Yorkshire Dales II – Hills


Some of the hills on the Yorkshire Dales Cycleway are extremely challenging. The worst so far was a long, long, climb out of Grinton, with a cold headwind and very bleak scenery. Sometimes, all you can do is to put your head down and keep pedalling.


Grinding into a biting gale

chain straining up

a vicious gradient

my rain stung face facing down

to black bitumen, sheep dung

and picked over carcass

Drowned in wind

lung gasp and pulse pound

a car buffets past

veers me vergeward

I am on the verge

but grind on and up

on and up

against the grade

rumbling over cattle grids

reaching false top

after false top

and more and more

bleak moorland


lessening and levelling

and dropping to

stone patterned dale

and squat barns

flocked fields and

flat capped villages

stone crossed greens

square towered churches

and bitter beer.

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2015


2 thoughts on “Yorkshire Dales II – Hills

  1. David and I had much the same thing on a bike hike through Suffolk last year. Freezing rain, head winds and gradients where you could not speak – you captured it perfectly in this!

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