GCN squeezed not one but TWO vids from their 2018 day out in the Dales. We all love a good geek out. (Well… I do).

The choices? Well… we’re all individual. Whilst some of us have more experience of the Three Peaks, Simon has a vast and enviable experience of cycling in general and a great, in-depth knowledge of cyclo-cross and of course, bikes. Whilst I would disagree with a only few choices, below, I understand why he has made them. It’s worth getting off my chest. It’s my job, innit!

1. 40×42 bottom gear. Whilst I myself also use that gear, I use it because I prefer running. For someone who prefers to ride, and with Si’s 10 sprocket on the rear, thanks to the XD Cassette, a 38 tooth front ring would give him a more enjoyable Penyghent. Okay. Marginally more enjoyable. Note: THink 38 front ring sounds small for a 1x set up? Two teeth? I’m being fussy. But … a 38 x 10 at a cadence of 90 RPM on a ‘cross bike with 35mm tyres would carry you at just over 27mph. I know.

2. 45mm deep rims. I’ve seen people literally blown to the ground on top of Simon Fell (where, irnonically, it seems Simon didn’t actually fall). And the same on Penyghent. Even with pushing bikes as opposed to having them on your shoulders, the winds are nasty big up there. Add to that the fairly short road sections, and the fact that it’s normally best to consolidate on those in a small group, the advantage of plush deep rims eggs away. But yes, they look nice. And yes, I’ll have them if you want to get rid of them Si.

3. Taped survival bag: Just do it very well. Whilst I’ve never seen someone booted off the race for finishing without one, I HAVE seen them on the course sometimes where they have fallen off bikes. You could well be a DNF without it if they organisers felt shirty. Imagine the pain of that!?!