Continued from T-minus 0.1

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Rest #2 at Derbyshire Bridge

At the head of the valley we started climbing up into the higher moors. It was a gentle climb but steady and at the top was our next control point, Derbyshire Bridge. After all the climbing we had done in the first 37 miles I was quite hungry. I probably ate more than my share here but I needed it. A coffee would have been good too but the line was a little too long. I settled for some water before moving on.

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Rockin and Rollin on 23c Tubulars!

Rockin and Rollin on 23c Tubulars!

Once atop the moors we were back on some dirt roads. I thought that some of these had been pretty rough but this one was worse, being soft with some loose rock. Many riders on skinnier tires went slower here but I was able to cruise on through. Suddenly ahead there were lots of riders coming straight at me. I was confused for a moment but it turns out that this is where the 55 mile route joined ours. What had been a quiet and peaceful ride until now had turned into a bit of a zoo. There were now a quite a few other riders to watch out for and some of the riders doing the shorter distance seemed to be a little more squirrelly. I would have to watch out for them!

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The Tissington Trail is a hard surface dirt trail with a gentle downhill grade. It was fast and was quite fun and I did a lot of passing here. I wasn’t really racing but I had places to go and these people were in my way! As we descended off the moors we came into what for me was probably the most beautiful section of the ride. It was a narrow winding valley, lush green and lined by old stone walls. I do not know the name of it but I will remember it!

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The descent brought us to Hartington Village and the busiest rest stop of the event since it was a stop for both the 55 and 100 mile routes. I sat by the duck pond and had a beer and a funny looking local sausage. The sausage tasted unsual and I asked someone what it was. “Chicken and sheep bits they replied. I’m not sure that I really wanted to know what “bits” they were so I put the sausage down.

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After Hartington Village the 55 and 100 mile routes diverged again and I was fine with that. Having fewer riders on the course would be better. With the 55 miles riders on the same route some sections were pretty congested. It would be good to be rid of these slackers!
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A mix of country roads and narrow trails brought us to our next control in the village of Ilam. This was a much quieter stop and they offered scones with butter and jam and tea for refreshment. So far the rolling hills have been relentless but I heard that there were many more tough climbs that lay ahead!

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Continued in T-minus 0.3

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