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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Malcolms Madness

Each year since the Mules Club evolved we have embarked on a 'Summer Club run' designed to test our metal and have some mutual suffering. Usually this has involved finding a masochistic route with a selection of double digit gradients on the local North Yorkshire Moors.

During the actual rides it would become custom to laugh at our stupidity and pained gurning expressions, to tell exaggerated tales of elevated wheels, lack of gears, and descents breaking the land speed record.

This year the task of selecting our route was devolved to 'Malcolm' who is known by some as Lucifer or 'Diablo' for the wry smile he presents when watching his fellow riders suffer.
It is said that Lucifer fell from great heights, well this one descended on a Canyon Racing bike and wants nobody to return to the paradise that a summit might offer.
He would carefully select gradients to keep his disciples legs burning from his 'Velo Hell'

Amongst dozens of unnamed climbs he chose Blakey Ridge as our monument climb, way up on the North Yorkshire Moors. A place so remote that I expected to see 'The Slaughtered Lamb' and some American back packers deviating from the road.
Malcolm also put in his order for some gale force wind and squally rain to stack the odds in his favour.

Prior to our departure some of our club members started to drop out perhaps knowing 'The route', Malcolm, the weather or all three!!!

What alarmed me was the calibre of riders left.
I am no climber - but I can climb.
Knowing my limits I tackle these beasts as slowly as I can, often reassured that there will be some who will suffer more than me. For this trip I knew I was to be the 'Lantern Rouge'.

Those who elected to go or were drugged by Malcolm were all related to Mountain Goats, where I was a prairie dog.
Maybe .......the thought passed my mind. I would be Lucifers first Victim?

The countryside was breathtaking, and the initial 'Rises' as Malcolm put it -were significant ascents to me. As the terrain became more exaggerated so did my breathing and sense of terror like a condemned man travelling to the Gallows.

Well Blakey arrived and it did not fail to disappoint, rearing up from the valley bottom like a striking Cobra, all menace, aggression, and terror.
Malcolm was already hatching his next devilment by the time I arrived at the top, shaken and stirred and in need of some splints for my legs that felt like 'under set' Jelly.

When its all over and you are fortified by Cake and Ale things never seem so bad.
Malcolm knows us well.
He gives you just enough pain - but not too much, to ensure that he gets to choose the route next year.
Isn't that what the devil would do?

All in all the day was spectacular and my stories have have exaggerated to new heights.
Thank You........ Lucifer

1 comment:

  1. By your account, that seems like a very tough challenge. But with companions like the ones you have, that was a probably fun ride!


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