This Saturday I was entered into the Daffodils Sportive on the North Yorkshire Moors. It started and ended in Thirsk so I drove up the day before and went straight to Denise’s (my sister) in York to catch up with her family and for a lovely dinner.
After a night at a hotel near to the event I was up early and over to the event location. I parked up and headed off to register. This was all at a cattle market place, which is a first for me!
After a final quick cup of coffee I headed for the start line and off I set.
The route took you on some flat lanes out of Thirsk before kicking up into the hills on what would be a relentlessly undulating course. The scenery was absolutely beautiful throughout and thoroughly enjoyable.
After an initial section through the Howardian Hills the short route left us to loop back to Thirsk and we headed off northwards towards Farndale and the first feed stop. This section was truly stunning as we climbed up a steady climb for quite a few miles up into the moors.
The feed stop was a welcome respite and after chatting to various other cyclists and fuelling myself I headed off for the main climb of the day, Blakey Bank.
Just after the start of the climb, the Standard route left us, as did most of the riders who were doing the long route and checked out. I should have listened to them as the Bank was hellishly steep and I felt like I might have a heart attack at a few places!
Once on top, the road circled round the top of the hills to the other side of the valley and then started downwards through the Cropton Forest. Another stunningly scenic part of the ride and the village of Hutton Le Hole was truly picture postcard. I so wanted to stop and explore but had to press on as I needed to be back in Thirsk well before 5pm.
At the second and final feed stop in Hovingham they were starting to pack up as not many riders had done the Long route and so most had been through the feed station ages ago.
The final stretch into Thirsk had me longing for a flat section of road as it undulated with steep short climbs almost until the end.
Once back at base camp I received my event medal and went for a leg massage as it’s a 3.5 hour drive home and then I’m going to Florida tomorrow so want my legs ok for the 9 hour flight.
A very tough but truly stunning sportive in a lovely part of the country.
Route: click here