Cycle Challenge: Day Five

Date: 13 May 2015

Day Five - 5 become 6... Welcome Caley Rankin

An early start to the day; the last day of 5 before a 2 day rest period. At the end of today we will be approximately halfway through our journey.

After the climbs (hilly days 1 and 2) and inclemency of Days 3 and 4, today promised to be a fine sunny day. Ripon would be our chosen lunch stop, from Ripon it was flat for around 25m or so (heard that one before Cheryl).

Our chosen route would take us between the Yorkshire Dales National Park and North York Moors National Park, some of the most picturesque scenery in England. This was a great day for Caley to join the team and get his seat firmly in the saddle. The legs were out and the sun cream was applied, the optimism in camp extended to Mr Collins' pink lycra number.

Passing through a number of country lanes and quaint villages (one where we launched a rescue mission to save a baby thrush that had fallen from its nest onto the road) we headed on into Richmond.

The road into Richmond was a very aggressive downhill, time to have some fun. Caley led the pack, although part of the way down it was obvious that he had a technical issue. A cable had snapped on his bike, thankfully only his gear cable and not his brake cable. Less than 20 miles in, with urgent repairs required to Caley's bike, a gallant and selfless James Sharrod gave Caley his bike whilst Heidi and himself roamed Yorkshire for a bike repair shop.

Pushing on through Beadle, we arrived in Ripon (the UK's 4th smallest city) in glorious sunshine. A bit of navigation around Ripon's one way system led us to a resplendent city square, where Heidi and James reappeared with a fixed bike.... and more importantly a Greggs. Feeling warm and content, we sat in the square satisfied that we had completed about 35m, the next part was flat...should be in Leeds by 1730 - that's when it went a bit wrong.

No blame on Jeremy, but a wrong turn on our departure from Ripon took us off course and on our merry way to Harrogate, which was not originally part of our tour de Yorkshire route. With the Garmins out of action, James once again came to our rescue with a modern application called Google Maps (or something similar). The route chosen by Google was fascinating, to say the least! At one point thankfully we stumbled upon a rambler with an OS map, who confirmed our worse fear, "yes, that is the track”; and yes Nick, you were the only person to complete that section.

Finally arriving in Harrogate, to a reception from an order of Buffaloes determined to get us in their ‘club’, we made our excuses and advanced to Leeds. We made good progress, making up some of the time lost along the early stages, reaching our Stourton nursery at around 18:00. A quick unpack of kit, change (although some preferred to remain in their lycra) and most importantly, the handover of the ‘tick-list’ from Heidi for Peter, before setting off home.

As we all made our way home, there were some reflections:

  • What a great week had by all! 
  • Where did Nick get his pink outfit? 
  • How did the Burger King in Leeds Services taste so good? 
  • What would life be without Heidi?