Bowland Badass


So yesterday saw the first official running of the Bowland Badass. It’s a clover shaped route around the Trough of Bowland covering 166 miles with 18’500 ft of climbing. It’s been much hyped on social media as a beasty. It is! However when I did the maths I realised it was only the same amount of climb per mile as where I live. It was just very long! Half calmed and half not we set off in Snail at silly o’clock in the morning. 

I had been worried about the weather. Somehow we had a sunny day. Funny how you forget what riding in warm weather feels like and what you’ll need or not need! Much to Laura from SportSunday’s amusement…….


… I realised that I’d never be able to fit everything I was wearing into my pockets along with the huge Clifbar picnic I’d stuffed in there too! Credit to the Clifbar, I had none of the normal ‘eating energy food all day’ effects, if you follow my drift! I even managed to convince myself that it felt like I’d had a cheeky espresso towards the end with their caffiene shot!

The route twists and winds it’s way round and round, without Leon’s Garmin (mine is playing silly buggers with route for some reason) I think we’d have gone off course. One thing we did notice was that all roads led to Clitherow….like, all roads, we began to wonder if they’d bought a job lot of “Clitherow 4” signs.

The recent rains had made rubble strewn roads, pot holes, gravel (almost scree like), you had to concentrate all the way. Great deep chasms have been ripped into the fell sides. In places the water had pushed up the tarmac surface into craters. Scary stuff, quite glad I hadn’t put new tyres on. More credit to the GF-Ti and the Reynolds Assault wheels, I didn’t have any issues with things breaking. We had begun to wonder if coming back with your bike intact was the challenge of the day.

With 20 or so miles to go we saw the promised black clouds starting to form behind us. “quick Leon, pedal!’ I shouted. Not quite fast enough and the heavens opened, bouncing rain making the already rubble strewn lanes even more dicey. Tired legs not really wanting to hammer down on the pedals, the rain was painful, bouncing like needles on any exposed skin as we rolled into and across the now water filled pot holes. I prayed for no punctures. The end of the route wiggled, giving the feeling of going round in circles. I’d started thinking about nice warm Transit vans….

Soon enough we we’re back. Ali ran over beaming from ear to ear. A big grin from the organiser Professor Badass, hot tea and endless sandwiches.

Top day out, highly recommended. 

Please some extra girls for next year though! It’s more fun If I’m not the only girl daft enough.

Helped with the leg stripes!


Now I’d better tackle cleaning bike and kit…..I may take nearly as long as the ride!



2 thoughts on “Bowland Badass

  1. Well done Emma, I like the way you seem to have brushed aside a quite epic lump of mileage, like its an everyday pastime, brill!

  2. Well done Emma, I like the way you seem to have brushed aside a quite epic lump of mileage, like its an everyday pastime, brill!

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