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Barking Mad on the highest road in Yorkshire

Allan, Steve , Simon and Will ride the 212k Fleet Moss Audax on 17th May


Tea and Scones and never mind the cobbles

The rather posh ladies in our rather twee Dent Control stop café, The Stone Close, thought it “a little windy” for cycling around the Dales. But we had already done 54 of 134 scheduled miles, hard miles over Harris End, The Trough and Lamb and Tatham. A nice cup of tea and a scone (with jam) would surely set us up for another hill or two.

At Gayle primary school a mystery man answered our Info Control question with ‘all visitors must go to Reception’. So armed with this unremarkable fact we turned right onto Fleet Moss (589m) and there it was, straight up. This is indeed a hill, quite unlike the Dive Centre. Always trust old ladies-they really do know. We ground up sections marked 17% and 20%. I had secretly fitted a 32 rear sprocket on Saturday but the ladies could have walked faster. Our mystery man, now at the summit, urged us on. Only sixty miles left.

Madness it may have been. Barbon village Info Control answer was ‘Barking Mad Pet Shop’ whilst Allan and Simon swear they heard a cuckoo in Dentdale. I wasn’t bothered. I needed food. In Gargrave, at 97 miles, our control was the Dalesman Café and sweetshop. They had plenty of food and drink – eggs, chips, beans, ginger beer, chocolate – I could have happily stayed there.
Only 37 miles into a headwind, over Chaigley and we soon reached Claughton Memorial Hall, where the organisers checked us in and (you guessed right) gave us something to eat.

This had been a hard 200 in difficult conditions. Allan had flown down the hills. I realised that a low gear is no substitute for weight and Simon was left wondering whether a Snowdon 400 would be such a good idea. And for Steve it was business as usual. Having ridden from Southport to Claughton he set off into the gloom heading back to Southport, leaving us to the warmth of Simon’s car.

Eight points for SCC Audaxers and probably the most difficult 200 we have ridden. A grand day out!

Words from Will White (We now know that www stands for Will White’s Wheels!)

(Allan Taylor, Steve Ginty, Simon Kirwan and Will White)


Distance: 216 km
Riding Time: 9hrs 54 mins
Elevation Gain: 3,680 metres


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