Thursday, 13 March 2014

White Horse Bank

White Horse Bank was the second climb I tackled on the 1st March. After painfully winching myself up Rosedale Chimney I had a 40 odd minute drive to the climb at White Horse Bank. Just long enough for me to cool down and for the sun to burn off any lingering traces of frost.

The climb at White Horse Bank makes for a fairly intense descent. It is tight and narrow with lots of sharp bends and, in places,  a pretty rough road surface. I parked about a third of the way down the climb at a big car park where a lot of dog walkers and family groups were parking up before going for a stroll through what seems to be a very popular forest park. Be warned, on a nice sunny day the road up White Horse Bank can get very busy which only highlights how tight it is in places.

 The car park is directly underneath the so-called white horse which was created by a local man keen for Yorkshire to have a White Horse of its own to rival those of the South West. The white horse in question is crap. Thankfully it is below the end of a gliding clubs runway and on a sunny day you are treated every few minutes to a plane taking off at full throttle as it tows a glider into the air. This is far more impressive than the chalk decapitated pig/ dishevelled dog/ white horse but I wasn’t able to get my camera out quickly enough to photograph a plane. Sadly the white horse was going nowhere and I felt duty bound to take a photo.

Breathtaking in it's crapness

The descent down to the start of the climb was quite bumpy and on starting my climb back up I seemed to be lacking any form of rhythm.  The lower part of White Horse Bank isn’t too steep but I just couldn’t get the pedals turning with any form of conviction. It was probably a combination of struggling on Rosedale Chimney and then having to drive for 40 minutes. Whatever it was it took me until about halfway up before I finally settled into a riding pace that I was happy with. It was sadly a very slow one but it would have to do.


The hill itself is actually quite pleasant; in between the increasingly steep corners the gradient backs off a bit and, for an on form cyclist, these straighter sections represent a chance to build momentum for the next steep uphill bend. I didn’t really feel comfortable until near the top and by then I was on the steepest part and by default going slowly. Once finally at the top I had a bit of a cruise along on the flat road that runs alongside the gliding club before turning back to the car and heading off to Boltby Bank which wasn’t far away.

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