Saturday & Sunday I was out of my comfort zone. Cycling around the Yorkshire Dales with my good friend Luke Chaput. The Dales Way 130 miles with various grade 5s-4s and with a grade 2 thrown it. Right from the get go at Skipton and attacking the first hill head on I realised that I was way out of my usual comfort zone while my friend Luke was pedaling on ahead. Giving up is not really in my nature but the thought did cross my mind few too many times, especially on assent. The route we followed took us past Bolton Abbey, Appletrewick, among some other great landmarks up the the Yorkshire Dales. As we approached Settle the scenery was spectacular and the weather was perfect. The surface flat, for us to enjoy and appreciate nature. With some rest and few changes to the route the uphill struggle commenced. Reaching the destination at Hawes in the afternoon was a sore delight. Yes we had cut few corners (major hills to be more precise), we did it. 50 miles of various inclines and declines and 4 hours of riding. It was now time to refuel and prepare for the next day.
Sunday was much the same despite the weather which turned for the worse. Despite the rain and cold we knew we had to get home and the only way back was 50 miles of tarmac, our trustee bikes and our will to complete. If you have been to the Yorkshire Dales you will know how amazing it is despite the rain. Much the same as the day before the views were spectacular. On route to Grassington we were hit by a mammoth hill. We were warned about it but really did not expect it to be as bad as it was. I trailed way behind Luke and eventually dismounted and walked up with few more attempts of cycling when the legs and my lungs spared me. That was it, I was told at the top, “No more hills and it is not going to get tougher than this”. Yes there were no more major inclines and the rest of the route consisted of minor hills and rolling roads. However it was all tough while you are doing it.
Despite the few short cuts we did 100 miles in 2 days with a total of 8 hours riding time. Next time we will have to train better and mentally prepared. The full Dales Way of 130 miles will be conquered. Those hills that I had to dismount will be mine.
The hardest and the toughest thing, is the thing that you are doing just at the moment. What has already happened has happened and what is about to come has not arrived yet. So the focus is on the hear and now. It really does not get any tougher than this. It took every bit of my strength to complete this but it got done. Its just that simple. Set a task, a challenge that is out of your comfort zone and complete it.