Bikers beat the elements to make the inaugural “networking on wheels” event from Carter Jonas a rip-roaring success – completing part of the official Grand Depart route along the way.
Almost 300 riders took part in the Yorkshire Pedalthon yesterday despite heavy downpours, tackling either the 80 mile Yorkshire Challenge or the 40 mile Yorkshire Scenic route, as part of the sporting event.
The Yorkshire Challenge riders completed several blistering hills, including the thigh-burning Kidstones Pass that saw them climb 6,000ft in total.
Both courses started and finished at Ripley Castle and passed through the market town of Masham, where they refuelled at a feed station set up at the Black Sheep Brewery.
David Boulton, Carter Jonas’ head of planning for the North, who helped plan the event and completed the 80 mile Yorkshire Challenge ride, said:
“It was a real challenge and an arduous route, which made the food stations very popular – without our fantastic food partners to feed us, we really might have perished.
“Considering the challenging weather conditions I really have to thank all the people who took part today, they have been fantastic and their efforts have been for two very good causes.”
Paul Berwin, managing partner at Berwins Solicitors in Harrogate – the event’s main sponsor – also completed the 80 mile course.
“Even though the weather was against us, it didn’t put anyone off and the riders showed great commitment and really got stuck in.”
Captain Peter Thompson, of the First Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, said:
“If I was to score the ride out of five for difficulty it would make a four at least.
“We completed a 100 mile training ride in the sunshine at the weekend but the Yorkshire Pedalthon at 80 miles was much harder, simply because of the rain.
“It got a bit emotional on a couple of those hills out there but the excellent food stations and picturesque scenery helped pull us through.”
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, the tourist agency that brought the Grand Depart to Yorkshire was one of the first to ride out on the 80 mile route.
“The conditions were biblical, but it was a timely reminder that I must book sunshine for the Grand Depart in July.”
Yorkshire Pedalthon riders, who completed the course, received a certificate, goody bags, and post-ride hog roast. Each rider will also be gifted an official Yorkshire Pedalthon photo book.
The Yorkshire Pedalthon, was planned by sporting event organiser Breathingspace Live, and is sponsored by Yorkshire-based Berwins Solicitors, chartered building surveyors Crowther Turnbull Booth and wind turbine specialists Earthmill, and London-based CoStar real estate group.