Dent: Up the Calf from Dent

Posted by Swaledale Outdoor Club on 2009-09-27

You know that when everyone turns up half an hour early for a ride that you are just not going to set off on time! And so it was at Dent where we tried to make a good impression on Paul, Cherie and Alex who had joined us from the Lakes on recommendation from David A. Firstly we had to go and get a coffee or 3 from the café, then have a cigarette (Steven only in case my mother reads this) then decide that it was time to get the bikes ready. That's when Steven realised he had a flat and his tubeless tyres let him down big style! The puncture would not seal then the valve would not come out - aaaggh! So we had a run round the village with Cherie getting some grip thingies from the pub and me back to the café for pliers. Brute force won the day and the valve was ripped out. We managed to get going before 10.45 with Alex in for an interesting day as his dad had forgotten to put the flat pedals back on and he was heading up the Calf on spuds with trainers (good pushing practice...). How did we get to Sedbergh I hear you ask - that'll be the blue line Steven drew on the map then! Looks like we went along the road (north side of the river) and took a bridleway towards High Hollins - I've already forgotten the detail except it went up a bit; sorry! Our route was well planned to coincide with a major fell running competition so that when we reached Sedbergh we had some company up that infamous climb up the Calf - and aren't we lucky we're doing it again in 2 weeks time. Anyway Steven had decided that we were taking a different descent to the normal one which meant we didn't have to do quite so much climbing - hurrah! Bad news for Karen and Rachel who had shot off ahead and turned right when they should have waited for the instruction to go left - tired them out a bit anyway. They eventually spotted us going off in the opposite direction and caught up but not before we had got Graham to ring Phil (off shore and not with us) and ask Phil to ring Rach to tell her she had gone the wrong way - shame she left her phone in the car! The fast grassy descent off the Calf was worth the climb and we were back in Sedbergh in no time. We then picked up the Dales Way to head back towards Dent. Andy C renewed his love of water by going swimming in the river while the rest of us opted for the bridge. Credit to Andy, he got back on and cleaned it; meanwhile Rach couldn't stop laughing. At the 3/4 mile sign to Dent, Paul, Cherie and Alex headed back to the cars - wise choice - we endured another 4 miles of mostly steadily climbing much to the distress of my legs so that we could circumnavigate Dent and get a bit of rocky downhill in. There was a bit of a boulder rock garden towards the bottom that I cleanly refused but decided to do some filming and fill in for Sarah as Karen and Rach had a go. Karen certainly had a go and had a very hard landing as she endoed in front of me. Thankfully she seemed ok and we've captured the moment - it's definitely worth a nomination. After that it was back to the café for Graham, Mike, Karen, Steven, Andy and me just before they closed. Thank you all for coming to play. Three nominations for end of year Em -  Karen for a crash, Andy C for a water feature and Graham for a surreal moment phoning Phil - great value ride. PS 21 miles and 1370m ascent.

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