Hit the ground running/marshalling/biking.

Posted by Mark Russell on 2015-06-22

So after nearly three weeks at sea I arrived home late on the Friday evening. No time to rest though as I had marshalling duties for the Swaledale Marathon the following morning. Having got to the end of that day I then needed to prepare to lead people out the following morning around the Paradise trail from Sutton Bank visitors centre. Eight of us in total turned up at the centre in rather miserable drab & drizzly weather. I had done the grand total of zero prep for the ride as had read that the whole route is signposted, the only fallback plans were a map that I had bought from the bike shop and the fact that we had Sarah the homing pigeon with us.

So we set off. The route is a 17 ish miles loop and graded as red. It is mostly a XC course and to start with is mixed with the blue and green routes that have been put together for families and new starts. They appear to have done a great job as even in the drab weather there were families out pedalling along. Once we broke away from the mixed path it was an undulating mix of trail. We did nearly come unstuck at one point in missing a sign post to send us left. Thankfully I had been pre warned at the bike shop and managed to spot it at the last moment, meaning that Alan and I had to shout the rest of the group who had sailed straight past it. Directly after you can easily miss your way again of you don’t spot the marker on the shed that sends you right. In some ways you might wish you did miss the last one as it sends you to a mini ‘Fremmy Edge’ type climb. I set what I thought was a reasonable attempt at it to only have Alan the mountain goat come past me. Some things don’t change.  Oh I nearly forgot that we squeezed in a cheeky coffee and cake stop at the High Paradise Farm Tea Room, where we topped up our battery levels.

Now was the job of getting ourselves back to the visitor centre, this was made slightly easier as true to his word the man at the Met office made good on his word and stopped the rain. However it didn’t stop me from feeling rather pooped as we climbed our way back onto Sutton Bank. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t have cake at Paradise Farm? Either way I did make it to the top not far from the troops and this time I did get that cake with my coffee.

Great ride and explore troops, thanks for joining me.

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