Hawes - A Long Day Out
Loads of us met up outside Kudu bikes in Hawes (joined by an over-excited Mac the dog) and eventually set off for a hard climb up from Burtersett onto Wether Fell. Things started going awry almost immediately when Lucy’s chain broke but a quick fettle had her sorted and we carried on up. Then things really fell apart when Rach’s cleat took a turn for the worse, Judith decided to improvise her own route and took Lucy and Karen with her in the wrong direction and Alan sent Mat off in a different but still wrong direction. Three miles into the route and chaos had broken out, never mind only another 32 miles to go. Eventually Phil mended Rach’s shoe, Judith et al turned up, Alan retrieved Kiwi Mat and we were ready to go. Fifteen minutes later and we were stopped again. Karen had dented her rim badly bounding down the top of the Roman Road and her tubeless tyre was spraying latex everywhere as Phil and Mat used plenty of energy failing to get it to re-seal. By this time there was a thin coating of smelly latex over quite a few of us as we battled to jam a tube into the tyre. This lasted all of another ten minutes as Karen bounced jauntily down the singletrack towards Semer Water and ended up with a classic snakebite puncture. By the time we fixed that, Dave G (who hadn’t previously been covered in latex) now smelt as bad as the rest of us. As this was obviously turning into a very long day out we stopped on Bainbridge village green for our picnic and had large ice-creams to invigorate us for the next climb.
A hot climb up the very steep road above Askrigg (lucky I had my super tacky tyres on!) took us to an excellent section of bone dry singletrack across the top of Carperby Moor and a long and fast descent back down to Wood Hall. An even longer climb up onto Stake Allotments saw us high above Semer Water again and ready for a fast and rocky descent back down to Marsett, Three trail motorbikers decided to drive down the track in the middle of our bunch of riders and tried to get past Rach and Alan but luckily nobody got hurt (and one of them also got a puncture, much more tricky to fix on a motorbike so yah boo sucks to them). Owing to our earlier problems it was getting late as we arrived at the start of the next climb, I was hoping we were going to head back but everybody else was as keen as mustard (!) to climb up the Roman Road for the last descent (though did I hear Judith laughing hysterically in the background?). I fed Russ a chocolate biscuit and we all managed the final slog up and arrived at a fast and furious descent back down to Burtersett, as usual the fast and furious bit meant another pinch flat, this time for Mat but we were soon all back at Kudu Bikes. But oops!, it was 6-15, never mind,it gave us the perfect excuse to have supper in Hawes with Phil, Rach and Russ before heading home.