The Donkey Road (Donkey Track)
We interviewed Wayne after seeing photos (below) of his recent successful ascent:
What bike is it? It looks odd. Just a standard frame with oversize tyres/rims or something else?
The bike is a 'Surly Moonlander', designed in Alaska for riding on snow. We import them into the UK for both snow & sand riding; which is why we ended up in Whitby. The bikes also get used for normal mountain bike use too.
How hard was the ascent compared to other hard ascents you've done. If not the hardest, what was, where is it?
The ascent was tough! There is no flat run in so it's almost a standing start. Gearing has to be light so any movement before the steep section is just as hard as you have to really spin the pedals around quickly. The main thing is keeping the front of the bike down and not flipping it over backwards. One of the pictures shows the front wheel off the ground.
How long did it take from bottom to top?
2mins 6sec from the bottom to the abbey roundabout. one of the reasons I want to come back is to do it under 2 mins.
Do you work at EDS or own it or both?
Im the owner of EDSbikes, we are based in Snainton between Scarborough & Pickering, we specialise in Steel, Titanium, Singlespeeds, fixed gear & fatbikes.
How old are you (ish)?
Do you do things like this often?
Yes, I know and visit Whitby regularly and just had the idea in my mind. I race the types of bikes we specialise in and also enter endurance events 12 & 24 hour non stop races as well as expedition 4 day races.
What made you decide to come to Whitby to attempt it? Did you come especially?
Jane (my partner) and I just decided to park at Sandsend and ride to Whitby on the beach with the fatbikes & the dog. We headed into Whitby for ice-cream and I said we should have a look at the donkey path, Jane said have a try - so on first attempt I managed it!
Have you ever ridden down the same route?
Yes, I came back down on the bike when I finished it, it really makes you realise how steep it is, you could go over the bars coming down if you pulled the front brake on!
Were the cobbles slippery? Any other particular hazards of note?
It was dry but the there is moss, it would be impossible if wet, even with the tyre I had I was still spinning the wheel every turn. The only other real hazards were people trying to walk up and down, but everyone moved to watch when I was getting ready to have a go.
And you want to come back and do it again!?
I want to head back to try do it in under 2 mins and film it, people think I should do it at night to make the photos different, but as long as its dry I can do it anytime.
Brilliant! Send us a link to the movie and we'll post it on this page. Good luck!
Whitby's 199 Steps
Some pictures from Wayne's ascent
The Donkey Road (Donkey Track)
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Whitby Gallery Photo
To Make You Smile
Parachute Jumping, by Hugo Furst
Whitby in 1959