All in a Day!
Graham Fielding & Ben Martin of Clitheroe Bike Club rode the Way of the Roses on 3rd May in aid of North West Air Ambulance. They completed the route in 13 & 1/2 hours. ‘We’ve both done various MTB challenges (Isle of Man End2End, Whinlatter Challenge, Grizedale Challenge – generally shorter routes but nothing on this scale, time and distance wise. We also both compete in Mountain Bike Orienteering (BMBO) of which Graham is the current National Champion.'
Graham rode from home near Clitheroe at about 2.30am. This gave him a total for the day of 210.8 miles. Bens Dad gave him a lift from Longridge near Preston at 4am. 'We set off from Morecambe at 5.30 am. After a cold start the weather stayed dry & sunny but we had a headwind all the way from the top of Settle. Graham rode a Specialised,Tarmac Road Bike with Schwalbe, Ultremo ZX (Red ones!). Ben rode his unbranded Chinese carbon road bike with Schwalbe Ultremo ZX on the back and a Michelion Lithion 2.0 on the front to soak up the bumps. Suffice to say it was the front tyre that ended up with the only puncture of the day!'
'It was primarily a fund raising effort for North West Air Ambulance and we weren’t aiming to beat any records due to the busy bank holiday and not knowing what to expect on the route - it was also the longest distance travelled by both of us by bike, in one go. We stopped in Pateley Bridge at the Wildings Tearoom just over the bridge on the right, for a toasted teacake and coffee, then at a Garden Centre just after York for dinner. The support vehicle was Ben’s parents (Tony and Jo) who met us at about 128 miles in, outside Pocklington to take photos and for us to dump the windproof jackets and thermals.
We got into Brid about 6.30 and celebrated with a handshake, photo and fish and chips. Tony and Jo met us at the finish to drive us back over to the other side of the country.
Looking back, one of the many highlights of the ride was seeing the sunrise over Pen Y Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. The route, including diversions, was well signed, easy to follow and we had no issues.
Our next challenge is likely to be the Dales Cycle Way as we won’t need help getting home. We can ride from home to the start in Skipton in the wee hours and then ride back again when we’ve done it. That should clock up about 200 miles!'