It took a while for anyone to finish the challenge but finally we had a completer. Step (cycle?) forward Simon Gough who on June 20th 2019 completed the Calderdale 50. Justin Hirst is the second to finish.
1. Simon Gough
41 yrs old, married, and a father of three, Simon is an Essex boy who is in love with the hills of Halifax like a kid in a sweet shop. Living near Halifax in Shelf he’s a chiropractor based in Sowerby Bridge who has cycled all his life. He had only done about 5 of the climbs before he discovered the Calderdale 50 so had a lot of catching up to do when he found it. He used pre-work, evenings and days off to climb with the most climbs he did in one go being 8 in the Todmordon area that took about 4 hours.
When not cycling Simon likes to fell run, swim and mountain bike and he’s also the Bishop of the Halifax Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The picture below was taken on his ride from Yorkshire to Paris in 2018.
2. Justin Hirst
Justin Hirst, from Halifax, heard of the Calderdale 50 challenge in late 2019 and decided to give it a go the following year. He completed it on May 6th 2020.
“I can safely say it was a combination of fun, blood, a lot of sweat, a couple of replaced bike parts including a broken chain, brake blocks, installing a new lower geared rear cassette to get up those >> routes, a new rear derailleur and a new small crank.
“Daftest recurring part: turning a corner after a steep section (on any route) and then looking up only to see another steep section is one of cycling’s “fun” moments. 😦
I also liked how OS Map, at times, cannot be bothered to place > on a road on some of the routes. Almost like they forgot, or felt steep gradients are there to be discovered by cyclists, like Easter eggs by children in an egg hunt.
“High point: meeting Simon Gough at top of Mytholm Steeps (I had 4 left at this point to complete) where it starts to flatten (never ever doing that climb again by the way), and having a gasping chat till the junction.
“Low point: having a chain break in middle of nowhere, no tool and having to walk 15km home.”
When you’ve finished cycling all 50 climbs in the challenge then let me know about it. Email me at email@example.com