The weekend’s longest run

What on Earth possesses someone to ride 600km? A question I asked a few years ago when I first looked at the Audax website in search of a new challenge having got all the way to 50 miles on a day out. At the end of my first 150km ride, back in 2005, I could not begin to comprehend how 600km would be possible. Slowly the unimaginable became conceivable and finally a reality in 2008. Eventually this became 1400km in the London – Edinburgh – London in 2009. Yes, I am barking mad but it keeps me sane.
Sadly, 2010 brought challenges of a different sort and then the process had to start again with the help a physio bike and Dennis’s trike. I cannot forget that feeling of being a cyclist again when it took nearly an hour to get from Hartford to the Station Café. The support and patience from members of the club and Audax has been fantastic over the past two years and my ride this weekend was made possible because of it.
The Ride
As my last blog recorded there was a little suffering over the 400km, to Holyhead and back, so I had to convince myself that 600 wasn’t going to hurt. How did I approach this? I chose an event which provided the luxury of a community hall start, 375km control and finish, thus I would have the opportunity to “sleep” and take advantage of the offer of all you can eat for £7, as I passed through during the event. The two coast route was selected, Mytholmroyd – Bridlington- Mytholmoyd- Blackpool-Glasson- Mytholmroyd. This allowed my mind to break it into 2 day rides, one of 375k the other 229k thereby I wasn’t going to suffer as I wasn’t even doing a 400! Some logic hey?
The community hall was open from Friday night, as the start was 6:00am. I decided to avoid the opening ceremony and kip on the floor so I would, in theory, have a better rest than getting up at 3 am to arrive in time. I never sleep well prior to an event anyway. Missed the opening ceremony but you can’t have everything.
Breakfasted at 5am, and to quote A.Wainwright (of Lake District guidebook fame), “girded loins like they had never been girded before.” I joined a couple of similar speed regulars and off we went.
The first leg took in the delights Calderdale’s uneven road surfaces and the well known conurbations of Brighouse ( the band was still in bed) and Dewsbury, before a second breakfast at Castleford bus station. If you ever decide to join my whacky world be aware time can be lost if service is slow at cafes. This place was ideal for audaxers by the time I had finished ordering the bacon butty and coffee were in front of me. I hadn’t even begun to ferret in my pockets for money. Once through Castleford the route became more rural and wound its way over the Wolds to Bridlington. The rolling countryside was attractive and we happily trundled along at 14mph, with a tail wind. Every 50k or so there short breaks of the bike for more fuel. At this stage getting food in is important, and is pleasureable, but as the ride goes on the constant grazing means food becomes less appealing, cereal bars, chocolate and even cake get repetitive. In Bridlington (160k) the café had the road race on and we left at the 50 to go and the breakaway 1 min ahead, so it looked promising.
On departure the once helpful wind became a hinderence. A minor detail as we only had to get right across the country into it! Back across the Wolds to Thirsk and then to the old mill towns our speed began to drop and the time lost to red lights,the wind and cafés began to eat away at our leeway. The highlight, apart from the sunny landscapes, of the Wolds section must be the name of one village, Wetwang. The mind boggles. We eventually arrived back at the start at 4.30am, with 375k under our saddles, having had a pretty good day apart from a shower between 2 and 3 am. Time for more of that all you can eat. Rice pud and apple crumble then a kip for an hour- yep 60 mins. Sleeping loses time going nowhere. Then more all you can eat before heading west at 7.00am, overall time cost of that stop 2.5hours.
This second leg started hilly going through Todmorden, Padiham, Whalley and Longridge before levelling out towards Blackpool. The weather gods decided to continue the westerly wind and also threw in some heavy showers until Blackpool 475k. Our average speed dropped and calculations, of distance versus time variety, began to suggest returning in the limit of 40 hours was going to be tight, bearing in mind the hilly return. The hope for a tail wind started to become more of a prayer for it to continue as at one point we were only 20 mins inside the required average speed. Riding average on the gps is useless as a guide as it is overall time that matters.
From the “ idyllic” seaside resort the sun came out and the wind did indeed keep up. The chase was on to make up time and still allow for the essential few minutes off the bike. By Glasson we had made up enough for 15 mins in the café. By Broughton time off and some more back in the bank but the hills were to come.
The climbs were long but not horrendously steep and with the wind we kept adding to banked time. By Whalley were down to having to only do 12.5kph for the last 35k. It became clear we were going to get back with enough time to cover a mishap such as a puncture. It was a grunt out of Padiham but the 4 mile descent to Todmorden was a great whizz. It left 10k to go and plenty of time in hand but then the competitive beast struck. “If you push it you can get under 39 hours!” What would you do? Why settle for just in time? (Which is what I was hoping for at Blackpool). End result was a “manic” dash of 15mph through Hebden Bridge and a final time of 38hours 55 mins and a cheesy grin. I had no trouble sleeping last night!
Some useless stats for train spotters like me.
377.26 miles covered
17,692 feet of climbing
19,573 garmin calories burned
( you burn more of these than Polar calories)

Helping set course today for @WeaverValleyCC for @nwcca race tomorrow. I hope the wind dies down! 🌪 pic.twitter.com/c06JEpWqY1

Upcoming Events

Jul
24
Wed
2019
10:00 Wrinklies Ride Out
Wrinklies Ride Out
Jul 24 @ 10:00 – 14:30
A 10:00 for a 10:10 depart.. an easy, no one gets left behind run. Usually head out into the wind so we have a tail wind home.
18:30 WVCC Club 10 TT – Guardian Cup R...
WVCC Club 10 TT – Guardian Cup R...
Jul 24 @ 18:30 – 21:00
The Guardian Cup is a season long competition based on a points system. The cup is awarded at the club dinner, and goes to the club member who has the most improved times throughout the[...]
Jul
27
Sat
2019
09:00 Alternative Training Ride
Alternative Training Ride
Jul 27 @ 09:00 – 12:00
Early Saturday ride – Steadier alternative to the training run. Starting 09:00 Saturday- Meet at Hatchmere with a cafe stop at Cleopatras. Distance about 45 miles and back for 12:00. Averaging 18mph ish
10:00 Training Ride
Training Ride
Jul 27 @ 10:00 – 15:00
Hatchmere X rds for a 10am sharp depart.. 10:01 we’ll be gone..
Jul
31
Wed
2019
10:00 Wrinklies Ride Out
Wrinklies Ride Out
Jul 31 @ 10:00 – 14:30
A 10:00 for a 10:10 depart.. an easy, no one gets left behind run. Usually head out into the wind so we have a tail wind home.
18:30 WVCC Club 10 TT – Guardian Cup R...
WVCC Club 10 TT – Guardian Cup R...
Jul 31 @ 18:30 – 21:00
The Guardian Cup is a season long competition based on a points system. The cup is awarded at the club dinner, and goes to the club member who has the most improved times throughout the[...]
Aug
3
Sat
2019
all-day M&DTTA 50 – Club 50 mile TT Cham...
M&DTTA 50 – Club 50 mile TT Cham...
Aug 3 all-day
M&DTTA 50 – Club 50 mile TT Championship. Although an open event, the time recorded for this event is used to find the 2019 Club 50 mile TT Champion. See the CTT web site for details.  
09:00 Alternative Training Ride
Alternative Training Ride
Aug 3 @ 09:00 – 12:00
Early Saturday ride – Steadier alternative to the training run. Starting 09:00 Saturday- Meet at Hatchmere with a cafe stop at Cleopatras. Distance about 45 miles and back for 12:00. Averaging 18mph ish
10:00 Training Ride
Training Ride
Aug 3 @ 10:00 – 15:00
Hatchmere X rds for a 10am sharp depart.. 10:01 we’ll be gone..

Club Meeting Times

Sunday runs:

09:30 - Winnington Park Rugby Football Club - see calendar for updated start times (Most runs 10:00 during the winter months)

Tuesday evening (informal - usually a small gathering!)

20:00 onwards - Winnington Park Rugby Football Club

Wednesday runs:

10:00 - Hatchmere

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