I did a mammoth ride this Easter weekend. I went from Hull to the Wear Dales, west of Newcastle, to a village called Allendale. It was about 150 miles in total that I did over two days. Originally I planned to ride 90 miles north from Hull along the coastal roads to Redcar, stay at a B+B, then ride 60 miles west the next day. I raced along the first 50 miles to Scarborough until I hit the North Yorkshire moors. The first climb out of Scarborough and into the moors was the hardest but once over that it was not too difficult. The road tended to be straight with lots of 'rolling hills' which means you ride down one hill and then roll up the next. It was about 16 miles across the moors into Whitby. When I got there I had done exactly 66.6 miles. A sign of what was to come. Whitby seems to be in a valley in the middle of the moors so to get out you have to climb again but by now I was a bit too tired. I had 20 miles left to go but I could only manage 6mph up the hill out of Whitby. I thought at this rate it's going to take another 3 hours and it will be too dark by then. So as I passed a B+B I decided to stay the night there. In the morning when I looked out onto the road there was hardly any hill. The road was almost flat. I set off again and the top was just around one corner. After that it was mainly rolling hills again except for one stretch of road which was signposted '51 casualties in 3 years'. So maybe I could have done the full 90 miles the day before but that stretch of road when tired and close to dark might have been a problem. I carried on West though Middlesbrough, Stockton and Bishop Auckland until I got to Stanhope. This was 20 miles from Allendale and I had to go 3 miles through Rookhope, another 7 miles through Allenheads then about 10 miles down into Allendale. But the 3 miles to Rookhope was up maybe the steepest hill I have ever done and it went on for 3 miles! The problem was I could only manage 4mph. I stopped for a bit and tried walking up it but could only do 2.5mph so I carried on riding. At Rookhope the gradient eased off a bit and I could do 6mph but by now I had climbed so high that there was snow on the hills! There was wind, hail, just about every bodily fluid (snot, sweat, streaming eyes, saliva, the taste of blood in the saliva). Then as I reached the top the sun started to come out and I turned a corner to find a stone triangle marking the top of the climb and two mountain bikers standing by it. I think they were the only human life I had seen for at least 2 hours. I should have taken a photo at the top but forgot.