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The Tale of Boggle Hole Ride Day Two...

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, James Vickers takes continues the story with Day Two… 

 

It’s impossible to cram all the details of an event like Boggle Hole into one or two short articles. There are so many good bits it’s hard to know what to write about, but I’m trying to share the highlights of my experience of the weekend.

We have already posted a full report of the weekend here and I have given some insight in to day one already here.

My last blog ended with me waking up at 06:00 and watching the sunrise over the sea. Boggle Hole on the east coast of north Yorkshire is a small smugglers cove so it was dramatic watching the sunrise out of the dark, looming clouds between the rocks and into the morning sky. Was it going to be a sign of good weather, and a good day, to come?

Saturday had consisted of 96 miles of riding into a headwind at race pace, 4462 feet of climbing some mean hills, an average speed of 19.5 mph and 5 hours in the saddle, and today we did it all again.

We packed our bags, ate lots of breakfast, checked tyre pressures and fixed broken spokes. At about 10:00 the call to arms was raised again and after a quick group photo we made a tentative start and proceeded up the steep 700ft climb out of Boggle Hole.

Looking at the Strava flyby (here) it was Ben Last who started to lift the pace at the front first. Never to be outdone and seemingly unhappy with the turn of pace at this early stage Mark Lovatt decided that if anyone was going to go hard, it should be him!

Mark (above) was last to clip in and leave and he passed me with a glint in his eye that I translated as “Ben will pay for this.” After reaching the top we turned into a headwind, the road then levelled off for a while and then kicked up again and by this point there were bodies everywhere.

A small group formed off the front almost identical to the previous day: myself, Wayne Randle, Mark Lovatt, Alistair Siebert, Ady Binns, Harry Wiltshire and Karl Alexander were now tapping a nice rhythm out.

This wouldn’t last long and when we hit the Blue Bank climb I was dropped almost immediately. Despite riding at 300 watts for 16 minutes (and taking tenth place on Strava), Karl, Mark, Harry and Wayne were away. Building a big gap, Mark gained almost two minutes on me (in under 15 minutes) and took the Strava KOM in the process.

What makes it more remarkable is that Mark drank four pints before tea, a bottle of red wine and several cans after tea. He rode Day One on only three Turkish Delight bars and one 500ml bottle and was still crushing the pedals. It was a frickin’ master class.

At the top of Blue Bank, they very kindly waited and we caught up before a fantastic descent. It wasn’t long until we hit the terrible, horrible, Smith’s Lane climb and as soon as we got onto it the strongest four were off again and we never saw them again.

Smith’s Lane for my group was steady, easy going, and the reward was a pretty decent descent into Rosedale. I had hoped the main climbs were done, but Ady kindly reminded Alistair and I that next up was the INFAMOUS Rosedale Chimney Bank…

A quick Google search the day before had told me this was one of the steepest road climbs in the UK (second only to a one way street in Wales). The climb’s ferocity was infamous and I was genuinely fearful, having heard of only one rider ever to tame this beast by riding it in the big ring (Hywel Davies during the last Boggle Hole Ride).

Approaching the climb there are large warning signs about the gradients and at the top signs suggesting cyclists should dismount. Despite the fatigue in the legs, we had to ‘give it a go’ and we pushed on.

Alistair hit the climb in the big ring and gapped Ady and myself, but it wasn’t long before Ady had not choice but to put his foot down. We carried on pushing and with every pedal stroke I thought my legs were going to burst. I made the top, but it was pure evil and without a doubt a climb matched only by Winnat’s Pass on a windy day in my experience.

The consequent reward was certainly worth all the effort, the descent was quick, the road surface was fast and it was a long way down. Our descending speed topped out at just under 50mph and it felt comfortable on such a quiet road. It was exhilarating and whizzing through the narrow bridges gave me a big smile.

I managed to pick up a pinch flat about 65 miles in and handily we bumped into Konrad Manning (the journalist that had been following the ride). Konrad was carrying a track pump and very kindly gave me a handful of my favourite ride snacks – FIG ROLLS!

The big hills were over now, Castle Howard was nice, the roads were flat(ish) and it took forever for the road signs to show familiar place names. Ady, Alistair and I rode through and off until Ady sat up in Pontefract (near his mother’s house) declaring “That’s me. Carry on guys, nice knowing you.”

We got back having covered 110 miles. The front group had been back for some time (no surprise) and all that was left to do was have a quick chat, get changed and drive home with a silly smile on my face.

The weekend was fantastic, it had everything from group riding, to team time trials, hill climbs to rapid descents, beers and food, new and old friends and importantly lost of talk about cycling.

These rides are going to become a mainstay in our events calendar. They are own kind of ‘ANTI-SPORTIVE’ rides. 

These are more like adventures based on the training rides of some of the country’s finest riders. It was personal and although I am banging on about how fast I wanted to go, on both days, more sociable groups of riders formed to join in the fun. We all sat around the fire and ate and drank together, it was a remarkable journey and I loved every moment of it. It wasn’t one of those mass-marketed rides that part cater for all, it was an experience to do something athletically difficult but brilliant at the same time.

Stay tuned for updates on our future events. Lovatt and Randle have some great hostelling training routes and we plan to explore more of them.


24 March 2016