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Causey Pike 2018 March 23rd

March 27, 2018

Causey Pike 2018 March 23rd

One hundred and fifty two is just a tad too many for this short race. Most of the climb is single file so there are hold ups all the way and I’m just too mentally soft to make those short bursts to get past one or two in front. Not so Leigh who does the hard graft and comes past me on the first climb and picks off a few more. By the top he is a good 40 seconds in front and I’m similarly that far in front of Crispin. Game over, its all about the climb this race isn’t it. The steep descent and the treacherous track is short enough to keep your place to the finish. But guess what; its all change by the finish. Leigh takes a route choice that frankly is not a quick one; Crispin leathers it down the descents like a giant snowball gaining energy and speed and even allowing for my dunking while crossing the brook half a mile from the finish, I haven’t done enough to hold him off. As we contour the base of Causey you can throw a blanket over the three of us for a brief second; Cris in front of me heading south and Leigh out of nowhere cutting between us heading east. It’s really weird. But I’d shown Cris the best route back just before the race and despite a flicker of hesitancy on his part he sticks to my advice and resists the urge to follow Leigh. Damn, that was my only chance. My route is quicker and we finish Cris, then me then Warby. So I’m first v60 thanks to Leigh’s route choice, it must have cost him 45 seconds.

Richard Davis is munching on a pork pie at the start with his chum; actually he looks like he’s earned it with the beads of sweat on his forehead. They’ve mountain biked it over a fair few knolls to get here. Trust him to be on hand with his camera just as I slip up in the stream. Jebby jogs by on his warm up, like a thoroughbred, all sinew and cut glass musculature. And also hovering in the carpark is a sweaty Andy Jackson. He’s pondering whether or not to do this race despite having put a few training miles in to get here. He’s setting himself a 19 hour pace Bob Graham in May; on this form he’ll blitz that time – watch this space. Good luck in your prep Andy.

The tea and cake in the village hall is surprisingly brilliant; no particular reason why other than it just hit the spot with me. I also love the organisers totally amateur and totally efficient and friendly ways. They all seem to be women as well. Well done ladies; this is one of my favourites.

A car leaves the field where we’re parked and crashes straight into the high bank opposite. The crunching noise surely means there’s a fair bit of damage but the young driver is too embarrassed to get out and inspect it and just drives off.

In the car on the way back Crispin tells me a little of his work as a Professor of Chemistry at Lancaster University. He’s doing some serious work on finding a solution to the scandal of the plastic mountain covering our sea-beds and stifling the life out of planet earth. And he’s attending conferences in Davos and the like sharing information on ideas and breakthroughs in this field. One of his PHD students is making significant waves in this field publishing some well regarded papers and opening up new ways of thinking on the project. His research is being taken seriously on a world level and his name’s Paul and he’s 26 years old. Great stuff Paul, undoing the legacy of the selfish generation that I belong to. Boy do I feel small and insignificant in the scheme of things. That said, its great to be back and doing these races; lets hope injury and whatnot doesn’t get in the way of a decent season.

Crispin – saving the planet


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Richard Davies permalink
    March 27, 2018 10:57 am

    Declan Great write up as usual. Congrats on your V60 win. Thanks also for providing the entertainment at the stream crossing, if it helps, Scoffer went in a lot deeper than you. I now know the locals secret of how to cross the stream without getting wet which I will disclose in exchange for beer. In defence of my pork pie, if you had arrived earlier you would have seen me eating some nuts and seeds and an apple. Photographic proof attached of the traffic jam at the start Good to see you all Richard [Image]

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  2. Dom Hoare permalink
    March 28, 2018 1:12 pm

    Good write up Declan..
    Leigh taking a rubbish line is a rare occurrence!
    Glad you’re back out racing..
    Hope to see you at some of the classics.. D

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