Sunburn, Trench-foot and Mud Glorious Mud
So Noah had been building his ark all week, then the floods came....
What looked like it was going to be a total wash out turned out to be a ride with a bit of every thing.
We arrived at Swaledale early to recce the sections which looked most likely to be flooded, Lady luck was on our side their was a lot of standing water....
But the river Swale was still where it should have been, so all seamed well with the world. We had arranged to use a field for our car parking, this proved to be a taster of what was to come.
After parking our cars at the swimming pool we headed for the start of the ride, The Dales mountain bike centre this is the best start to any ride.
With all the athletes fed and watered it was time for the group photo.
Now the ride can begin, using a quite road to gain some height and warm cold legs the riders one by one stop to shed layers of clothes.....
Its warm and dry and we are all dressed for cold and wet.
We regroup at the turning to the first B/W and take in the views, there's lots of ways to describe Swaledale.. Beautiful, Desolate, Wild, Inspiring, the one I prefer is unspoilt but I'll let the pictures prove the point...
From here we head round and up on to the moors on well surfaced shooting tracks, everyone looking forward to the fist downhill.
The action is fast and furious as we speed down to the water splash.
Climbing again we head for Great Pinseat, a strangely beautiful landscape
with its piles of waste from the mines that used to dominate the landscape, but now a playground for mountain bikers and walkers alike.
The downhill from Great Pinseat is fun fun fun with some thing for every body and the similes at the bottom are testament to it.
All down safe its time for more uphilling to the legendary Gunnerside gill,
this is where an elite group of racer boys got ahead of the ride leaders (no names mentioned to protect the guilty) and they went for it, after giving chase I stopped a passing landrover and asked the driver to inform the whippets that they where going the wrong way....
Once we were all regrouped its time for the star of the show, the descent down Gunnerside gill, this descent has every thing and is a must for all mountain bikers.
From technical sections, to water splashes with fast off camber grassy singletrack it truly is MTB heaven, also the sun came out to play.
Two thirds down we stop to take in the views and start to think about lunch, the sun is still shinning and we have a short hill to climb before the final B/W descent.
Its fast greasy grass that turns in to a rocky section, then to mud and finally back to rocks, a couple of riders find out how greasy it is sliding body's and bikes down the hillside.
Lunch Time (The chimps tea party)
We had prearranged lunch at Ghyllfoot tea rooms and they didn't let us down, relaxing in the warm sunshine with fine fare and a cold pint, life just can't get any better.
The waterway home
The final few miles back should of been a bimble along the banks of the river Swale, in reality the flash floods had left hub deep puddles and mud...
Which to the amusement of some made it a ride to remember, two riders came a cropper in almost the same spot one ride tried to inhale the deepest of all the puddles and the rest of us slipped and slid our way back to the end of the ride.
Back at the car park/swimming pool we ready ourself's for the awards at the Dales MTB centre and rewarded's of coffee and cake.
I can't remember who received what but here's the pics to prove to the wife that you,ve not been spending more moneys on old bike tat
Thanks to everyone who made the day a success and braved the Great British weather.
Extra big thanks to the Dales MTB centre and Ghyllfoot tea rooms.
Link to my album of pics:- http://s746.photobucket.com/albums/xx10 ... 07%202012/
Happy trails from the North East & Yorkshire Area Group.