Setting off in the rain is never fun, but after a few miles I reached the familiar town of Ampleforth (the rival school to my alma mata) and also ran into a friendly (and very Yorkshire) fellow cyclist from Clifton CC. Riding and chatting along made the first ten miles whizz by, and my legs soon felt much better for just turning the pedals round. Even better, I was shown a shortcut to the base of my first climb, allowing me to knock a few miles off what I knew was going to be a tough ride (90+ miles and 7,000 feet of climbing, according to the route-mapping software). Arriving at the base of White Horse Hill, I instantly recognised the road from many walking trips and knew that I was in for a hard climb. Ramping up at 25% in several places, the surface was pretty gravelly and the amount of traffic made it difficult to get in to a rhythm. When I eventually reached the summit, I was steaming due to all of the extra layers and I needed to stop to let out some heat. Fortunately the reward for such a tough climb was a great view from the gliding club where they launch off the cliff-face, and a fantastic descent back down on the main road.
|Top of the White Horse|
|Boltby Bank looking much easier than it was|
|For perfection, just add Clif Bar|
|Not exactly inviting|
|Stunning views from the top of the Rosedale Chimney|