Aldbrough St John Audax event Sat Mar 9

There were two events listed, the 200k and the 100k.

I opted for the 100k. By the time I got there, three hardy members, Graham, Andy and Martin, had already well left on the 200k.

100k equate to 64 miles and was dubbed “When I’m 64″. I answered at the end of the year. But we found out later it was all arranged for 9 March as it was the 64th birthday of the organiser, Nigel Hall.

It was a cold wet morning. It never got to more than a couple of degrees above freezing and it rained all day. Not hard, maybe, but steady, unrelenting, cold rain. There was standing water on many parts of the roads.

The route took us out of AStJ to the Piercebridge road, then towards the Barton services and on roads we have regularly travelled to Moulton and Scorton. Then onto the Bolton on Swale road towards the Fencotes before going on to Leeming and heading towards Londonderry (moved conveniently from N Ireland for this purpose). Across the A1 towards Excelby and on the fairly exposed road it really felt cold.

We continued along the country roads towards Masham and into Wath before taking the longish incline into Hutton Conyers and towards the A61 by Ripon. Then to the Spa Garden cafe for a well earned break at the half way stage.

It was then back into the cold. Perhaps not raining quite so hard but had certainly not stopped. The wind was not strong but was now against and certainly had an impact on hands and feet.

This half of the ride is far more undulating than the first half. Climbs may not be steep but many are long. The route now took us to Grewelthorp, an undulating stretch of the road to say the least, and then on to Masham. From Masham we travelled to Newton le Willows (fortunately on this occasion relocated from Lancashire) and then on to Catterick, a route far from flat. From Catterick downhill into Richmond (temperature now freezing) and then climbing again before dropping down the long hill into Gilling West (temperature slightly above freezing). Nearly back now as Melsonby appears on the signs but perhaps the cruelest climb of the day out of GW (is there a road out of GW that does not involve a long hill?). The A66 appeared and then a reasonably flat ride to the Melsonby cross roads before the final leg back to AStJ, a cup of tea and a cake or two but perhaps more importantly a warm before driving back home.

Perhaps a little more than 64 miles, but not by so much as to argue about it!

The 200k’ers had still not returned and were not expected before 5:00. I was just glad I had opted for the lesser event this time!

Richard posted at 2013-3-10 Category: News