The Hell of the North acquired its name mostly because it is one of the toughest courses designed for amateur and elite cyclists. Because I have personally ridden this event, I would equate it to confronting temptation to "quit and go home"
Preparation for this event is vital. I, however, felt 6 weeks and a maximum distance of 65 km would be sufficient. I was quickly informed how ill prepared I was when I had to face a steep hill at the 15 km mark.
With a range of riders partaking in the event, it is easy to find someone to ride with. Of course, everyone was much fitter than myself which led me to ride the whole event by myself.
Luckily for me, there were brief moments of cheering from the water stations that were situated around the course. In hindsight, I should have just stopped and hitched a ride home at the 50 km mark, however, I was determined to complete this trip through "hell".
I am not entirely what summons cyclists to ride an event like this. I believe it has a lot to do with the challenge. Maybe, some feel that 140 km on flat terrain is easy. Unfortunately, the notion of flat terrain is very far from the truth, especially the further north you travel out of the city. I was quickly introduced to hills and spent most of the 95 km complaining about them.
However, there is a great reward in finishing a race like this. You don't need a medal or a certificate to say you did it. The fact that you rode it, faced obstacles which you conquered and then cross the finish line is rewarding enough. For me, it was a personal victory and one I am not entirely sure I was want to do again unless I am more prepared.
Registration for this event is still open over the next two days. With accommodation options of B&B's, a caravan park or a hotel means one could quite easily make this a family getaway.
If you do decide to ride this event, I can only extend the best of luck. May you have a tail wind the whole distance with hills becoming just a bump in the road.