Peak Conditions

Words: Ian Cleverly

I was chatting to Nick Craig this morning, telling him how, due to the cold, wet and windy weather at the recent Three Peaks, I’d had an awful day and a miserable ride. 

Not to rub it in or anything, he says, but he actually removed his vest on the start line for fear of overheating during the race. Shots of the leading riders indeed showed them sporting short sleeves, shorts and waterproofs tucked in their jersey pockets. Some of us backmarkers, meanwhile, were so bitterly cold and sopping wet that even reaching for a handful of jelly babies became an impossibility.

It was the kind of cycling experience that ends in the words ‘Never again!’

Yet within a day I am mulling over with fellow Three Peak-ist and first timer, Paul, where we went wrong; how to improve; to keep dry; where the shortcuts are. Things can only get better, right?

Photographer Geoff Waugh swapped his Nikon for some GoPro’s to make this taster of what a savage day in the saddle it was. It’s rather good. Whether watching the film makes you want to ride the Peaks is rather down to your own personal enjoyment level of gruelling races and howling winds. Each to their own, I say.

The Dalesman, a profile of the Three Peaks and its organiser of all 50 editions, John Rawnsley, appears in issue 34

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