A Rite of Spring

It's become built into the year, something I feel like I have to do on the first warm day of spring. It's as much a symbolic need as a physical one, not sure whether it's led by the mind or the body. I need to get on my bike and ride this stunningly beautiful, unrelentingly hilly circuit, through Pateley Bridge and Lofthouse, over the moors to Jervaulx Abbey and then back via Coverdale and Kettlewell. I'm going to tag it #jac for reference so I can start pulling all these rides together.

It used to be the case that I'd do a ride and lay the gauntlet down for Bex. It's now the other way around. She performs the same rite of spring now and got around a week before me. It had to be done today.

I took lots of food and held back from pushing too hard. With only a few miles in the legs this year, I was chuffed to get around without bonking at the end. Just took a few stops for photography and to top up with water at the shop in Kettlewell. There wasn't a breath of wind all the way around. The only disappointment was not seeing much sunshine. I got a little cold over the tops but mostly the gear I had on was right all the way around. I just swapped gloves a few times.

For the record, my computer told me 74.5 miles and almost exactly 8,000 ft of climbing. A moving time of 5 hrs 56 mins. Everything takes longer as you get older, but there feels like far less rush. I'm rather fascinated to see how long I can keep this up!

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