This one was flagged up to me last week but it’s taken me a good while to get round to reading it.
I try not to mark the blog posts (too often) but this is a rare 10/10. A wonderful analysis of the race both in background and in the story telling of the race day itself.
It was at this point that I got to take in the race for the first time- before it had been intense road bunch riding and hard climbing. I kid you not, I laughed out loud in disbelief. You know the scene in Inception where the world folds over on itself? I was like that. Except there were people walking up it with bikes on their backs. I looked back to what was ahead, chucked my bike on my shoulder for the first time and started walking. Within 10 steps, I knew that this is where I was going to lose time….
….You just have to dig deep and put one foot in front of another. An eerie silence descends on the once hectic and loud cacophony of riders shouting, mud flying, brakes squealing and gears changing.SAM BACON
The majority of descending down Whernside is as follows. Go down the stone path, with steps, gaps, gullys and humans walking up, or go down the side, full of mud, rocks and off camber. Choices choices… I did a mixture of the two, mainly sticking to the side of the path- thinking about pinch punctures on steps and whincing. I was steady, jumping off when needed but struggling to be fast on and off the bike due to my legs and impending cramps.
then a bit of …
It was now time for the final climb- the up and back of Penyghent. I was aware that this was the most ‘cyclist’ friendly of the three climbs and was hoping that pushing the hard gear could help me out. I rolled through the bottom section into a crowd of cheering spectators and riders coming down. I got my head down and started pedalling as hard as I could. I rode a lot more than those around me but not as much as I wanted- I was just running out of gas and decided to get walking and try to keep a decent pace before I blew totally.