Rus, Steve, Alan, Sarah, Nev, Phil & I gathered in the car park at Muker. It had been bright and sunny at home, but the weather had got worse as we headed up Swaledale. It now looked set to drizzle as we prepared to set off up the punishing climb up Kisdon Hill. This caused a problem for me as I wanted to wear my new flowery soft shell, rather than my waterproof! After several mind changes over clothing we finally set off - the usual slog up made even worse than usual by a sticky top layer of squidge! But at least the rain stayed away and we even had a few hints of sunshine. Halfway up some of us have to admit to having a bit of a push, but this lapse did result in the funniest quote of the day........
NEV 'You know Russ, I think you're actually supposed to ride these things up the hill'
RUSS: 'Na, they're called push bikes!"
Once we all arrived at the top, caught our breath and regained control of our breakfasts it was time for the descent. This involves lots of gates, so Sarah and I hung back, hoping that the gentlemen would open the gates and we'd get a cheeky clean run. Good plan, but it backfired a bit when the boys got confused, started hanging around waiting for us just out of earshot and then finally shot off after we'd done lots of wild gesturing. We followed, finding all the gates left open and having to stop to close each of them. It was only at the bottom that we found out that the gates had been open to start with and we needn't of bothered!
Next was the long road climb up to the pub at Tan Hill - where we were rewarded with a real fire and hot coffee. A long lunch ensued, with none of us venturing out again for over 40 mins. When we did finally leave it was to grey weather and a freezing wind, so we shot off down the Pennine way without delay. Our haste resulted in a fair few near miss endos in the boggy mud holes! Undeterred, we rocketed back down the fun fellside and riverside paths to Muker, surprising ourselves by arriving back at the cars by 2pm. Not bad guys! We then decided we deserved a round of cake for putting in such a blistering performance - so we headed back to Dales Mountain Bikes for some of the best cake in Swaledale.