I drove up from home in the Berlingo and got there early enough to see the 8am start. Then there was a bit of hanging around and chatting. As 9am approached the car park at the back of the pub filled up with bikes
Then we were off. The first thing that happens is a short 25% up Hind Street. All this did was remind me that my Karate Monkey with a 2″ wheel climbs like a stuck pig.
Quickly after this we were into a twisty maze of lanes covered in leaves – but this year – uncharacteristicly dry and safe to corner on down hill. Most of the hills seem to be up anyhow.
After the second control at the pub in Chagford and a minimalistic snack the character of the ride changed as we got onto the high moor. It was a wind blasted undulating bright cold but sweating experience
Then the best control, the cafe at Princetown. It was too warm but I didn’t complain. Uncle Ian was there stamping cards.
The last bit of the ride has a fast bit with a tail wind, then 3 big climbs. The last one is Widecombe hill. Apparently, (according to Strava) it only goes up 163m in 1.4km but it seems bigger and longer than that. I had to apply mind over matter to ignore the signals from my legs to get up to the top quite slowly. Mind you after getting to the top my legs felt quite ok. I felt warmed up. Unfortunately it was then too late in the day for another lap of Dartmoor.
If I did the event again on the Surly I’d alter the gears to make them lower (19T instead of the current 16T Alfine sprocket) and use some lighter tyres, Schwalbe Marathon Supremes of some sort maybe.