The Old Boys Tour De Yorkshire completed!

01 Jul 2015

3 days, 193 miles and 10,527 feet to raise money to beat blood cancers.

Friday the 26th soon came around and I have to admit I was pretty nervous about the 3 days ahead. Part of me thought that I’d trained hard enough for the last 3 months (Averaging around 300 road miles over the weekends per month and plenty of interval training in the gym during the week) but there was still the nagging worry that having not been on a bike for 25 years before that it still wouldn’t be enough! All the other guys had done equivalent or longer tours before so had a better idea of what to expect so they all looked after me.

Day 1 was enjoyable, we started locally and made our way up familiar territory towards Lancaster and then the Lake District finishing at Kirby Stephen. The second half of the ride was in heavy rain but we ploughed on finishing on 71.3 miles and 3236 feet in 5 hours 18 minutes. Our lodgings for the night were a youth hostel in a converted church with storage for the bikes and a dry room for our sodden clothes! A quick change and it was off into the village with our bucket, thanks to all the generous customers in the Kings Arms who donated and the singer for the night who not only drummed up support but allowed Aidan to join him for a few songs!

We always knew Day 2 was going to be the most challenging, as it was all hills and some pretty steep ones at that! We set off towards Tan Hill riding into the wind and dug deep to get to the top and Britain’s highest pub The Tan Hill Inn which was at 1732 feet. A quick rest then it was on towards Buttertubs from Thwaites to Hawes. After having already spent 4 hours riding up hills into the wind going up Buttertubs the hard way really challenged us all but one way or the other we got to the top! Then we had more hills into the wind to get from Hawes to Ingleton via Ribble Head Viaduct, which seemed to be a racing track for all of Yorkshires motorbike owners! We arrived at our hostel in Ingleton having done 57 miles and rode up to 4,838 feet in 5 hours and 44 minutes. Again we got plenty of contributions from the generous customers at The Wheatsheaf in Ingleton, some of who had stories to share of their own or loved ones experiences of blood cancer.

After a good rest and a hearty breakfast we set off for the final day and what we were hoping would be less hills, we headed to towards Clitheroe but still seemed to hitting a lot of hills. The weather was mixed as we moved from rain to sun then back to rain again but we were all focused on getting home now as we got into familiar territory, past Longridge then over the M6 and back towards Thornton Lodge to complete 64.7 miles and 2453 feet for the day in 5 hours and 45 minutes. Overall it was 193 miles and over 10,000 feet. It was great to be greeted by all our families as we rode in.

A huge thank you to all the Old Boys James Cheal, Greg McEvoy, Aidan McEvoy, Ian Horsfall, Mark Trent, Mike Croft, Chris Ayres for all of your efforts and support. Special mentions for Paul Bonsor for doing a sterling job as our support driver, Greg for organising the accommodation (And all of us!) and Ian “I Don’t remember it being this hilly” Horsfall for planning out the route and leading us through it. A special mention also to Aidan for his singing on the first night and providing entertainment throughout! Lastly a massive thank you to all those that have sponsored us, if you still want to you can do so here:

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