Well done to all that took part.
Etape du Dales 2015
It’s tough up north – well that’s how the saying goes and it certainly was for this year’s event. A howling westerly wind made it a hard day for the brave and foolhardy that ventured out in to the Dales with winds approaching gale force on the tops. It was windy at the start, and “a bit nippy” but that is at a mere 600 ft. The first we were aware of the strength of the wind was when RAYNET (the emergency radio operators) reported that they couldn’t get their mast up to full height on Fleets Moss (1,920 ft) due to the strength of the wind! Mmm – it’s going to be a tough day. Next was the report from the team at Tan Hill – “…we can’t stand up outside and its only 5 degrees” probably feels like -5 in the wind then.
Despite the warnings in the rider notes there were still plenty of riders lined up in shorts and short sleeves – may be Tan Hill is Yorkshire for “hill where you get a sun tan”? Not today – it’s where the wind tans your hide! In fact the wind was so strong we have reports of riders with power meters putting out over 250 watts going just 4 miles an hour.
The obvious effect of this was much slower times than in previous years and a high drop-out rate, but the bizarre effect was that the feedback from riders was that it added to the challenge and made the day thoroughly enjoyable and a massive achievement for everyone who made it back to civilisation on Sunday evening.
Well, all I can say is I have a great respect for everyone who turned up to ride on what was forecast to be a difficult day. A massive thanks to all the volunteers who turned up to make the event the success it was – and there were well over 70 of them, and a special thanks to the RAYNET crew who provided the communication to keep you all safe in an area where mobile phones masts don’t spoil the beautiful countryside, and hence they don’t work!
From the Dave Rayner fund and our supported riders I say a big thanks for supporting us for yet another year, and I hope to see you all again next year… hope to see you at the diner in November, you’re all invited.
Oh, and here is what you’ve all really come here for – the results.
p.s. we still have a few jerseys and t-shirts available if you didn’t manage to get one on the day. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your size to get a memento of this epic ride.