Day 4: TORQ-EC

  I joined Lydia for the first 2 hours of her journey today on the TORQ Enduro Challenge (in association with Bryton GPS) and then retraced my steps and popped into Singletrack Magazine’s HQ in Todmorden for a fine black Americano, courtesy of Chipps Chippendale.

Chipps advised me that TORQ-fuelled Nick Craig was visiting them tomorrow – TORQ people are taking over the world (well the southern tip of Yorkshire anyway)!

Whilst riding with Lydia today, I was really wishing I was doing this challenge (I will in 2014). The weather was spring-like, which was great by our current UK standards and the Pennine Bridleway, which Lydia followed for most of the day, was stunning. For the first hour or so, although mightily fun for me with my fresh legs, I was concerned for Lydia, because it was harsh, even for my big 29er wheels. ‘Imagine 10 hours of this’ I thought to myself! After a protracted technical climb out of Hebden Bridge though, we were on top of the Pennines and the trail became wide and fast. I turned back, leaving Lydia at a reservoir not far from Hebden Bridge and the terrain looked ‘inviting’. Next year.

The going was so good that she achieved over 52 miles today in 8.5 hours and we’re now nestled in the little village of Kettlewell in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales and here’s what Lydia has to say about the day’s events:

“It was a fine weather forecast and we were off early, which was great. Matt and I rode together for a couple of hours and after a few photos I went on alone. Leaving the Pennines behind, I headed onwards along a mix of road and track up to Malham and the tarn, with breathtaking views and some BIG climbs . I felt tired for the first time today as I started up the road towards the top and the long track to conistone (Ed. I said she would didn’t I? Don’t run out of food the day before). This was technically the best part of the day with a long rocky descent . As I rounded a corner, I saw The TORQ RV bumbling along a parallel road. Could I beet Matt to Kettlewell? No, I couldn’t – the 7.5 litre V8 beat me! It was a great day in the saddle and such a contrast to yesterday. Tomorrow will be the last day, and there’s a killer climb out of Kettlewell to warm the legs up.

Although this has been physically an extremely tough endurance slog, one of the huge highlights is how close to nature you feel. With the great weather today, I could really appreciate it and at one point a lapwing swooped down making piercing cry. I think it might have thought I was disturbing it’s nest?”

If you haven’t followed the story so far and wonder what all of this is about, visit:

You can also track Lydia as she completes this challenge as her position is broadcast live using the Spot tracker.

      Tune in tomorrow for the final day when we expect to reach Zyro HQ in Thirsk, home of the Bryton GPS system we’ve been using to navigate our way across the country.

A huge thank you to Bryton for supporting the TORQ Enduro Challenge: