Sedbergh Sportiv (my first sportiv!)

Today I completed my first ever Sportiv 🙂 The 55 mile Sedbergh Sportiv.

We drove up to Dent yesterday evening because Ann and Paul had invited us to stay in their caravan which made things much easier. The last time I went to Dent was nearly 32 years ago when I walked the Dales Way from Ilkley to Windermere. Mind you I don’t think much has changed since then.

So it was an early start to get to Sedbergh for about 8am. Good coffee and pastries available at the start 🙂 Full mass start of around 110 riders doing a choice of 30, 55 or 70 miles.

The first 10 miles were basically all climbing and went smoothly, then things went a bit pear shaped. First, our food and drink station wasn’t there at 10 miles (where the 70 mile route split off). Then we split up a bit which meant Jane and I failed to notice Paul having a mechanical problem. His 10 speed chain broke, when repaired it broke again and took his rear derailleur out. That is a bit of a heads up for me because I’ve realised that I don’t have the tools or parts for my own 10 speed chain. Will have to sort that out.

So Paul was now in the broom wagon, Ann had got rather cold while they were trying to sort Paul’s bike out but joined Jane and I and we made good speed to the 2nd food point, which did exist and had some very excellent flapjack (made that morning by Sedbergh school).

The next section was the 55 milers on their own, the three of us being closely followed by our very own broom wagon. This was also the part of the route that combined the steepest and longest climbs with a vicious headwind. Both Ann and Jane were forced to walk up some sections. In the end a painful tendon meant Ann joined Paul in the minibus (being Ann she hadn’t complained at all about the toe that she broke last weekend).

Jane and I plodded onward. We thought it was going to get easier when we joined the 70 mile riders on a flatter bit off road at the very top of the world. However, it still went up and the wind was howling against us, so our speed dropped to barely measurable. Fortunately, that was followed by a nice downhill to Orton where there was an extra unscheduled drink and food stop which was very welcome. Jane added an extra, extra layer to look like a Michelin advert which rather restricted her movements 🙂 We continued to plod on, occasionally overtaken by 70 mile route riders.

When we got to Ravenstonedale at just over 40 miles Jane was clearly struggling and then she got severe cramp. Our team of four were down to just one – me. I was determined to escape our team boom wagon, so while they were sorting out how to fit a 3rd bike into the minibus I sprinted off down the road.

For a long time everyone had been saying it was all downhill from Ravenstonedale. They were lying! Not only were there uphill sections but the wind was funneling up the valley stronger than ever so I had to pedal hard even on the steeper downhill sections. I did manage to overtake a few people and finished in an official time of around 5 hours 55 minutes.

At the end there was a good spread of burgers, sausages etc as well as drinks. Plus excellent showers 🙂

Obviously, the broom wagon came in after all the riders and so we were among the last to leave. But we have had a smooth journey home with a meal at Frankie and Benny’s in Uttoxeter on the way. As always our Citroen Berlingo Multispace is very suited to these kinds of events. It takes about 2 minutes to put 2 bikes securely inside which is far easier (and cheaper in fuel) than any rack.

Here is the ride:

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain
05:55:21 05:12:25 55.70 10.70 29.75 3,710.63
hours hours mi. mph mph ft.


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