A wet, muddy and windy big bike ride beats mowing the grass for our Mike Sudder….

No breakfast in bed on Fathers Day this year. Up early (well just after 7 – but that is early for a Sunday). I took myself and my bike a few miles down the road to Elland to take part in the Overgate Hospice Charity Mountain Bike Challenge to raise a little money for a local charity.

For a mid-summers day the weather was dreadful, unpacking the car and getting ready in the wind and the rain was a little miserable. The weather didn’t deter 200+ riders who all set off at 9am. To spread the field out the 1st mile was a large, steep hill climb with a head wind and driving rain. The rain was on and off all morning, the wind was relentless though, but it didn’t damped the spirits of the riders I was close to, nor any of the supportive marshals (some stuck out in the Calderdale wilderness for hours).

The 26 mile course was a mixture of hills, hills and more hills, extremely testing and a little brutal at times (a post event report has stated two riders went to hospital with broken bones!). I had a couple of dismounts myself, when with both brakes locked on and my back wheel overtaking my front I had no option other than to bail, but with a couple of scrapes and bruises I managed to get round in just under three and a half hours.

A brew and a slice of cake awaiting everyone who finished was a very welcome site.

A well organised, well marshalled event which I will certainly be having another go at next year.

You don’t have to go fast, you just have to go.