Clifton CC Discussion Board

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by Rob Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:37 pm
Dirty Riever 200. AndyG, Steen and self joined 997 other riders chucking disposable income at another sub-genre of our pass-time. The web site told us it was a "Gravel Grinder." Whatever you call it, it was some adventure!

195km of which, probably, 180k were off tarmac. 3400m of climbing.
Under-wheel it was a lot like a trail centre blue route (the "loose" end of the spectrum), there were some sections significantly rougher but nothing a mountain biker would call "technical".
There was nothing back breakingly steep, but the climbs where long and arduous
Kielder Forest is vast, a true wilderness. The vistas are truly stunning. Still some distant patches of snow.
Eclectic mix of steeds, but the most common was drop bar/38mm rubber/disc brakes.
Was going to don club colours, but a look around in the campsite on the morning, led to me switching to faded Rapha so as to fit in. Too late to grow a beard though.
It was classic Sportif - electronic timing, feed stations, obligatory t-shirt. We were told emphatically that this wasn't a race, but we had numbers, we were timed and there was a neutralised start...! :?
0730 start. Our tactic was "let's not go mad" and to "try to keep moving" - "hopefully we'll be back in daylight."
We were given a little printout at the finish telling us we'd got round in 11 hours and 1 second. That apparently puts us in the "Brigand" category. There were riders more than 3.5 hours ahead of us, they were "Highwaymen". That's what I love about sport, no matter how hard you try, there're always performances to look up to.
Conditions were absolutely perfect. It would be a different kettle of fish in more typical April weather.

"We'll struggle to do a better ride all year" said Steen at the end. Indeed, but we do say that quite often...
by craigdabrown Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:03 am
The Inters continued their “Fred” training on Saturday with Dr. Dave kindly devising a cracking 115 mile route which involved a fair bit of climbing, if you’re a mere mortal and not a Sunday Ride regular – massive chapeau to those guys on doing the Dirty Reiver 200, and necessitated a 9am start.

7 regulars (Dr. Dave, Dr. Joe, GrahamT, JohnB, RichC, IanH and myself) in the Square, we were joined by guest rider Alvus (? Sorry, I didn’t quite catch his name properly) and picked up NeilS at Shipton.

The weather was glorious but would prove more attritional on bike components and riders than all the grit and grime we’d endured during the winter.

After some strong riding on the front, Alvus turned back at Kirkby Malzeard and we continued onto our first proper ascent, over Jordan’s. At Lofthouse, Rich discovered that his wheel had started to delaminate and so he and Ian headed straight into Pateley while the rest of tackled a nice little climb up through Wath, down into Pateley and then back out via the climb past Yorke’s Folly.

Graham’s front mech was playing up, later inspection showed that it had actually snapped, and so he and JohnB stopped for lunch at Fewston Farm while Dave, Joe, Neil and I did a few more miles and enjoyed a very welcome al fresco lunch at Ilkley.

The Cow and Calf climb took a bit of a toll on Joe’s legs immediately after lunch and so after the summit I suggested to Neil and Dave that I’d continue on the route towards Otley and the Chevin as they’d quickly catch me up on the on the flats and descents. In fact, I didn’t actually see any of them again for 40 miles, when Neil caught me at Woodthorpe Roundabout on the York Ring Road.

117 miles and an absolutely fantastic route, I’d have been happy to tackle just a couple of those climbs on a normal Saturday ride. Funnily enough, the toughest part was the succession of short, sharp climbs that Dave had snuck in between Pool-in-Wharfedale and Wetherby. I don’t often ride in that area but they definitely get the heart going on a hot day when your expecting the chasing pack, well trio, to catch you at any second.

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