Monday, April 18, 2016

Dirty Reiver 200

200 Kilometres of gravel roads in Kielder forest is the challenge that the Dirty Reiver offers. I had an entry, Tom didn't though as he wasn't old enough to enter. He wanted to ride the route (which was all open to the public) anyway as preparation for the Tour Divide, so he tagged along with me.

Tom had borrowed a Sonder Camino Ti Force from Alpkit to ride. Here he is on its inaugural sortie a few days before.

We awoke on the morning of the ride to be greeted by snow falling. We wrapped up warm. After a short briefing, there was a roll out to the timed start. The weather had thankfully improved and soon the sky was blue.

As you can see from the pictures, the surfaces we rode on were mostly gravelled roads. Though there was a small amount of tarmac and also some short technical sections.

It was on one of the more technical descents ( a bit like Pen y Ghent lane) that one of Tom's teeth fell out.

Thankfully it was one of his baby teeth and not one that he'd need a dentist to replace.

Above Tom and a couple of riders we saw loads of, as they kept on getting punctures.

We rode in the company of other riders most of the day.

Big skies, oh and what is that in the distance?

That'll be a blizzard then. For 15 minutes the snow fell. We'd wrapped up warm, and other than not being able to see, it didn't bother us.

As quickly as the snow arrived, it went.

It did threaten to return again, and briefly it did at the final checkpoint.

From there only 50 Kms to go, though there were still plenty of hills to climb.

We were doing alright for time, so on the last section, we stopped a few times to take in the views.

We finished in the dark some 14 hours after we started. It was a tough day out. Though I am glad to say that miles we have been doing lately meant we weren't too sore after.

I'd recommend the event. It's a great route, and the organisation was excellent.

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