Audax: Mille Pennines 1000km pt. 2

“You’re a cruel man” I said to Andy on the second night. “I’ve been called worse” he replied.

After the third day I was calling Andy every name under the 30 degree sun. It really took me by surprise.

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Day Three

It was a day of two halves. The first 100kms flew by as we rode as a group that included Magnus, John and the three Bristol riders (all five had ridden together the whole way). We picked up a few others as we trundled along through the relatively flat section past Castle Bolton towards Richmond, probably the prettiest town on the route.

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Audax: Mille Pennines 1000km pt. 1

What is the Mille Pennines?

It’s 1000kms. It’s got a monstrous 13,500 metres of climbing. It’s got a time limit of 75 hours. It’s in the North of England where the weather is generally terrible. It takes in pretty much every national park between Yorkshire and Scotland, including the Lake District and the North York Moors. And it’s 1000kms with 13,500 metres of leg busting, stupidly steep at times climbing.

And it was probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever done.

Andy Coreless (the organiser) has a reputation for putting on some pretty bloody tough audaxes, and this one appears to be in a league of it’s own. Having spoken to a fair few riders who DNF last year, I knew it was a serious undertaking, and lots of riders I spoke to during the event said it was harder than any other on the calendar (I’m sure I’ll get some flak for that but I’m just repeating what I heard), so I knew it was going to be something special.

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Attempted 300km in the Peak District

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It was really, really hot. 30 degrees, very exposed and with a lot of climbing, I had to call it quits after riding my slowest 100 miles ever. 175 kms (108 miles) in total but with 3396m of climbing.

The punctures at the beginning of the day and the tyre change after having to wait for the bike shop to open, all meant that my head had gone before I had got going. Still, a brilliant ride which took in Chatsworth, Holme Moss (didn’t realise until the top), Snake Pass and lots of other climbs. I will be back to finish the whole thing, maybe later on in the year when it gets a bit cooler.

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I now understand Paris-Roubaix a little more!

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https://www.strava.com/activities/1044460044

 

600km: A Pair of Kirtons

It was a lovely morning to start proceedings with the mist lifting off the tarmac. Mike saw us off with a “you might as well start then” and we rode out. A chap who I’d already picked out as probably quite quick was off the front straight away and I didn’t even try to follow. So I was second from the front and was focused on maintaining a very steady effort both going up and coming down. Before long my focus turned to taking photos as the landscape began to change; the route snaked through the industrial North before the moors came in to sight, blacked out against the morning sun, bringing Tolkien’s misty mountains to mind.

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