Swaledale South Comments

Congratulations to Kevin Smith for clearing all bar one of the controls. Thanks to the 63 riders for appreciating the course and superb riding, thanks to Jens for another excelent map and to Stuart & Brenda Price and their staff at  the Dales Biking Centre for making us welcome. Pity there weren’t more riders but perhaps this event shouldn’t have been scheduled for the summer school holidays.

The Dales have never been so dry and the singletracks so easy to ride. I even managed to ride up from Castle Bolton to #47 when I was collecting controls without having to push or carry my bike. Thanks to all of the helpers but especially John Rawden, Andy Parsons, Sam & Paul Leight, Graham Townsend and Tony Gray who helped to collect the controls in despite being already rather weary after 5 hours in the saddle.
I enjoyed planning the course and checking the control sites as well as a few bridleways I hadn’t ridden for a while. I didn’t go for a ride while you were riding but enjoyed putting out 9 controls on Friday with help from John Dixon, Dave Robertson and Graham Townsend – and collecting 7 on Saturday evening. Thanks also to Bolton Estate for letting us use their private track past Greenhaw Hut which many riders seem to have used.

There doesn’t seem to have been an optimum route with many riders taking very different routes – and having to go in and out to some controls – particularly #53 which was on a lovely track. I was surprised to see so many rider choose to push their bikes south up to #52 and also north up to #59. Very difficult optons which could have been avoided with a different route choice. I feel sorry for those riders who had difficulty finding the track up to #52. I wondered about taping it but it appeared to have improved when I checked it but I did ride it from south to north which is definitely easier – although some riders got lost in that direction as well by following the footpath along the landrover track westwards instead of the quad track going north. No apologies this time as the control was on the ‘footpath’ fingerpost which should have been a good clue!!
Congratulations to the category winners and John Dixon will update the league so comments about that when they are posted. Commiserations to Graham Fielding who was on for a great score until his tyre split which cost him 2 hours – but he still managed 295 points.
You may have noticed that there were permanent markers at a lot of the controls. These are part of the Dales Bike Centre permanent MBO course which is going to be opened at a special event on Sunday 13th October – the weekend between the Pocklington and Masham events. Look out for details on the web sites soon.

Next NYMBO events at Malham on August 24th and Ampleforth on August 26th.

Next NEMBOS event at Hamsterley on August 11th.

League results after 4 events now available

Hope to see you at least at one of these.

PS Our apartment in Samoens is still available for late bookings this summer and early skiing bookings!

4 thoughts on “Swaledale South Comments

  1. Alex pilkington

    Steve, a superb event – in my opinion planned to perfection, almost clearble and no obvious route. My fault for getting lost at 52 – bit of complacent nav !

  2. Mark McPhillips

    I thought 52 and 59 were worth a go in the wrong direction with it being so dry. It also left an easy run in with lots of options.

    Thanks for organising a great event Steve. Everyone I spoke to really enjoyed it from beginners to experts.

    Might see you at the next NEMBO

  3. Graham 'Fizzer' Fielding

    Hi Steve
    many thanks for another superbly organised event in sunny Swaledale. It really is a top class area to ride. Dry trails & hard ground meant I was hoping for a mammoth score. Started by going West along the valley bottom. Sped along the river bank for 36,33 & 39 then nipped up to 34 before dropping down to 45 then the little loop round to Summer Lodge. Up along the road to 40 then climbed to Apedale Head & a fast blast down from 58 to 42. Smashed the climb to 51 & was flying back down when bang! puncture. Cursing (again) I fitted a tube & went out & back for 38. Will this run of luck never end – Kildale, Newcastleton(2) & now here again. Worse was to follow. Heading back to the Apedale crossroads I had intended to work my way round Bolton parks/Carperby Moor – 47,60,48,53(out & back)50,54,59,46,43 then a long road dash acros to 44 & back over to Grinton. With almost 3 1/2hrs to go I was looking at a clean up but then bang! another one. I couldn’t believe it. I fitted another tube but a passing rider pointed to the bubble that was sticking through the inch & a half split in the centre of the tyre. I set off to walk out to the road then hopefully ride back to base. Sadly, it was not to be. Before I even got on the bike it had burst again so with the sun beating down I started the 8km walk back to Fremington.

    1 & a half hours later I arrived. Luckily, the Dales Bike centre had a Crossmark 29er tubeless tyre in stock so I removed the pitifully thin & torn S-works Renegade. Inflated it with their track pump I had 1hr 20 mins remaining so went back out. Took the long tarmac climb past Grinton YHA on the East of the map & came back in to 57 at Cranehow bottom to what would have been my return leg. I was well aware of the vagueness of the tracks on Preston Moor but had no problems finding them, making fast progress down the singletrack from 52 to 32 (already dibbed on the way out). Across to 41, a little out & back for 49 then the climb up to 56 before rattling back down into Swaledale past 31 & a flat out blast back to base with 9 mins to spare & coffee & cake in the caff.

    So, yet another ‘what if’ story. Seems my season is fast turning into one long hiccup after another. Still, it could have been raining & blowing a gale!!

    Final straw – I left my helmet glasses & gloves out the cafe when I went home doh!!!


    PS see you at Hamsterley – things can only get better


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.