Environmental agency worker, David Brown who lives in Cheshire, brought a whole new level to the word determination! He emailed us to explain he kindly donated to the Friends of the Peak charity, to become a validated gritter pre-ride attempt. He then explained he completed the ride in 35h 50min, only to find his recording did not save.
Exasperated by this, he allowed only 3 days recovery before doing the whole thing again, in a validated and still incredible 36h and 19min!
Here is his post-ride reflection:
I never intended to do this ride twice within a week, with a two day gap in between each attempt. However my first attempt on the Monday and Tuesday resulted in such sheer frustration at the end when my ride failed to save (Stravamare) and my backup didn’t work that I felt I had no other option! I still felt this was the right decision until 3 am on the Saturday morning when the fatigue crept up on me and I had to sleep. And again, by the end of my second attempt I was down to only one of my 3 GPS devices working and so it was with great trepidation that I went up to the War Memorial finish point in Buxton, pressed stop and save on the Garmin and was mightily relieved when it did save properly. I don’t think a third attempt was an option !
On the plus side, I started my second go 4 kg lighter due to the travails of the first, which in my mind was the equivalent of buying a new, lighter bike. My ride experience was good; weather was okay although 30° temperatures on the Friday were a little challenging, and the north-easterly weather made it cold overnight. The crafty, clever but relentless nature of the route means that you feel like you are constantly going up and down, backwards and forwards but if you studied the spiders web of a route map you’ll know that’s what you signed up for. It’s just that when you’re actually doing it, it does feel a little disorientating at times! Getting water proved to be a bit of an issue for me overnight but a campsite appeared at the right moment and I’ve never been more pleased to see a 24-hour petrol station as when I got to Glossop. I was then disappointed to find the coffee machine was being serviced but I’ve now discovered that I love café frappe. With so much climbing, ironically it was my arms that started to hurt by the end, with the stress of holding an out-of-saddle position for so long.
The route combines the best views and hills in the peak and avoids the busier sections in towns and is a joy. I was treated to a spectacular sunset, a blood moon on the first go and a very memorable dark sky Milky Way moment before the clouds rolled in again. It’s also the hilliest 600 km I’ve ever ridden, and is relentless in its pursuit of elevation. What a ride ! Thank you Alaina for putting this route together.
Impressed is not the word, David. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and passion. And congratulations for becoming the latest Gritter to be added to the Wall Of Fame!