An insight into Day Two
Depart: 10:00 – The Boar’s Head, North Yorkshire
Weather rating: A mixed bag turning blustery
The cycling team may have lost one original member but in turn gained an additional four, bringing the number up to a respectable nine for day two of the tour. Sunglasses at the ready, with a few cautionary layers required as a chilly start to the day greeted the group on their departure from The Boar’s Head. The promise of only two big climbs spurred the intrepid group on and they soon left Ripley village behind to head due north.
The scenic route took the cyclists through the delightful Nidderdale region, with its pretty villages and rolling countryside. The roads towards East Witton were quiet, apart from the occasional shout to ‘go on ahead’ when the Yorkshire hills took their unrelenting toll on some of the newer members of the troop – but the satisfaction of reaching the top was quite special.
With the final respite at Masham, the cyclists battled through an ever increasing wind to power through the last miles towards The Blue Lion. Welcomed by proprietors Helen and Paul, the cyclists were in for a surprise when Firth & Co Wines presented everyone with a glass of Astoria Lounge Prosecco, and two magnums of wine on the dinner tables. A little lunchtime tipple couldn’t hurt, could it?
Depart: 14:00 – The Blue Lion, North Yorkshire
Weather rating: Blue skies/Freezing Hail/Gale Force Winds on repeat
After a warming bowl of soup, the team reassembled outside for a group photo in the sunshine before heading further north still, with County Durham and The Rose & Crown firmly in their minds as the final stop for the day. Unfortunately for the lycra clad team, only a few minutes had passed before the heavens opened and their spirits were somewhat dampened, quite literally, as they battled against a steep gradient, strong winds and sideways hail.
The only way was up, and the cyclists valiantly pushed on despite the almost biblical weather, even after one rather concerned member of the group asked if his head was bleeding due to the freezing hail storm. The group made the very wise decision to stop off at the Dales Bike Centre, in hindsight an excellent decision considering they were about the conquer the mighty Stang towards Barnard Castle – no mean feat!
After cycling another 50 miles in the afternoon, the team eventually bundled into the Rose & Crown one by one, with blue lips and red faces proving just how tough the day had been. With jokes of ‘it’s pretty grim up North’, the group warmed up by the fire with a pint of Black Sheep in hand and contemplated the final day’s ride, albeit a little less enthusiastically at the end of day two!