September 1, 2012, by David Greenaway
The VC’s Life Cycle 2 Blog: Day 8 – Kirkby Lonsdale to Wetherby
So let’s start today with mishaps, because that’s how the day started: Simon’s chair collapsed under him at breakfast. He alleges sabotage on the part of the Support Team, for a cheap laugh (and it did get a lot of laughs); they have another explanation.
The second mishap occurred on Settle Hill. Mike’s momentum became so slow he was more or less stationary and just keeled over. Fortunately Kate is a really fast draw with her camera and got a picture (and Mike is fine by the way). That tells you something about Settle Hill, of which more anon.
I was again late out, same reason as the last couple of days, and Nick held on for me. We decided to head straight down the A65 to the first meeting point at Settle. Although this is a fast and winding road, drivers were much more considerate than on the A82. It was also a better surface than recent days, and we had a bit of a tailwind. It was a fast ride. We picked up Steve near Clapham and Chris R just outside Giggleswick.
Chris R and Steve went straight on to the hill, Nick and I had a coffee at Ye Old Naked Man Café in Settle and waited for the others. When Andy, Gavin, Kate, Chris J, Karen, Penelope and Mike arrived we set of for the hill.
Settle Hill is relatively short but has an incline of 25% (or 1 in 4 in old money) and is a standing start. There is also traffic in both directions which limits your options on tacking. Only six riders made it to the top without stopping: Andy, Chris J, Chris R, Gavin, Neville and Penelope. The rest of us either just lost momentum, hit a pothole to turn the front wheel or just fell over. It is that difficult and once you are off, it is well-nigh impossible to get started again.
When you get to the top your reward is a two mile climb, not quite as steep, but very testing. After that a long, fast descent through lovely villages like Airton, Hetton and Cracoe.
We pulled in at Linton where Karen grew up and met Jane who now lives in her house. Mike’s late father also has a seat in the Parish Church, so it was a special visit for both of them. Then on to a lunch stop in Grassington, where we stoked up on carbs for the next climb. At the café we we were spotted by a former student, who is also an External Examiner. He kindly made a donation via the Support Team.
After Grassington we split up and I rode out the rest of the day with Chris J, Karen, Kate and Penelope. We immediately faced a seven mile climb to Greenhaw. It is really steep in places and rises to almost 1,400 feet. It was one heck of a pull. But the views from the top across Nidderdale were breath taking. A nice ten mile descent to Harrogate followed, and on to Wetherby, both fine towns, but not great cycling roads.
Tonight for dinner in Wetherby we were joined by Paul’s son Simon, Steve’s partner Jenny and Gavin’s brother in law Paul.
Now, some updates on team matters.
I’m afraid I have to report a double traffic violation. No, it’s not Neville, but our Garmin Master or Maitre de Garmin (Neville, Chris J, sorry about the missing circumflex over the i, I can’t find one on my keyboard). Anyway, within 10 minutes in Harrogate Chris J had gone up a one way street and then through a red light, because Garmin said go.
Speaking of Neville, today was a ‘where’s Neville’ day. Early speculation had him on urgent business at the House. But he was on the ride, on a slightly different route and he got in first, a yellow jersey for Neville.
Actually, I forgot to mention yesterday’s yellow jersey. Despite his ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ style minibus chase to run down Chris J’s Blackberry, it was not Chris R. It was either Andy or Gavin, but they can’t decide who arrived first.
We have had no punctures today and that means Andy retains the pink bell. But we have a problem, the bell has disappeared. There is speculation in the team that Andy himself may have something to do with this, to avoid the possibility of scratching his special bike. I am appealing to his family to persuade Andy that if he knows anything about the bell, to encourage him to own up.
Accomplishment of the day: it just has to be the six riders that got up Settle Hill, so well done Andy, Chris J, Chris R, Gavin, Neville and Penelope.
Quote of the day: again goes to Kate, but can’t be repeated.
Team of the day: the Support Team, who in addition to their daily duties found the time to acquire another pink bell and have already fixed it to Andy’s bike for tomorrow.
Around this point on the John O’Groats to Land’s End ride we learned that ‘Moves Like Jagger’ was top of the download charts and it was immediately adopted by the team. There is no equivalent at present, so I have suggested they adopt ‘Summertime’ by TJ Bilham. He is my Nephew and it is his first release.
Today’s ride was 73 miles and in glorious conditions all the way through to Harrogate. We were all in before 5pm, so time for washing kit and starting the Day 8 blog. I may even get off on time tomorrow.
Total mileage now stands at 618 miles. Tomorrow we head for familiar territory, Lincoln is our next stop and we are looking forward to a couple of days of flatter terrain after the relentless climbing of the last eight days.
Finally, thank you again for all your comments on my LC2 Blog, we all enjoy reading them and appreciate your support, so keep them coming.
Professor David Greenaway
Sounds like another cracking day – and with any luck some of the worst of the hills are now over. That might mean that some of the views are a bit less spectacular, but I guess you can live with that. And today should be a nice ride down to Lincoln. Lots of people here getting ready for the big day tomorrow. Sorry I won’t be joining you – but will be there in spirit! Happy cycling……..
tell everyone that if they dont own up by the end of the day and theyre found out they must keep it forever
Exhausted just reading ‘reality VC’ today. TJ is delighted you have adopted ‘Summertime’, although by the sound of your weather reports to date, it’s something that is sadly lacking. You’ll just have to apeel to the culprits better nature to get the bell back – sorry! 618 miles, you’ve passed the half way mark, fantastic. Fx
sorry I meant that should have been appeal – got my blond head wig on today.
Sounds like the toughest day so far. Lots of hills by the sounds of it. Impressed that Kate could get a picture. Also slightly worried that she seems to have got a picture before checking Mike was okay. Note to self: Don’t look for sympathy from Kate when she has a camera in her hand and an embarrassing incident is unfolding.
Glad to hear that Neville is doing us proud but if he was riding alone I would just check bus routes, taxi receipts he might later try to claim or rope attached to his bike that might have got “caught” around a car bumper.
Well into England now and the South is getting ever closer which I would imagine will raise spirits as the Queens’s English starts to be spoken properly.
Well done to everyone who made it up Settle Hill – good onya Penny for representing the girls. No doubt you’ll be glad to know the marquee and gazebos are up and awaiting your arrival along with many other riders and walkers. Looking foward to seeing you all tomorrow.
In defence of the Noyes family honour we present a slightly longer list of possible suspects in the mystery of the disappearing pink bell….
1. The support team- in their position of most frequently mentioned team of the day they feel that all awards should be theirs to acquire. Has anyone checked the steering wheel of the van or watched to see if there is a new kerby rule where fouls are awarded the pink bell?
2. Kate, Chris R and Steve all had punctures on the same day as Andy and all were potentially unaware of the rule last puncture ‘wins’ the bell. Imagine the scenario of a carefully planned and executed self sabotage only to discover that another hurdle had been added to the race…enough reason to swipe the bell I feel.
3. Both Chris J (with his frozen phone) and Steve (with the loss of his special cream) both need funds with which to replace the aforementioned losses. The famous bell on ebay……it would be a done deal. Has anyone checked ebay, it must be worth thousands?
4. Andy himself- not very likely unless it was a clever double bluff where the obviousness of his guilt actually hid a carefully managed evil plan.
With no evidence left on the scene we will have to go back to our youngest daughter’s suggestion commented above of owning up…..or having to pay forever!!!
Another great read David -really enjoying the saga of the pink bell to add some light relief to your travels. I love Ruth’s response – well done Ruth ! looking forward to seeing you and all the community participants tomorrow. You made it into the Nottm Forest programme today, real celebrity status!! Love Susan x
Through the haf way mark, fabulous and a huge psychological barrier out to bed. I have just been out on my new bike, I did way under 20 miles on pretty flat terrain (although in my defence it was about 33c) and am in need of a few recomendations for posterial relief.
The team will just be heading into Nottingham as I add this from China on Sunday evening – Enjoy the flatness of the Lincs/Notts landscape and also the event at University Park with Life Cycle 2 supporters. Fantastic that you’re well over half way and all still in it together. Great work.
Nice camerawork Kate!!!