Two Septuagenarians and a Youth
Chris decided he would like to ride his proposed route for the 160 km Standard Ride on 7 September.
He invited two septuagenarians, Alan and me, to join him yesterday in this venture. In view of his youth, he decided to handicap himself:-
Riding a heavy old bike (he said it was his but I suspect he borrowed it from the Nigel Land collection) and carrying a heavy saddle bag (he challenged me to lift it up towards the end of the ride. I did but needed two hands) Chris's idea was that the route could be used next year for a sportive. It therefore needed to have plenty of hills.
We started at Cottingham & rode to North Newbald where we turned right by the 30 mph sign & climbed up past the wind turbines to the A 1079 junction. After deciding that crossing the A1079 was not too hazardous for the Standard Ride, we descended via Gardham to South Dalton, Lund, Bracken, Garton-on-the-Wolds and reached Sledmere, our control stop, just before midday (not many hills so far).
After a "cyclists lunch" we set off for our second control stop, Thixendale. Pleasant quiet roads took us through West Lutton and Settrington to Birdsall where we were able to enjoy a little climbing before dropping down to Thixendale for afternoon tea at the village hall. (Cakes are justified here in view of the climbing to come.)
Our climbing started straight away, to take us to the A166 crossing. A descent into Warter led us – via 'Back Lane' away from the B1246 – to everybody's favourite climb, Nunburnholme. After Londesborough – and a detour past the Goodmanham Arms – we entered the Kip valley for what I thought would be a flat ride home. Chris, however, had decided that we should leave the valley at the old railway bridge to climb up to the A1079 junction at Arras. He then made his best decision of the day. We should descend to Sancton & enjoy some rehydration at the Star.
Suitably refreshed, we continued through Sancton Park & along the Cliffes road which we left in order to take the short steep climb towards Hotham.
After North Cave, South Cave and Ellerker the sting in the tail was the last climb of the day, Brantingham, before the long descent back home.
We enjoyed our day. I commend the Standard ride on 7th September to you.