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by Darren N Sun May 04, 2014 11:20 am
5 Cliftonites went into battle in the Wiggy 300 yesterday – Rob, Andy G, Steen, Peter H and myself.

On the drive to Wigginton at 4.00am, my car temperature gauge showed a red snowflake symbol and 0 degrees C, - freezing! The dilemma on a ride such as this is that you have to choose your dress code for a 14 hour day so you need to compromise on what you’re prepared to carry. This meant that we all collectively froze solid on the dawn 3 hour trip around the Wolds – ie. Pocklington, the outskirts of Driffield, Sledmere, Settrington Bank and Malton. My fingers, which were operated on at the start of the year, were killing me and I spent the majority of the first hour with my right hand lodged in my left armpit. Andy G’s face had frozen down so that he couldn’t speak. We also noticed loads of signage put out for the Pock Pedal later that day which promised to be a goodun. One poor lady on our ride crashed on a pothole and was forced to call for help, it was in the same vicinity where a deer had caused equal carnage only two years beforehand. We made good time to our restaurant of choice and fine cuisine at Morrisons in Malton where the service was typically fantastic! A fellow diner asked were we ‘on a bike thing’ – err, yes indeed, we were on a bike thing.

You can’t get ahead of yourself on this ride, to stay sane you could only focus on the next calling point. Next step was to head to Hovingham and make our way through Brandsby and Easingwold to Ripon. The pace was fast and I was beginning to feel it. Somewhere outside of Easingwold, the training lot blasted by. Well done to the guy on the front who said ‘G’day’ and asked after our health.

By the time we got to Brafferton near Helperby, I was in trouble. My legs were cramping and I didn’t feel great at all. This was the last point of ‘no return’ before we headed North to Richmond so I knew a decision needed to be made. My confidence has been low this year due to my delayed start and my legs were letting me down. Imagine doing a 95-odd mile club run, legs cramping up, energy disintegrating, and then someone turns to you and says you’ve got to go round again – that’s what I faced. The guys talked me into at least having lunch with them in Ripon.

During lunch, my heart was saying push on but my head was saying don’t. We weren’t even half way and the big climbing was still to come. Any sensible person would have pulled out. The thing about our sport is that there’s nowhere to hide and sometimes you’ve got to search deep within to get through – I’m sure everyone in their own way has faced this moment. Anyway, my heart won the inner battle but I needed to change how we managed it – I feared becoming a steaming, cramping mess on the side of the road in some far flung place between Richmond and Stokesley and wrecking the day for the others. I packed in the potassium foods and electrolyte drinks and asked the guys to knock a mile or two off the average speed – to their credit they were more than willing to do so – all for one and one for all!

So, off we shot to Richmond, my legs benefiting from the flat roads, sunshine and a long stint in the small ring. My ability to sit on the front was over. I had to gel up before the climb into Richmond but the repair job was going fine. Again, we had another visit to the fuel bowser at the Co-op in Richmond to keep the gauges primed. Rob had to mend a puncture before we headed off to Stokesley. The other guys were doing brilliantly, and obviously enduring their own pain, and we made nice progress to our favourite restaurant in the world at Café Uno Momento in Stokesley – always welcoming and great food and service. About 20 minutes after we arrived, the rest of the Audax participants began filtering through the door so we decided to make a move.

This was it, the last leg when the 300 throws everything but the kitchen sink at you. 150 miles in the legs already, any incline is like the Himalayas, and there’s Clay Bank, Newgate Bank, Helmsley and the hill after East Gilling to get over. We ground our way slowly over all of them and looked at each other to see that we were all vaguely in one piece. Andy G and Rob then led the charge back to Wigginton just before 7.00pm.

We’d covered the 300 in an elapsed time of about 13 hours 50 minutes, an average moving speed of 16.2 mph and just over 6,000 feet of climbing. It’s such an epic ride, made better by the beautiful weather we’d experienced for the majority of the day (I’m trying to forget the freezing temps around the Wolds). There’s no doubt I wouldn’t have made it had it not been for my team mates, Rob, Andy G, Steen and Peter – I personally thanked them afterwards and publicly now, they were truly magnificent. But then that’s what being with a great club like Clifton is all about. I’m a physical wreck today, but that’s nothing unusual for us after a big ride. The Wiggy 300 is definitely a ride worth doing, just make sure you choose to do it with people you trust and whose company you enjoy – I did!


by Karl M Sun May 04, 2014 4:21 pm
Great write up Darren- it felt like being there.
In comparison to that 300km, the Pock Pedal sportive on Saturday was 100 miles with a 60 and 25 mile version. Yet like any good challenge ride, it stretches you enough so that towards the end you think “I can’t be doing this next year”, which you then re-enter.
It’s a surprisingly testing ride because it packs in a lot of climbing around the Wolds. And those climbs stretch out the field of riders into twos and threes, so there's little drafting to be had when it is flat! A nice toughie.

We cycled from Pocklington to Malton, to Stamford Bridge and back to Pocklington. During this time, it was good to see how many farmers are welcoming the Tour de France by turning their fields yellow.
And the locals are getting in the mood too- on one section, three children suddenly stopped their playing and neatly lined up along the road side to clap. So you throw them a smile and an energy bar, to add to their collection of inner tubes, gels, bottles, wheel.

As usual, a really well organised event with a friendly atmosphere. You get a free event photo taken of yourself looking a bit shy on the bike. Lots of food and route signs. And event timing with online results. Great fun. Thanks a lot Andy J (“like my bike” on here) and to all the volunteers.
by Dr Dave Mon May 05, 2014 9:43 pm
Pock Pedal for me too. Lovely sunny skies and clear air meant superb views. Thought the whole event was well done - food stations were great with lovely staff. Thanks Andy!

Keep pedalling!
by dave c Tue May 06, 2014 8:16 am
5 for the A ride this week, Eric, Alison, Jay, IanH and me. We had a great ride to Hutton le Hole via Snargate, Yearsley, Ampleforth, Helmsley, Brandsdale, Gilamoor. Always enjoy the ride round Cockayne, especially in clear weather. After a refresh at the cafe we returned via Great Barugh, Amotherby, Castle Howard.

Thanks for the enjoyable day guys.



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