22 October 2012

Phil Haygarth: A year to forget

My brother Phil rode his first 3 peaks in 1994 and has ridden most since, so it's a familiar race to him.  Like many though, 2012 was one to put down to experience, get the finish in the bag, and move on.
The ride up to Chapel-le-Dale saw me in good spirits, conned by the tail wind.  But as I crested the whaleback of the Whern' it all fell apart.  The near-sleet and hail got through my lycra and the cold started to eat into me.
Read his 2012 blog here

20 October 2012


Something very stoic and British about this pic of 2012 3 peaks spectators 

09 October 2012

Crossjunkie reflects: 'full survival mode'

A man with the full breadth of 3 Peaks experience, Alan Crossjunkie Dorrington has contributed many a time to this blog, and is a great training partner for me throughout the year. His 2012 blog of the event is familiar to readers of this blog over the last ten days - it was an emotional day out there.
A quiet, grim mood seemed to grip all as the field hit the saturated bogs of the lower slopes of Simon Fell. There was almost no joking and chatting like in previous years - mostly an eerie silence among the riders. This soon gave way to greater anxiety as little tasters of the wind arrived from the left before morphing into a feeling of full survival mode by the top as the 50mph plus winds threatened to tear everyone's bike from their grasp, and throw any stumbling bodies after them for good measure. It was the same for all, though I claim a little special place in the insanity for riding with deep section wheels that turned my bike into even more of a sail. Muppet.
 Read his compelling blog here

Waugh. Huh. What is he good for?

Well... since you ask, he's very good for visual media stuff, as a lot of you probably know.

Geoff Waugh's done a lovely edit of a memorable day for the history of the 3 Peaks.


A View From Helwith Bridge

A view from Helwith Bridge is a lovely article posted on the Singletrack website about a newbie's encounter with a tough year on the race

07 October 2012

John Rawnsley in 'The Dalesman'

The September 2012 Dalesman carries a lovely interview with JR - go and buy a copy here

A poor rendition here (and a bit naughty, I know, but it's a bad copy and will wreck your eyesight.  Who says copyright theft is a victimless crime??) h

Craven Herald report

You know you're dealing with the professional media when you get terms like 'Just the Jebb' in the headline.  Awesome.

Read the local Craven Herald paper write-up here on their website

Anna Cipullo - cut-off in her prime

Really long blog and indeed a great blog here from Anna Cipullo on here first event.I never tire of reading first impressions of this race. Anna missed the PYG Cut-Off on this fowl year but had an amazing day of learning out there.
As things started getting a little vertical I remembered my plan; make your own path away from the crowd and plod in rhythm. No chance. My calves were burning within minutes and the hill was getting increasingly closer to my face as it got steeper and steeper. For those that don’t know, this is the famous unrideable bit where everyone lugs their bike on their shoulder up the hill. A daunting task in the best of weather, but on Sunday we were experiencing the worst weather seen by the race in 31 years. Oh lucky me.

Read it here

Alan Billington: Bob Graham Round not enough.

Only 3 weeks after a successful Bob Graham Round, it's normal to laugh at mere "people" like us thinking the 3 Peaks was an 'epic' this year.  But Alan Billington hadn't had enough after running his way into this elite club in early September.  It's fair that he didn't focus totally on the 3 Peaks in the circumstances. 

A 4:43 finish after aiming for under 4 hours on most years would sound dissatisfying, but in the circumstances and on a really crappy day, there's still a resounding 'well done' from me.

This year we had a very very strong side wind too to contend with. Going up the really steep bit with "the fence", my climbing legs were in neutral and so I felt quite wobbly with the wind threatening to whip the bike from my shoulder at every opportunity. Soon we reached "the stile" and I knew it was serious as mountain rescue were there to take bikes from us as we stepped over the slippery stile into a headwind. Boy was I grateful for them as no sooner than you lifted the bike over your head than the wind took it away from you. Not good on a slippery stile in SPDs 

Read his blog here

06 October 2012

Sam Roper - youngest rider of 2012 - a blog

Sam Roper's first 3 Peaks wasn't ideal... apart from the biblical weather, he hit a pot hole on the road just before Whernside which was hidden beneath one of many puddles, but managed to finish despite being very bruised, grazed and slightly concussed.

He was being filmed all day by a film crew from Yorkshire TV ...
Having a film crew in your kitchen filming you eating porridge at 6:40 in the morning is not exactly a stress free way to start your first attempt at theThreePeaks, but it was what I agreed to when ITV approached me about participating in the making of feature on the Three Peaks Cyclocross. I was the youngest person in the race and they thought it would be interesting to follow my training and race.

He wrote a blog for the (highly recommended) Strada Wheels site here

05 October 2012

3 Peaks in 3 Minutes

... you wish.

Be the chest guest of Adrian Wain,  Dulwich Paragon for a compacted version of the 2012 race.

Some more comedy in this, but it's not quite 'Go on Ian' level.

[Watch here in a new window]

Paul Meyer: "it can't be this bad again, please no "

Paul Meyer, from Cheltenham & County CC is a friend who I somehow convinced to do the Three Peaks cyclocross in the late 90s.  Part of a small but hardcore posse from Cheltenham that remains from my days there and comes up each year.  It's always good to see them but never really much time to chat on the day ...

Paul's written another great blog here about almost five and a half hours of roller-coaster emotions
I tried to ride the last stretch to the summit but the increasing strength of the wind was a shock - I'm sure my cheeks were rippling as if I were suffering G forces or in free fall (Whernside was the same). The preceding section was the usual ride/run/crawl affair due to the deep peaty ditches every few metres and riding was a battle on the bars to keep the wind sheer from pushing the front wheel off the fine line that meant probable puncture. On the summit, and like club mate Nick below, I found myself battling and leaning in to the wind trying to stop the wind yank the bike off my shoulder. Not for the first time I was wondered why the hell I was doing this race 

There's also a link to his Garmin stats too here

Three short 2012 video clips

Three short but sweet 2012 videos from Carl Seymour on Vimeo

I think he put the sound effects on after.  There wasn't any wind around on Sunday, as we all know.

04 October 2012

Porsonal Worst but it's just the best

I think Simon Fox's feelings on a year of 'slow times' echo those of a lot of us.   It's a strange feeling of elation just getting to the finish and getting warm again.  Something akin to survival. A good feeling and one that you're not hurt.

After a while the bugs start to creep in and you start being less chuffed with yourself
I thanked my lucky stars when the car arrived just as I got to the road and I was able to peel my sodden kit off and get some food inside me. Then it was time to reflect. My feelings veered between two polar opposites: I was disappointed to be unable to record a good time despite all the work I had put in. I'm not sure how much longer I can keep battering my body, especially my arthritic knees, so the amount of races I do in future is going to start lessening. On the other hand I had survived an event that, I'm sure, will be spoken of in hushed tones in years to come. Not only survived it but had actually loved it. 

Great blog as usual, Simon. 

2012: The final 3 peaks cyclocross.

It's not scaremongering.  It just might be.  Could we live without the 3 Peaks cyclocross?

As you probably know, John Rawnsley's event organisation for every 3 Peaks Cyclocross since 1961 has been well documented as being something very special.  John was brought into the British Cycling Hall of Fame - one of the 50 honoured by British Cycling last year. It is an immense task.  Has John's huge success as an organiser made the race unsustainable?

Although there is a plan for legacy, it is a daunting task.  John will stay on in an advisory capacity but getting willing volunteers is a tough task.  Keith Parkinson (the official website administrator - and a long time fanatic of the race) is helping co-ordinate the tasks and 'administer' jobs.

So the race you love is hereby asking how you can help - can you volunteer to keep this race alive into 2012 and beyond?

Please contact Keith Parkinson - keith@3peakscyclocross.org.uk in the first instance.

Daniel Doncaster's mini blog on club forum

Daniel Doncaster (CC Ashwell) had a long, hard day out (didn't we all) - and fought tooth and nail to make the cut off on a hard day
I did not even consider missing the cut off time beforehand, but in reality I was one of the last to be allowed up the final climb (Pen-y-ghent). I owe this in large part to the heroic effort of an unknown cyclist who had decided not to do the climb and instead used the last of his energy to pace me through the unrelenting head wind to the base of the climb.

He's written a brief report on his club forum

03 October 2012

It's grim up North

We can't deny it.  It wasn't a nice day to welcome our friends from the south to Yorkshire.   But Shand Cycles are from Scotland.  How dare they call this grim?  Russell and Robin's report is here on their site 
Shouldering the bike on the steeper sections was tricky with wind making it difficult to balance on rockier sections with cleated shoes.  Quite a few competitors pulled out after the miserable decent of Whernside deciding it was too cold and wet to face another summit, although after years of hill/fell running I didn’t mind the conditions too much, although would agree it was all a bit grim…

Frischnecht: I do this crazy race only once in my lifetime

Cheryl King's posted a photo blog on her Seeking Mountain Sport website here
In the days leading up to the event I planned the shots I wanted to take, majestic sweeping landscapes showing the Yorkshire Dales in all their autumnal beauty, fluffy clouds atop fells dotted with equally fluffy sheep, limestone outcrops picked out in warm sunlight. I would show Yorkshire – the county of my birth – in all her true glory. Yorkshire however, had a bit of a strop on.
Sorry it was such a nasty day, Thomas. 

Tom Hill: After the Storm

Tom Hill's preview of the race the other day hosted on the Kineses website showed all the excitement and anticipation you'd hope from a first timer.
 The wind on Pen Y Ghent was possibly worse than either of the two previous fells. Walking was a real challenge, and I was getting cold, even while working hard going up. I had my back to the wind for the way down though, and was ready to get the hell out of there. Lets go. I went to scrub off a little speed. The brake levers went to the bars, just biting at the moment of panic. Guess I’d worn through my pads then… Survival mode was engaged...
His update here on the Kinesis site is worthy testiment to the tough day out had by most on Sunday

Don't win races... win Kudos!

The Strava community also has its own virtual multi-year 3 Peaks Cyclocross.

For those of you riding with GPS, it provides a useful way of pretending you finished a bit higher up and are better than people who didn't ride with GPS.  I, for example, am still 3rd.  So ner-ner.  I'll have that. 


Jason Miles - PB Position and a spring in his step

Jason Miles (interviewed here earlier in the year on this blog) pulled a great PB in terms of his position in the 2012 3 peaks - finishing in 54th place and the same time as last year (not many people doing that this year!)
 The climb of Whernside is my favourite part of the 3 Peaks and is the reason I was so keen to get closer to the sharp end of the race this time. Back where I normally find myself, the narrow stone steps are often crowded and in wet conditions the opportunities to overtake by going ‘off-piste’ are severely limited. This time though, the place seemed almost empty. With luxurious amount of room and the fact that I wasn’t cramping while on my feet, I trotted up the hill and took a few places in the process. It started to rain. I was exposed to the wind again, but it was mostly behind me and I was enjoying it again.

Well done from me!

His blog from 2012 is here

GS Avanti - noses to the fell

Simon Clarke of GS Avanti finished on Sunday in 350th place.  Like many, he was glad to finish and congratulations are due...!
So steep our noses almost touching the ground and all the time our bikes digging into our shoulders. Getting higher the wind picked up. Gusts were strong enough to tear the bike from my shoulder and pushing it on the ground meant I had to weight it down with my body if it was not going to be blown away. I tried to ride and was immediately blown into a dry stone wall.
Read the blog here

Hope's snaps

Team Hope part 2....

They also took their photographer out, complete with a tough of moody vignette and large apertures, to produce some tasty 2012y shots. 

Good day out for Hope

Hope Technology have religiously supported the 3 Peaks and it was good to see them nab victory in the men's race (albeit by some nifty rider signing) and also take the team event.

 Everyone knows the Hope people to be a great bunch and they put so much back, so it's a just reward. Well done all of you.

Especially good considering the twin punctures of Dave Collins and Dan Booth on the descent to Blea Moor - well recovered guys. Here's their account of the day

It's rude to laugh, but...

... well - at least he seemed okay.

02 October 2012

Ed Edwards: long day out, longer blog

Congrats on the longest account of this year's race. A good 5 hours of typing in this one, Ed.

Heading into the cloud the sidewind was terrific and, with the bike on the shoulder acting as a sail and the 45 degree slope, forward momentum was tricky. Add in some bracing horizontal rain and it was a truly visceral experience – at one point I started to laugh and was met with a few blank stares so stopped pretty quickly and I trudged on.

Read it here if you have a bit of time to spare

Sam Alison of Singular Cycles ... 2 out of 3

Sam Alison of Singular Cycles' first attempt at the 3 peaks ended in disappointment. It was a dreadful year to be a newbie.

"By this time I was starting to get very cold, the howling wind carried some little sleety bits of ice, I was soaked through and really under dressed. Just a long sleeve base layer, jersey, wind vest and normal bib shorts. This wasn't helping my backbone - literally or figuratively."
Read his blog here

Fastest singlespeeder Matt Brown's 2012 blog

Kendal's Matt Brown would have had a tilt at Shaggy's singlespeed record of 3:41 this year, but it wasn't a year for records.

"After the pain of Simon fell, the wind hit. Getting a little flatter, some sections were ridable. If riding, you had to struggle to stay straight. If not riding, you had to stop your back wheel from flying away. It was very windy."

Single click here

Peter Barton's first survival

Peter Barton of Dwyfor CCpicked a hell of a year for his first 3 peaks.  And as a special bonus, he's still alive!
I can hardly keep my eyes open.  Too close now to give up but I'm scared by the thought of descending again.  At the top the marshals are there with their chip timers, trying to stand still in the wind clearly requires effort.  The winds are 50+mph, that's not a made up number, that's what mountain rescue recorded at the top of Pen Y Gent. It's strangely re-assuring to know that the wind speed was 50mph and that I wasn't just being a wimp.  So back down I go.
Read his blog here  - well done Peter

Twinkly Dave's cold get's the MTFU treatment

Twinkly Dave Powell is one of the mileage - daft- long rides guys who still considers the mere 4ish hours of the 3 Peaks worth getting out of bed for.  Even his sick bed in this case.  Dave came down with a belter of a snivvle just before the 3 peaks.  Obviously it was much less worse than any I've ever had.

If you only read one blog post on the 2012 three peaks, make it this one.  Proper Bronte stuff.
As I found myself, still astride the bike, pinned against a drystone wall by howling wind, my face a contorted mess as I grimaced and tried to drive onwards, I knew this time round was what I’d hoped for.
My performance would be, by a long way, down on what I could do, but there was no way I was going to miss this fight.
Get well in time for the weekend, Dave.

Split times a go go .... Neil Mansfield's 2012 geek out

Neil Mansfield of Nottingham Clarion has streaked ahead in the 2012 geek category with his wonderful in depth analysis of the split times from the 2012 race.

I, for example can learn that:
  • I'll settle for 6th fasted down from IGB to Cold Cotes, and four seconds behind Jebby
  • I take a while to get going over IGB !
  • My flat on PYG climb was very annoying. Oh.  Hang on.  I already knew that.
Go and get a cup of tea, sit down, then click here to see the spreadsheet in it's full geeky glory

Rob Jebb & Victoria Wilkinson Interviewd on British Cycling

Good in-depth interview on British Cycling site following the 2012 war zone epic
Jebb: "I approached this race as I always do, aim for a fast start and try and get a gap on the others"

Wilkinson: "If the weather is like this I won’t be riding ever again, it’s been an horrendous experience and not what I want to be doing"
 Read them here

Racing Snakes' IGB pics from 2012

Bravest / daftest place to go and take photos award (being only 4.5 miles away from a cafe that does pint mugs of hot chocolate) goes to Racing Snakes

Their photos from the summit of Ingleborugh in two parts here on Facebook

View from the Gazebo

The smell of Bacon was almost too much to bear at Ribblehead on Sunday as I rode past.

Another 'spectator / supporter's blog here from those evergreen 'cross guys at Cycle Sport Pendle and their sturdy Gazebo:
"..given the high winds and intermittently torrential, not to mention horizontal, rain you would not be surprised to know that the erection of our club gazebo raised a quizzical look or two. Our subsequent demonstration of bacon frying and tea-making saw looks of bemusement exchanged for fully-fledged green-eyed envy. For my part I was on camping stove duty whilst the rest of our party clung to the shelter's frame to prevent its onward journey to Hawes. "
Read the blog here

01 October 2012

British Cycling PYG 2012 pics

Some great ones capturing the harsh conditions on Penyghent here on the BC Flickr account

Colt Coated in Mud

Some great comedy fall spot pics from Cold Cotes here on the NorthLoop forum (thanks to @Richcutsforth for pointing out) and an ensuing thread

Grough's 2012 write up

The Grough website's article on this year's race is here

Yorkshireman Rob Jebb won the Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross Race in difficult conditions with driving winds and heavy rain lashing the hills on which the event is run.

My own blog of the 2012 race

Got my thoughts down whilst fresh in my head on Minnellium.com here
The very minute we hit the off road section at Gill Garth, There was something very 'Saving Private Ryan' About the mood and atmosphere. What had up until then been something we dreaded, was now something we were part of. The puddles the soaking fields, the falls, the crunching gears, the slow, slow progress up a needlessly more difficult Simon Fell... It wasn't exactly the stuff of nightmares, and we were all here voluntarily, but it was hard to take any satisfaction from the first hour of the race.

Cycling Weekly 2012 gallery from Andy Jones

15 or so pics from Andy Jones of a rain sodden race on the Cycling Weekly site

Spectator's view - "The Essence of Wetness"

With superlatives flung around willy-nilly these days there’s a growing tendency to overstate the frankly mundane, however, when you really do witness something of epic proportions it reminds you of the amazing things that sometimes ordinary people can achieve.
Read it on GBG Perkins' blog here

Andrew Kennedy 2012 pics from Simon Fell

The British Cycling 'official' tog for the day Andrew Kennedy was out in his preferred spot on a damp and windy Simons Fell [sic] and posted 66 photos to the British Cycling Flickr Account here

Cheryl King's 2012 Photos

Cheryl King of Seeking Mountain Sport has posted a handful of photos summarising the 2012 3 peaks here on Facebook

Cycling Weekly summary from 2012

The Cycling Weekly site's brief summary is here

Rob Jebb (Hope Factory Racing) secured a convincing solo victory in the 50th Three Peaks on Sunday, a win which gives him a record ninth victory in the prestigious event in North Yorkshire.
The 37-year-old Cumbria-based Yorkshireman covered the 40 kilometres in 3-09-21, and while he was almost 17 minutes shy of his own course record, he still took victory by ten minutes over his nearest rival as the wet, cold and windy conditions took their toll.

British Cycling report & Results from Andrew Kennedy

The British Cycling report's up online here

Rob Jebb secured a record-breaking ninth victory in the 50th Three Peaks in North Yorkshire on Sunday, crossing the line more than ten minutes ahead of his nearest rival.

 The Hope Factory Racing rider covered the 40km course, which takes in the peaks of Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent and Whernside, in 3:09:21. More than ten minutes back was his team-mate Paul Oldham, while 2011 champion Nick Craig (Scott UK) had to settle for third spot.