A Dirty Point Well Made

Post date: Sep 15, 2015 9:10:13 PM

One point was available in the latest Challenge series event on Sunday for those who took part in the sensational Dirty Club Run.  Rob’s objective for this ride was simply to “go out and play” – and that’s exactly what we did.  Rob, Steen, Andrew, Joe (a new guy from Nottingham Uni), Dr Joe and myself joined in the fun – the first 4 on cross bikes and the last 2 of us on mountain bikes.  The cross bikers had the advantage on the tarmac while the Mtb-ers had the edge in the mud and soft grass, and it was about even on the hard gravel tracks. Let’s just say honours were shared equally on the day.


Rob had plotted a superb route, skilfully managing to strike the perfect balance between on and off road. We charged out of York via the cycle route through Osbaldwick and Dunnington – I’ve departed York on many Club Runs over the years but never taken this route – it was a real treat! We kept going at a reasonably strong clip out through Stamford Bridge and Yapham before finally arriving in Millington when the real fun started. Half way along the Millington pastures valley, Rob ushered us up the nearest hill, Dr Joe the only one of us who made it up the steep slope, a passing group of roadies refusing our invitation to join us.  We made our way along the ridges overlooking the valley floor, amazing acoustics allowing us to listen to the conversations of cyclists passing on the roads below – we felt like red Indians on the ridge in an old-style cowboy movie.


More mud was consumed before we made our way past Huggate to Fridaythorpe where we lunched with the motor-bikers. After Thixendale, we navigated along the grassy valley, disturbing sheep and horses from their sleep, one horse deciding to take flight as we said hello.  Another long steep slope up Uncleby Hill took us towards Kirby Underdale before a democratically agreed final run from Great Givendale towards Millington and then retraced the original route back to York. I had 80 miles on the clock by the time I arrived home, my longest ever ride on a mountain bike – and with all the hard yards, it felt like 180!


This really was a fantastic day out – we all agreed this ride should become a permanent fixture in the annual Challenge series. It was ridden in excellent spirits with team gate-opening skills on show all day.  The off-road elements were great for bike skills – lots of slipping and sliding and sideways movement, but never a dangerous mishap – lots of laughs, no mechanicals and the only risk being the occasional inundation of sheep poo!

Huge thanks to Rob for expert navigation, which is not easy on bridleways, and to my muddy mates for making it fun. It was exactly what a great day on the bike is all about. It’s always nice to do something different, and the objective of ‘just going out to play’ was well and truly met.