Not really an epic as there was no soul searching or thoughts of ringing for the broom wagon just a decision to abandon the last push climb and finish it off on the road. It was my longest MTB ride ever but by no means the hardest. That award goes to an all day ride many many years ago in the Lake District and that WAS an epic.
6:30am out of the door and straight up through the woods to the top of the moors and Quakers causeway for some breakfast once I was up there. Pushing straight onto Danby Beacon and keeping the fueling going.
Representing VC Velocake as usual.
Flying down to Glaisdale the shop was open but the decision to resupply on water in Sleights later was made as progress was rapid and although it was warm the sun hadn’t broken through the haze yet.
Messed up the navigation through East Arncliff Woods and instead rode over Limber Hill to keep faffing to a minimum and got back on track to follow the Esk Valley Walk to Sleights. Straight into the Bakery, Butchers and Spar to resupply. Pie was saved until the top of the hill and it was well worth the struggle.
Some more navigation cock ups led me onto some MX trails but soon found the bridleway I was looking for although the stream running down it doesn’t bode well for less inclement weather.
The sun was firmly out now with water intake still high on the agenda and a brief road section where I thought I might get passed by the team car led onto the main moor section to Lilla Cross and down to Low North Camp. It’s a lovely lovely section which would be a complete nightmare in the wet as the trails have lots of evidence of standing water and torrents running down the trails to rip them up. I was nearly hub deep in a couple of puddles that looked inocuous enough.
Passing masses of Cotton Grass on the way.
A diversion through Harwood Dale on the road and a sprint through Scalby to beat the pointless time of 5 1/2 hours. Just intime for lunch.
As is customary for people doing big rides I’ll do a kit list now. (I know this isn’t a big ride)
- Garmin etrex GPS with route to follow
- 1 water bottle (small)
- Mini pump attached to bottle mounts
In the frame bag by Levello (yes ok me)
- 2 inner tubes (not needed until both tyres went flat after lunch sitting in the sun)
- puncture repair kit
- Velocake arm warmers (not needed!)
- nuts, dried strawberries, jelly babies (jelly babies being the least appetising)
In the backpack by Function Before Fashion
- Velocake Gilet (not needed!)
- Large water bottle
- Powergen battery backup for phone (phone failed around Low North Camp while plugged in so need to experiment)
- Space for pie and cake in Sleights :0)