Way of the Roses: Day 2

Giggleswick to Pateley Bridge  30 miles

To have only one wet day on the entire ride, but for that day to be the biggest climbing day……..where’s the justice in that? We gingerly set foot outside only to be greeted by the dull, grey promise of what was to accompany us for the rest of the day. On went the rain tops,

Looking back over Settle

Looking back over Settle

and the day’s ride was to take us to the highest point of the entire route, 1300 feet, at Greenhow hill (just outside Pateley Bridge). As promised by the local man at the bar, the climb out of Settle was murderous. No way could we ride it on the tandem. Even young fit riders were walking, pushing their solos. But this was just the start of things to come……

Approaching top of Greenhow Hill

Approaching top of Greenhow Hill

The Pennine hills usually have a nasty sting in their tails. Every time you go around a bend, hoping the climb is about to end, you realise it is only a false summit. On one occasion, we were at our limit, slowly grinding our way to the top of a long drag. Around the bend was a suggestion that we were topping out…..but no, the climb uncomprehendingly continued for as far as the eye could see. We had hit our limit……. Jenny (bless her) had a few moments of tears, but quickly recovered, and we hauled the tandem to the top.

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And when you look for the payback, the welcome descent after the long climbs, it can be disheartening to discover the drop is just too steep for a laden tandem that relies entirely on two V brakes for its stopping power. The drop down into Pateley Bridge approached 20% at times so, guess what? Instead of throwing caution to the wind and hurtling down into the town, we actually had to walk down much of the descent. Adding insult to injury?

However, the saving grace at the end of the day was to check into the Harefield Hall hotel in Pateley Bridge, discover we had a room with panoramic views over the open countryside and, after a challenging wet day, find we could sit by a blazing log fire and let the warmth of the flames soothe away the aches and pains. And the tandem? We simply wheeled it, over beautiful carpets, into the one of the front lounges of the hotel…….spoil the tandem, spoil the customers.

And tomorrow was to be another day……..

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About Frank Burns

My journeys around the world are less about riding a bicycle, and more about what happens when I get off the bicycle. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on September 15, 2014, in Way of the Roses 330km (by tandem) and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’m still trying to shake off the memories of the climb out of Settle which I did a few weeks ago. I was a ‘get off and pusher’ and we had good weather! The descent into Pateley Bridge is almost too steep to enjoy – even if you don’t have to get off the bike. Looking forward to the remaining instalments.

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  2. Good to hear your reflections, Dave. I think I might have (mostly) enjoyed the descent into Pateley Bridge if I’d been on my solo, but it certainly wasn’t a drop where you could give free reign to the endorphins……

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  3. How disheartening to have to walk down after such an arduous climb. Hope the next day was kinder to you.

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  4. Heather, after the hilly wet day, the rest of the ride was a relative ‘breeze’

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