I rode in Steve Willis' Treasure Hunt from the pub at Holly Hill, Richmond in January 2006 and found it hard going that day! I didn't get at all far in the 2 hours. Back to the same start/finish location on Saturday 27 May for a 3 hour event with SI punching et al.
I was looking forward to exploring a different part of the area this time, but there was a strong westerley breeze (gale) blowing, so it looked like I would have to head out west again as I did in January and come home with the wind behind. Based on my performance in January, a fairly nice loop presented itself which I thought would be achievable, but with some 'cut offs' available.
So off I rode towards Hudswell, then across the moor to Downholme, then down to the Swale crossing. After this, I could either go out-and-back to 23, then through 28 and on to 24, or through 23, out-and-back to 24 and out-and-back to 28. After climbing up to 23, I decided to keep on, in an effort to minimise the climb. But the out-and-back to 24 was desperately slow - the bridleway hardly existed and the riding was across tussock grass and bog.
I got 28 quite easily, and was glad I approached from above, but then heading towards 5/29, the watch said 1hr 50min and the proposed route started to look totally unachievable! So I chickened out and started heading for home!
Now one thing I really enjoy about these events is exploring an area I don't know at all well in some detail. And you do get to ride past some smashing properties! The out-and-back to 19 near Marske was no exception, and if the cars on the drive are anything to go by, they must have cost a pretty penny!
I managed to big climb beside Clapgate Gill better than I did in January - perhaps it was the wind behind - and felt I had enough time to take in 17 through 'Richmond Out Moors' Plantation. Heading down hill into Richmond I was passed by another rider like I was standing still - I'm afraid I am very cautious coming downhill nowadays after my crash 3 or 4 years ago when I broke my collarbone!
An uphill finish is hard at the best of times, but the clock ticking away, it's worse! Breathing rather heavily, I crossed the line 30 secs inside the 3 Hours!
Enjoyed the event - just wish the 'wind consideration' would have allowed me to explore the small villages to the north west of Richmond town. Maybe next time!