Way of the Roses

Thanks you to everyone who has sponsored Matthew, Harry and I for our epic Way of the Roses ride this May.

https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/chris-and-matthew-way-of-the-roses-2016

We raised £625 pounds towards Stan’s wheelchair (needing a total of £7000 – already half way there).
https://fundrazr.com/stanswheels

It was a lot tougher than we thought and here is the story in pictures.

Getting Bikes:
In August last year I decided to get fitter, and ordered a road bike on the cycle to work scheme. Needless to say, Matthew saw the bike in the garage a week before Christmas and decided that he would like to do some cycling too.  Onto Gumtree, and a trip to Leeds led this photo:

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Here’s the map of the Way of the Roses:

Morecambe Bay to Pateley Bridge = 62 miles.  Pateley Bridge to York = 47 miles.  York to Bridlington = 61 miles.  170 miles in total.

My favourite quote from the official site is “The route is best done from West to East (Morecambe to Bridlington) for the greater chance of having the wind at your back”.  (Ha Ha for the Bridlington part… see later)

Training:
And here is the profile.

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As you can see, we needed some practice on hills as they’re aren’t many in and around York . From January onwards I have managed a road every week, and Matthew and Harry built up their miles too in the weeks before. Helen’s friend Alison introduced us to the Wolds, and some fellow highwaymen from school showed that from Thixendale, the only way is up!

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As well as hills, we also needed miles, so we did rides north of York too, and Skipton to Bolton Abbey, which involved reintroducing the towbar carrier:

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Maintenance and Repair:
The ride from Thixendale presented our first puncture, and I spent the remaining training rides discovering what equipment was needed for punctures and maintaining bikes to make them as easy to ride as possible.  The boys got involved – with varying degrees of success…

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I also highly rate this youtube video “How to clean a bicycle in about 15 minutes”.

Maps:
The day Matthew and I were due to ride the daffodil sportive, the weather was so bad that I spent the afternoon discovering how to create rides and transfer them to Google maps. See here.

Way of the Roses – Day 1
A huge thank you to Helen (and then John) for providing a support vehicle.  We set off from Morecambe at 10.00am.

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Dave waited for us at Settle as we knew the hill was going to be steep … and it was… Matthew suffering bad cramp halfway up…

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Once at the top of that bit, it stretched on a while further, but the ride the other side was wonderful:

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The ride through to Grassington and Burnsall was still tough at times and we were glad of Dave’s help and support:

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The ride up the hill beyond Appletreewick was really hard, and the ride towards Stump Cross caverns was the hardest.  We had almost run out of puff.

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The boys really did not want to give up, and we finally made it down Greenhow Hill and into Pateley Bridge at 7.30pm.

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Way of the Roses – Day 2

Angela joined us the next morning, with John providing car support, with us setting off and reaching Ripon… then pub lunch with the other Highwaymen and onto York.  Matthew then played cricket at York…

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Way of the Roses – Day 3

Actually, the evening before:

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The Met Office had introduced a couple of extra colours for the radar of the rainfall for this storm, and the winds were from the North and an average of 25mph.  The boys agreed to an early start the next morning:

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We avoided the bad weather until 15 miles from Brid.  Then the rain was on us and we battled gusting head winds and driving rain.  At times the wind gusted at 47mph…

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Click here for video:

This is where we knew we would finish, and when we did…

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The others finished too…

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And two new Highwayman rewarded for their hard work and their resilience:

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Slide Show: