Spring into the Dales 115km Audax -12 April 2015


Chris Crossland has been organising this ride for longer than most of us care to remember and it has invariably been blessed with good weather. In 2015 providence was tempted by holding it on the same day as Paris – Roubaix (the “Hell of the North”), and while northern France luxuriated in benign weather, northern England certainly did not.

The weather forecast was absolutely dire, high winds and heavy rain for most of the day. So the usual last minute rush of entries on the line was absent. Those who participated knew what to expect and those fears were well and truly realised. The benefit of a gale force tailwind over the opening climb of Cock Hill was tempered by the knowledge that there would likely be a gale in our faces on the return.

Every rider had their own story to tell, but I would pick out two. Huddersfield CTC Member Tony Knight posted the following on Facebook :-
To be fair guys, I thought the first phase of the ride went reasonably well without too many difficulties, unfortunately the first phase of the ride was finding our way out of the car park at the Mytholmroyd Community centre. After this things did take an unfortunate turn for the worst, including the ferocious all day head winds, (regardless of which direction we were headed in), the only respite being the numerous side winds that made every attempt to fling us into the side ditches, then there was the constant heavy downpour of rain, not too dissimilar, I suspect to having your face sandblasted, the cold temperatures meant that mild hypothermia caused my vision to become blurred and meant I was unable to prevent myself from uncontrollably shaking my coffee all over myself. But hey, every cloud has a silver lining and seconds after returning to the Mytholmroyd community centre the rain stopped and the sun came out. All in all not what I would call the best of days for cycling.

Sarah Burbidge’s report took the form of a time lapse camera fixed to her handlebars.

For my part I enjoyed the bits of the ride spent indoors where there was good food and a warm welcome.To the many volunteers  who helped to make our lives more comfortable at the start and finish and the Controllers who waited patiently for us out on the road at the start and finish – thank you so much. Ditto the staff at the two cafes other riders and I dived into for shelter from the elements – the farmshop cafe (“Cyclists welcome”) at Cracoe and the ever dependable Rossis at Keighley.

Here’s hoping that the Season of Mists ride in October has a bit more sun and a bit less mist.