewarding. Chapeau to Andy.
Ride Stats : 127miles in 8hrs 45mins @ 14.4mph. 10,705ft ascent. Average HR 144bpm, 7088kcals used