Bowland Badass Climbs #29 – Harrisend Fell

The Stats

Starts at mile 154.31
Length 0.39 m
Feet of height gain 45
Average gradient 2.2%

Remember that rider you buddied up with 50 miles ago back in the Pendle Forest Hell Zone? You’re thanking your lucky stars there was someone to share the work, and take a tug on the front every now and then. You might not have made it otherwise. You’re still together as you swoop down over Harrisend Fell, with the marvellous panorama of the Fylde coast stretching away from you in the twilight. Bathing in the residual warmth of a cycling camaraderie forged in the fires of Badass torture you remark upon the beauty of the scene, anything to distract you from what is happening to your body. But he doesn’t answer. Perhaps he’s completely shagged and can’t muster the energy to speak? Is he hanging on grimly, barely able to keep the wheel? Maybe you’re the only thing between him and failure? Poor sod.

But hold on….the doubts start to bubble in your brain. His head’s down, and he’s stuck on your back wheel like a life sucking limpet. Didn’t he have a bit of a dig on Birdy Brow and try to blow you off? He didn’t wait for you when you chucked your chain on Chipping 1. He said he’d been looking at the ducks and hadn’t noticed you’d stopped. What if he’s been sat on your tail for the last 10 miles in preparation for wazzing past you on those gnarly back roads to Garstang? You even think there is the faint trace of a German accent in his voice when he speaks……maybe all is not as it seems.  Achtung Badass, wass machst du jetzt? There’s a nice little lump over the flank of Harrisend which is the perfect place to have a dig and fly away. A quick check confirms he’s run out of energy drink, and you’ve got half a bottle left. You can hear him gasping for breath as he labours behind you. You summon your fighting spirit and drop him! You give out a whoop as you descend the hill like a caterwauling spitfire, punching the air in victory. He’s pinged off the back and you have a clear run in the final miles.

Stop! This is where we remind you that your bitter enemy is in fact a long standing club mate of yours, who you’ve known for 15 years. You’ve happily cycled thousands of miles together. In fact only last weekend your family was round his house for a barbecue, your kids playing together in the garden while you discussed the upcoming event……..Oh dear, the fiendish ability of the Badass to rent a ghastly hole in the social and spiritual fabric of life has struck again. Trust us, he will remember this. He’s already rueing spending that extra 50 pence on Tesco’s Finest Cumberland sausages for the barbie. It turns out you’re only worth a grubby pack of cheap bangers after all….

Stravasaddoinfopoint: The king on Harrisend reverse from cattle grid to brow ( is an enormous monster of a man with tree trunk thighs and a heart bigger than a mountain gorilla’s fist. If you beat his time, the Prof will personally host you at a local pub in Garstang and furnish you with a cold beer.


Posted on May 26, 2013, in Bowland Badass Climbs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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