Sunday, 12 June 2016

Ripon Club Sportive

A very entertaining weekend, generously hosted by Mr & Mrs Sastrae at their magnificent Victorian townhouse in Ripon.
With a record turnout for this season, the necessary carbo loading commenced in the Royal Oak, where several pints of excellent Timothy Taylor ales were judiciously sampled. Mrs Sastrae then served a superb supper, with prodigious quantities of red wine and port to accompany it. Led by Carlos and DJ Mario, the decks were then primed for some late evening stretching exercises, our president particularly in need of some finger stretching moves in readiness for the Ibiza season.
Predictably, the ride day saw most clubmen emerge somewhat delicately, having overdone the pre-ride training regime (again). Thankfully, there was no rain in the forecast for the day ahead!

An early technical challenge for Heyddie...duh!
Pre-ride briefing....nobody really listened ;-)

With the WAGs, Mrs' Sastrae, Ulrichard and Johntador
But then we were off! Unfortunately, Carlos's gyroscope and compass had not been correctly calibrated, so we headed east rather than north, earning us a few more warm up miles. But we were soon back on track, empty rolling lanes taking us through attractive villages like Kirklington to the market town of Bedale, where a turn south westwards brought us along the undulating country roads to the brewing town of Masham, now the home of the Black Sheep Brewery.

Ready for the ride, setting off from the Sastrae Mansion

The climbing started from here, eventually taking us to Leighton reservoir, where certain team members executed a drastic weight loss programme, one member even leaving his sunglasses behind in a desperate attempt to reduce drag on the upcoming first test of the day, the famed Cat 3 climb up Trapping Hill.

It's a two stage climb totalling 283m, with one particularly steep section (the Garmin suggested 23%), before a sharp technical descent to Lofthouse, scary enough for all riders but especially so for one of the team who is going to need new disc pads for his steed. This was our first competitive stage, Pedro summiting first in fine style, with Mario close on his heels, followed by Carlos, Heyddie and the bedraggled President.

Start of the steep descent to Lofthouse. Eek!
Misty views - Nidderdale
Still full of adrenaline, the team set a fast pace along the west bank of Gouthwaite Reservoir, close to the source of the River Nidd, bringing us to the cyclist's mecca of Pateley Bridge. We greatly appreciated the wonderful service delivered by the team at Wildings Tea Room & Riverside Terrace, and especially the massive beef baguettes.
Suitably refuelled, we tackled the climb south east from the town, before turning northwards on to quieter roads to challenge ourselves on the next competitive stage, four hills in quick succession. Once again, Pedro triumphed, with a revitalised President stealing second place from Mario and Heyddie.
A fine road brought us to Hebden Bank, just before Fountains Abbey, and our last competitive stage, a short but steep little number, hotly contested again, but with Pedro securing his KOM award for the day, ahead of Carlos, The Prez and Heyddie.
The final section took us through the grounds of Fountains Abbey and rapidly back into Ripon, now very busy with a major tractor rally.

Alansandro, leading the peloton through the grounds of Fountain's Abbey

In all, a ride of about 98km, with a total ascent of some 1250m and a moving time of just under 4.5 hours. Well done all, and especially Alberto, the most senior of our little club. Chapeau!

It goes without saying that pork pies and rehydration then took priority, the team starting off in the One Eyed Rat, a back street ale house, before moving on for some to ogle at vintage tractors and vans, before settling down for a few more Timothy Taylor's at the Royal Oak. A fine dinner, once again prepared by Mrs Sastrae and her willing team of sous and commis chefs, Mrs Ulrichard Prattachi, Mrs Johntador and Mrs Prattachi. Great stuff!

Rehydration - stage 1

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