Seven was the number of the day, the magnificent seven who set out to conquer the Frodsham Wheelers Buttertubs Epic Club Ride which is one of four main rides throughout 2016. Meeting point at Grassington was on schedule with spirits high.
A surprise leap out of the van was Di who made a last minute decision to attend, no change there then. Rider chat was about the weather “would it stay dry” and having the legs for the D2D. Who would conquer and who would fail the Buttertubs epic. The 90 miles ahead would decide our fate. We set off with spirits high plenty of laughter and slight concern as Jim aka pantani was on form as he is a climbing machine, we were all dooooomedddddddddd.
A notable conversation was correcting Chris Hanson Jones who thought D2D was Danny 2 Dave’s oh how disappointed he was when I told him the truth . The weather was being kind as dry roads and warm temperatures set out the theme for the day. The route cut through remote valleys passing isolated villages giving a reminder that the TDF passed through not long ago and now the well established TDY. I can see why as Yorkshire is a stunning place and is blessed with some wonderful roads which are a cyclist dream.
The group headed to Hawes for a fuel stop and a perfect location was a bike cafe called stage1cyles which was located on the disused rail line. Great coffee & cake was had then the mood changed as the epic Buttertubs was about to the conquered . A quick club picture for the owner outside the shop was honoured then above in the mist was Buttertubs.
The group set off and was soon split as the gradient increased. Not a long climb but still a challenge. Jimbo taking the lead and Roy taking the rear all conquered but Buttertubs has a long summit and continues to undulate for a few miles. All conquered so a fast descent to Reeth where lunch waited.
A short stop to repair a simple puncture turned into a fiasco as when you rely on colleagues to help who are so called highly trained turns into a fiasco you wished you did it yourself . Finally after 3 tubes, 1 canister,2 valves, 2 pumps and 4 men the puncture was fixed. .
Reeth is a remote village with high degree of etiquette when eating is required. The owner quickly set out the rules , no shoes upstairs, no standing on chairs and no stuffing shoes with Bananas( blame Di) The food was excellent with a high level of pride taken in the presentation even though it was beans & egg on toast.
The remainder of the ride was 43 miles with 4500ft so a tough few hours ahead. Straight from Reeth was Grinton Moor which steadily climbs above 1200ft. When the going gets tough you play your trump cards so the Arrundulater was called to hit the front. The ride quickly became the Buttertubs TT with the pace moving quickly.
Further climbs and undulating energy zapping lanes lead us to Pateley Bridge. This was the last push one more climb but a hard one. Pateley Bridge has a real cycling theme as flags donned the streets and bikes painted yellow were on view. What was to come was a 1000ft climb with a number of steep sharp sections to it.
The group nailed it with “in the bag” called by a very tired looking Roy. Only a 10 minute blast back to the carpark where hugs and appreciation was shared. Everyone rode should be proud and have the piece of mind that D2D is now within their grasp.
These epic rides to some may not be their cup of tea but the reward of riding new turf is a joy to be had . You do get the sense of adventure when riding on new roads. A truly amazing day with amazing people.