After an injury plagued 18 months and not really having any sort of race plan for 2016, friend and uber biker Scott Leverington mentioned doing Clif ‘Cross – not a race as such but a proper test of endurance according to the website.  Reading between the lines this would involve get dropped pretty quick then lost on the moors so why not?

On a grey morning in March we rocked up in Hebden Bridge signed in and waited for the off, the start was waves of 25 at 5 min intervals, so on a borrowed MTB in fell shoes we were off.

As expected I was found wanting on the first climb and in the style of a Top Gear road trip was left on my own. The route headed out of Hebden onto Stansfield Moor towards Hurstwood Reservoir . Heading towards the reservoir I caught a great chap on a fat bike and stayed with him to Widdop.  He then dropped me on a descent, never to be seen again. Christ those bikes are rapid downhill!

Heading back to Hebden using a map that had turned to mush in my pocket was proving interesting, so after a bumpy damp few Km I was pretty glad when a caught a group of 4 at the top for the final decent to the finish line.

Time aside I was more than happy to have finished without any lower leg pain or niggles. In the end I covered the 27 miles in 3hrs 24. With a complementary hog roast at the end there are definitely worse things to do in Yorkshire on a Sunday.

Learn more about Clif ‘Cross here

Chris Heys