Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Yorkshire Dales 200 Perm - NPS2F

It is viaduct heaven in the Yorkshire Dales!  You'd think the image below is 'the viaduct', but the Dent Head viaduct is one of 22.  Dent Head is a minor, with 10 arches, as opposed to 'The Ribblehead Viaduct' which has 24 arches.  I can believe that the Settle-Carlisle railway line would be one of the most scenic in England.

Dent Head Viaduct
I didn't have a chance to research my cycling route beforehand.  Otherwise I would have come across two significant facts:
  • Dent, where I was staying, has the highest railway station in England.
  • Dent has almost four times the rainfall of London.
At least I knew from the audax entry form that 3100m climbing would be involved.  And the fact I'm doing this as an audax means rain, naturally.

Perfect PBP training then, especially after only having had three hours sleep the night before.  

And I managed to put myself under pressure again, having said to my holiday companions I would be back in Dent by 8PM.  All was fine, I was pushing it for the last hour, and even more so for the last 12 km, because I was going to make it very close to 8.  I gave it everything, as if I was in a spinning class.  After the 'last mile', I saw a signpost to Dent: 9.5 miles.  My heart and body sank.  It took me a further hour and a half to cover the last 9.5 miles.  I was soaking wet, again, of course.  My feet hurt.  I was exhausted.  

Nearly there!
That was an endless stretch of hilly road and very remote. I arrived in Dent and wondered around a little, mixing with the beer and music festival-goers. Finally, I struggled up the drive to the holiday barn, from which, fine views can be enjoyed!

My chums and I with the view in the background
I love a full day's out cycling though.  The scenery was great and varied.  There were many cyclist on the road, and off-road.  Also many walkers, cavers, climbers and 'sportsmen'.  The Yorkshire Dales are fantastic for outdoor activities.

I stopped off in a pub near Kettlewell, for a coffee.  I had seen the sign: "No muddy boots allowed".  The landlord didn't look me up and down, just down.  'Coffee please' I said, and sat down.  My overshoes might have been wet, but they were not muddy.  My feet hadn't touch the ground for the last 50 miles, there is no way they were muddy, and cycling shoes are not boots.  

Wensleydale cheese!  I had a craving for it after cycling past the 'Wensleydale Cheese visitor centre'.  Shame on me for not stopping, but cycling around with cheese in my saddlebag didn't appeal.  

Going through Burnley made me think of Fred Dibnah.  All those out of use chimneys still standing.  There are some beautiful buildings/structures around.  Here is a great fact about Burnley from the wiki site: "More Benedictine is drunk in one local working men's club, the Burnley Miners Club, than anywhere else in the world, after a local regiment stationed in Normandy during World War I brought back a taste for the drink." 

After Burnley was the lovely ride back via Clitheroe and Slaidburn, which I remembered from my LEJOG trip.  This is in Lancashire now and the Forest of Bowland - beautiful.  I stopped off at the Slaidburn Youth Hostel to fill my water bottle.

Profile of the ride - like alligator's teeth

The following day, I drove over to Settle, to the start of the CycleChat forum ride.  I made my excuses which were received with complete understanding.

CycleChat meeting point

Photos are on the slideshow till the next ride or here: Clicky

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

zoveel regen, zoveel pieken, zo weinig slaap en zo alleen, en toch zoooveel courage!!!
Het prachtige landschap zal wel een reward op zich geweest zijn.

Proficiat hoor! Als jij PBP niet aankunt, wie dan wel.
Meim en Peip xxx xxx