[Stolen from Dean’s Facebook post, worth keeping here where we can find it!]
“On and off for 50 years I have been a visitor to the Yorkshire Dales on the last Sunday in September for the 3 Peaks Cyclo-cross.
I remember being bundled into the car at 3am with my sister in the early 70’s for mum and dad to make the long drive from Leicestershire to Horton-in-Ribblesdale to watch dad master the course and place highly, 3rd being his best ride. In 1975. As a youngster it was the only opportunity to sample the delights of Kendal Mint Cake. I used to watch in awe, Barry Davies, John Atkins, Eric Stone and the Swiss invasion when Arthur Manx was invited over by the master, John Rawnsley.
I even introduced my wife to the ‘Peaks’ watching Tim Gould and Fred Salmon running off Whernside in the late 80’s early 90’s.
In 1993 I took the plunge and rode the 3 Peaks.
Yesterday I completed my 20th event, I’ve enjoyed every minute of every event I’ve ridden, I’ve even enjoyed success, 2nd place in 95, and numerous top placings, team awards and a couple of Father / son victories.
For the last 8 years getting an entry accepted was the driving force to ride a bike, I couldn’t get motivated for any other event, and the target to be around the 4hr mark was an achievement.
The ‘Peaks’ was one of the contributing factors as to why I moved to the Yorkshire Dales in 2020. In 2021 I joined the organising committee.
I enjoyed yesterday, knowing it would be my last outing 6 months ago.
I took time to stop and thank landowners, hug special friends, encourage ‘virgin Peakers’ and enjoy the banter as a competitor conquering a tough day. 5hrs in the saddle and just a steady ‘diesel’ ride. For the record… I got lost on Ingleborough and crashed more than ever. Perhaps that’s what happens when you relax.
I was honoured to wear my ‘Ride for Charlie’ jersey, a fantastic charity the 3 Peaks supports.
For 2024 I’m following in the footsteps of two special people – John Rawnsley and Mark Richmond. I will become only the third organiser/secretary of the World’s Toughest Cyclo-cross Race.
Stepping back after 10 years, but still very much part of the organising team and looking to contest next year’s event, Mark has worked tirelessly, building on the strong foundations set by John.
Next year it is the 60th edition, here’s to many more years of this unique event which is part of the Yorkshire Dales heritage.”