The countless ‘nose-to-stem’ climbs. The unintended 45min warm up. The 200bpm on the first climb as your riding buddy pulls away. The descents that felt as though they’re in peoples gardens. The Paris-Roubaix section. The loosing of my kidneys and triceps on the Paris-Roubaix section. The knowing people do this on cross bikes. The fact that in some sections it reminded me of Hit The North. The randomly placed golf course. The wind turbines. The contrast of riding through towns and country. The cheapness of Hebden Bridge Train Stations’ car park. The ankle deep mud. The decrepit farms littered with debris, crazy dogs but with Range Rovers parked outside. The company. The looking at every signpost while trying not to stop. The ‘is this the right way?’ feeling. The views. The reservoirs. The nowhereness. The complete disorientation. The weather. The almost trail centre-esk sections. The fact it passes Lee Quarry. The fact we didn’t have the energy to ride Lee Quarry. The passing of Twinkly Dave. The several random tracksuit families in the middle of nowhere. The body fatigue. The blistered hands. The feeling that despite said fatigue I could have went on. The enormity. The feel. The atmosphere. The just plain everything. The annoying fact I lived 7miles away from it for 3 years and never rode it. The reason I want to move back to Yorkshire (okay, exaggerating slightly there) . The knowing that from simply parking up and looking at the cliffs that surround you that this ride is going to leave a dent. The sense that this is the real start to my 2012. The gates. The gates and the gates*.
The Mary Towneley Loop.
Ta very much.
*The gates weren’t actually that bad.