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Sean & Amanda will attempt to complete a circuit of the Mary Townley Loop in a day on mountain bikes.
This entails a strenuous 47 miles and a gruelling 5,800 ft of ascent, crossing moorland, bridleways and byways.
Amanda has served on the Todmorden Cancer Research committee for over 30 years, helping with the successful fundraising activities. In this current situation we are unable to run events as planned. Therefore we need to think outside the box to raise funds for this charity in 2020.
She has persuaded her long suffering husband, Sean, to join her on this demanding and testing challenge, which they are planning to undertake in early Summer.
Training for these relative novices, who only started biking two years ago, is underway and updates as it progresses will be provided (if they are still speaking to each other!!! )
All donations will be gratefully received and will enable the Todmorden committee to raise much needed income in these unprecedented times.
Lessons Learnt. Thought I’d slip in an extra training session alone yesterday. All was going well until I foolishly decided to veer off the bridleway and cycle up a steep moorland track instead. ( Sean had previously warned me not to try this) But as usual “I know best.” Subsequently I ended up in a ditch with my bike on top of me. Also somewhere along the way I lost my helmet !!! (Don’t ask) Needless to say I had to push my bike home most of the way. Luckily the fall only resulted in a few bruises. Watch this space for more training antics!!!
ITS A TOUGH UN!!! Completed a third of the loop today. Hirst Wood to Mankinholes. So rocky and steep in places, which takes some getting used to!!! (Understatement of the year) Think our school report would say:- C- Could do better. Lots more practice is obviously required. I arrived home looking bedraggled and windswept, whilst Sean ( to my annoyance) appeared fresh as a daisy. Although he admitted to it being tough. Updates will continue as training progresses.
NEW TECHNIQUES. Completed a 30 mile ride yesterday, taking in the section from Mankinholes to Catley Lane Head near Healey Dell. The first part of this route proved tricky, traversing packhorse trails and narrow rocky tracks, which require biking skills completely alien to me. At one point I heard Sean bellow, “Stand up and hang your backside over the back.” ((Easier said than done) Although towards the end of the day I felt a little more confident with this position!!! Next training session I will be concentrating on this new technique and listening to my other half (for once) Hopefully I will have mastered it before the actual full ride (If not, we may require overnight accommodation enroute!!!)
BANK HOLIDAY BLAST Cycled the final third of the Loop today, from Healey Dell to the Deerplay, via Waterfoot. A long, rocky climb at the start, which was worth the effort due to the far reaching views taking in Cheshire, Manchester, Lancashire and even Cumbria in the distance. However what goes up must come down !!! On reaching the top disaster struck when my chain snapped clean in two (nothing to do with me crunching the gears!) Sean said ‘ I always knew you were a link short of a full chain.’ ( ha ha that went down well!) Luckily we (Sean) were able to carry out a temporary repair which enabled us to continue the ride without further incident. The next step in our training programme is to increase our time in the saddle!!!
IT DONT GET ANY EASIER !!! Just returned from a 20 mile ride, starting at the Deerplay and ending in Mankinholes. In our opinion this is the toughest section of the ride.
We have also completed a few technical practises, which involves lowering the seat and hanging your derrière off the back!!! I am pleased to report that progress is being made with this technique.
Sean is still managing to spot various wildlife along the way and as he points out a lesser spotted something or other, I inevitably miss the spectacle due to concentrating so hard that the only thing I see throughout the day is the ground!!!
We have both ordered padded cycle shorts, which I’m sure will be essential when undertaking the 47 miles.
PUDDLES, PASTIES & PADDED PANTS. Completed 2 practice rides this week with varying degrees of success. The first started from home, over to Blackstone Edge Road, up towards Whittaker golf club and over the moors, crossing the M62 a couple of times. Not a pretty ride and we ended up pushing our bikes for quite some time due to the rocky and uneven terrain. We eventually headed for home via the Whitehouse, Newworks dam and finally down the packhorse track (of a fashion) Into Mankinholes.
Our second ride was a lot more pleasurable. Not sure if this was down to the padded pants or the pasties !!! Both were essential. We cycled from home, up to Hardcastle Craggs and over Shackleton Hill ( the land of my forefathers) to gorple reservoir. From there we climbed over the moorland and descended to Hurstwood reservoir.
We are definitely improving and are hoping to undertake the ride within the next couple of weeks.
Watch this space!!!
READY AS WE’LL EVER BE !!!
We aim to undertake the challenge one day next week. End of June/Beginning of July, weather dependant.
I feel as though we have practised sufficiently and are ready to go (sort of)
Bikes are booked in for a service, energy bars are at the ready and the Vaseline has been purchased. Will post one final update on completion and a few more piccies .
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED !!!
Job done. Yesterday 1st July we set off from the Ram Inn at Cliviger, ascending up through the mists and drizzle to the moors. Luckily the weather improved throughout the day.
11.5 hours later we approached the Ram, feeling jubilant and relieved. A welcoming party with some fizz and Vaseline clapped us in.
The challenge covered 47 miles and 6,500 feet of climb and boy we felt every mile of it.
We would like to thank everyone who supported us along the way with refreshments and words of encouragement. Also to all the people who donated to this very worthy cause that touches most people in some way.
NEVER TO BE REPEATED !!!