Way of the Roses Day 2 - Airton - Dunnington 74 Miles

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Way of the Roses Day 2 - Airton - Dunnington 74 Miles

Post by PanBiker » 29 Aug 2014, 20:26

Various beeps, warbles and music heralded the start of day two. Sunday morning 6.00am 83 miles to our next sleep in Pocklington.

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Not sure about the girls but no one bothered with a shower in the gents block, we would be hot and sweaty within an hour of setting off so not a lot of point really. We all had a quick cold water swill in the basin in the room and the riders all got back into their cycling gear. We packed our bags and stripped the covers from the beds. Ian got rid of the laundry back to reception and then loaded all the bags back into the van.

The YHA self-catering kitchen was already open so we all met up in there for self-concocted breakfasts, most had instant porridge myself included, mine had blueberries and banana and turned out to be not too bad for an instant preparation. Some had muesli and we had a fair selection of fruit between us. I brought out my homemade energy bars and distributed to anyone that wanted them, I had baked two batches, half of which were chocolate covered at the request of our training leader Mick.

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Catherine looks pensive here in anticipation of the day to come.

We checked out not long after reception opened at 7.00am. Transport positions same as the run up to Morecambe, 15 minutes later we were unloading the bikes onto the green at Airton.

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Another group photo and we were off at 7.30am as planned.

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Not far up the lane we pass this sign, so near but yet so far.

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Our first official stop was planned for Pateley Bridge 20 miles away, the small matter of the climb up Greenhow Hill that was inconveniently in the way featured on everyone’s mind as we approached through Winterburn, Hetton, Cracoe, Thorpe and Burnsall. The route undulates between Airton and Burnsall but levels out at about 250m asl in Burnsall. We had to stop for a while here as Catherine had picked up a real wheel puncture. It turned out to be a thorn in the tyre and was quickly sorted with a replacement tube.

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The route out of Burnsall gradually rises through Appletreewick to meet the main B6265 Grassington to Pateley Bridge road about a mile before Stump Cross Caverns, the summit of Greenhow Hill is the highest point on the route at 404m and is reached at roughly 18 miles into our day two route.

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There is an advisory on the Sustrans route map to the very steep descent into Pateley Bridge it’s only 2 miles further off the top but caution is required, a lot of accidents have taken place on the descent which includes a number of very sharp bends before the road reaches the valley floor. Everyone negotiated the descent safely and we stopped at the Talbot House Tea rooms for a brew, I and a few others had toasted current tea cakes.

A bit of a celebration as at this point we had beaten the two highest and steepest climbs on the route, there would be many more inclines and they would require a lot more stamina before we got into the Vale of York.

We still had to climb back out of the valley via Glasshouses, Brimham Rocks and then on to our lunch venue at Fountains Abbey. We only spent about half an hour in the café before pressing on. The route climbs out of Pateley Bridge and about half way up the ascent to Brimham Rocks a few of us stopped at one of the minor road junctions for a short rehydration break. No more than a couple of recovery minutes to take on board liquid. I didn’t even bother getting off the bike but straddled it at the side of the road.

I mentioned earlier that I had fitted toe clips to the peddles to aid on the ascents. I normally set off from a standing start leading with my right leg and then get the left foot back in the clip after a little forward momentum. I set my right foot in the clip and pushed off, no different to any other time or so I thought. A split second later at the same time as I had lifted my other leg off the ground the bike stopped dead, my foot was not straight to the peddle and my heel ran into the bottom cassette stopping the bikes forward momentum. Both feet off the ground, one in clip and no forward momentum equals a game changer. The bike went down on the side that I was applying pressure and I crashed to the ground with it. The road surface came up to meet me as I crashed onto my side and was just as hard as I remembered it from falling off my motorbike. Problem was with considerably less protective gear on than used on my motorbike I was bound to come off worse.

My right knee hit the road first followed by my shoulder, elbow and then my ribcage as the bike followed me down. My left inner thigh smashed into the saddle followed by my left knee on the bikes crossbar. I was winded in the process and laid there in the road wondering which bit hurt the most. Mick came to my aid and removed the bike from under me. Kate went into nurse mode and quickly assessed if I was able to be moved. Fortunately my head did not hit the ground but the fall left me with a couple of very large grazes on my right knee with blood running down my leg. My elbow was grazed and bruised but as I was helped to my feet I found that my my ribs had taken quite a hit and felt very sore. I sat on the verge for a bit and continued the assessment; my left inner thigh had a bruise about 3 inches long and an inch wide I think from the saddle and my left knee three separate bruises from hitting the crossbar. My right knee minus skin hurt like hell but was still functional through the pain, the main concern was my ribs as it was painful to take a deep breath. Not the best thing to have when you are busting a lung up a steep incline and have another 60 miles ahead of you in the day.

I took ten minutes out and then elected to carry on; I would push on the next 8 miles to Fountains Abbey and then reassess how I felt after the next stop. The ride onto Fountains slowed me down a bit, my knees were sore but OK as long as I kept up a steady cadence. We stuck together as a group and we made Fountains where we had lunch.

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Kate had Ibuprofen and I was carrying Paracetemol, I took both after I had eaten. We topped up our water bottles and pressed on along the route which took us through the Studley Royal Park and on towards Ripon. The anti-inflammatories and painkillers had kicked in by this point and were supressing most of the discomfort but did not touch the pain in my ribs.

Thankfully the terrain was a lot more forgiving as we cycled on to Ripon and then on through Bishop Monkton, we stopped for 10 minutes at Roecliffe.

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In the picture above, the two ladies sat at the table to the left of the sign are a feature of The Crown Inn. They are there to ensure no one has to drink alone. They are in fact fully dresses manikins and are served with drinks daily.

Suitably refreshed we push on to Boroughbridge, Aldbrough, Lower and Upper Dunsforth and Linton on Ouse which took us past the RAF station and found us following the river Ouse into York. Here the route goes right through the centre of the city and into the Minster Yard which is closed to cars but open to pedestrians and cyclists. We had scheduled a refreshment stop here at the Treasurers House but we decided to push on after another gathering of the bikes and riders for photo’s outside the Minster.

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Within five minutes of leaving here we got lost, the Way of the Roses signs seemed to disappear all of a sudden and we had to back track to investigate where we had gone wrong. Builders had put some hoardings up around some of the city developments and it looked like they had removed a couple of the way markers. It took us about half an hour to figure our way out of the city and get back onto the route. By the time we had exited the city we realised that we were all running on empty. We had consumed nearly all our water, pumped ourselves full of energy bars, flapjacks and sacrificial sugar yielding jelly babies. It was 5.30pm, we had been on the road for 10 hours and covered 73 miles but still had another 9 or 10 miles to go but nothing more to give.

Our support team was already waiting for us at the Yorktown Motel in Pocklington, our cases were in the rooms along with menus for the Chinese Restaurant we would be visiting that night. Vicki had already worked her magic and booked the taxis to pick us up at 7.30pm to take us into town to eat. We rang Ian and asked him and the rest of the team to come and collect us a couple of miles further up the route at Dunnington, we would leave the bikes in the van overnight and ferry back to where we left off for the start of day three.

And so it happened, those last couple of miles seemed like twenty and finally turning the corner in the village of Dunnington found Ian with the van waiting with the back doors open and Vicki and Sally on station to ferry us to a welcome shower and change of clothes. Second day’s toil was over, 74 miles from where we had set off that morning in Airton. No one felt dejected as the full distance had always been a big ask and we were now into the Vale of York and the Yorkshire Wolds beckoned. Eight miles extra to the last leg was nothing compared to what we had achieved that day.

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Here I am at the end of day two's riding, the van was a very welcome site.

The stream of water from a shower has amazing powers to invigorate and encourage recuperation. I was a bit tender to say the least and my various grazes and bumps made themselves known in no uncertain terms despite the medication I had taken, it was wearing off a bit by then and I needed food before I could re dose myself. I did feel a lot better though on the right side of a decent shower.

The minibus turned up bang on time and ran us the mile or so down into Pocklington where the staff at the Cantonese had a large table waiting for us set out for 14.

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We had already seen what was on offer back at the Motel so we wasted no time in getting the drinks sorted and ordering our food. I had a Chinese beer and a starter of skewered sizzled pork strips with honey and ginger glaze followed by Chicken, onions and peppers from a table hotplate with boiled rice. I’m not a great fan of Chinese food, it always seems a bit bland to me but I have to say that after the day’s efforts it really hit the spot. All our various choices took quite a while to prepare so we did not finish our main courses until well after 10pm.

Beds were beckoning but when Vicki rang the taxi firm they could not pick us up for at least an hour. Organiser that she is though, within 15 minutes and 6 taxi firms later that she had Googled on her phone she found us one that could be with us in less than two minutes, not sure whether the guy and his 15 seater wasn’t actually parked outside when we rang.
It had started raining at about 10pm and we wondered if this was the start of the atrocious forecast of wet weather that had been given for the following day. Same as the night before, I was out like a light as soon as I was in bed.
Ian

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