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Who's Hard? All Who Got There and All Who Got Back

The 210 mile trip from Barnsley to Boggle Hole Youth Hostel near Whitby and back last weekend was the first “super serious adventure” of the Ride with Wayne Series that we’ve been talking about for the last few months. James Vickers takes up the story… 

I have been pretty miserable since the Tom Simpson Memorial Ride, it was a cold day and being constantly sprayed in others people’s snot for three hours left me with a bad cold. I was off the bike for 12 or 13 days and managed two or three quick rides before the Boggle Hole adventure.


Although I had been unwell (SAND BAGGING) I was really excited to be riding. I have done sportives in the past, but never bothered with training camps and never participated in any ride that covered 210 miles in only two days. The chance to ride with some pretty infamous local riders also added to my anticipation and I rolled up at our Barnsley showroom on day one, feeling like I was preparing for a race and full of anticipation.


The good times started from the moment I opened the car door, Mark Lovatt (former professional) was already on site and full of his cutting wit and humour and gradually the car park filled as the 30 or so riders got ready to roll.

As Wayne Randle uttered his standard War Cry of “are we off then” the musical clatter of cleats clicking in echoed around the car park and the group set off. The news was BAD! Wayne and Mark were on the front, the first hill after the car park is “ample” and the pressure was applied straight away, it became pretty hard, pretty quickly and cold legs became warm. Then only five minutes in “BANG.” Martin Dainty from Team Cystic Fibrosis calls out “Puncture” as he lifts his hand in to the air and swings out of the group carefully. The front group (there was one already) pushed on for a moment before reigning in their eagerness to wait for their fallen comrade. I turned around and rode back and Martin’s face was a picture, “You got Wayne to stop? How did yo get Wayne to STOP…?” he said.

The faster riders did stop and they did wait and the group of about 15 riders then got together to start pulling their way to Boggle Hole and pulling back those who hadn’t stopped. For the first 75 miles there was very little to report, despite the length of the ride, Wayne did decide to “put a loop on.” The extra scenery was largely on flat roads so it was nice and steady and easy to sit in the wheels and get away with being towed along. However…


At mile 75 came the first real climb and I was on the front as we rounded the corner on to the climb, side by side with Wayne Randle. Wayne, almost instinctively, stood up in the saddle and kicked and after him went Mark Lovatt, Harry Wiltshire (more about Harry in a moment) and Karl Alexander (a Planet X sponsored rider). A few other riders made the effort to go with them (including me) but it wasn’t possible, not with another 30 miles and 3500ft of climbing still to go and 75 miles already in the legs. I found myself in a group of three, Alistair Siebert (sponsored rider) and Steven Clague joined me for company as we attempted to catch the front four.


This attempt to catch the front quartet was always going to be a failure, Harry punctured and then passed us again and we made it to over the horrible remaining lumpy 25 miles in our little group of three.


I was pleased to have made it in the second group and when we arrived at the hostel I was spitting feathers, dehydrated, hungry and pretty achy. The hostel was brilliant, the bar was toasty thanks to the wood-burning stove and I ordered a flapjack and a glass of water to start some kind of recovery. Mark Lovatt on the other had opted for a pint of draft lager. I honestly think after one pint I would have started a fight, thrown up and passed out in a corner. My body would not have dealt with that well!


In other Day One news… To my complete horror, shock and disbelief, after the ride, and without any food, professional triathlete Harry Wiltshire went for a 16 mile cross country run to round the day off! Psycho!


The rest of the riders gradually arrived from the trek across god’s own county and joined us in the bar for a noisy finale to the Milan-San Remo where local lad Ben Swift ended up pushing hard to take second in the sprint.


Cycling stories from days gone by punctuated the evening’s antics and I enthusiastically listened and watched a few of the lads consume far more alcohol than I would say was acceptable on a school night, let alone after 100 miles and with a harder day to follow. I resisted the urge to turn in until I couldn’t take it any longer and went to bed! I did get woken up by a few drunken jeers and some door banging, but I slept through until 06:00 when I got up to watch the sunrise.

My Day Two report will follow soon! More Photos here.

23 March 2016

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