Harrogate Cycling for Pleasure
Harrogate's cycling club for people who
don't wear lycra! (and some who do)
Sunday, March 12, 2017

Wheel Easy Ride Report 565

Short Ride

Eight riders today, welcome to a new lady Lucinda and returning riders Karl, John and Judith and me.

We had a great ride  through the showground and tip cycle path to Forest Moor Road and on to Knaresborough Abbey Road. Onwards to Wetherby where we had a coffee stop at the Shambles.

Back to Harrogate via North Deighton, Spofforth, Follifoot, Rudding and the showground again. Caroline and myself ducked out of the showground hill leaving the remaining 6 to it.

We particularly loved riding the closed road from Spofforth to Follifoot and the sunshine.

Mileage was about 22. Jean B



Medium Ride

We were a mixed group today including two graduated short riders, an injured long rider and an EG. By Knaresborough we were thirteen but Alison, still in recovery from illness, decided just to join us for a short while. 

The route was Knaresborough, Farnham, Bishop Monkton and into Littlethorpe where most of the riders posed for a photograph on the canal bridge in the sunshine. On to Skelton and Langthorpe then to Listers Farm where the twelve of us were welcomed and soon served with cake, scones and bacon butties. 

At Boroughbridge four riders went back via Minskip and Staveley while the others went through Roecliffe and used the bridleway to Copgrove which was in quite a reasonable condition. As we met some of the first group at the top of the hill out of Knaresborough presumably there is not much difference in time between the two. 

Thank you to Dave M who apparently had not ridden a medium ride before yet volunteered to back mark and was extremely conscientious and efficient. The only person allowed behind him was the leader! 33 miles . Liz P




Medium-plus Ride

Eight of us formed a group for one of our favourite rides  enjoying the spring flowers along the way, daffodils celandine and coltsfoot. All yellow flowers!!

Paul left us at Clint Bank and Justin joined us at Brimham where we bathed in the wonderful views around us. After Brimham Colin, Martin, Gia and James used the track across the moor made even more exciting as we became part of the tractor rally being run in memory of a young local farmer. The sight of 140 tractors rumbling along the tracks and roads to Pateley was amazing.

With wonderful views at the top of the moor we picked out Greygarth, factories and Teeside and much else besides.

We stopped at Studley visitor centre for lunch where we met up with Helen’s group. Colin and Gia returned in glorious sunshine via Markington and the Greenway, the rest of the group were last seen heading towards Skelton and no doubt someone else will fill in the rest.

Great ride, wonderful spring weather and a privilege to be out with Wheel Easy, 40 miles, Gia M



The weather lady on the radio this morning said she wished she could give us Monday’s forecast because today “is horrible”.  I guess she was in a bunker in the South of England, unaware of the North’s existence. 

There were a lot of us today and as I was without my Wing Man, Gia kindly offered to siphon off a group, leaving me with a manageable eleven.  We were honoured with the presence of some EGs and a few Fast Boys.  The Fast Boys were resting after a 200K ride on Friday, somewhere in the People’s Republic of South Yorkshire but they didn’t look in need of a rest to me!

It was bright, sunny and warm with hardly a breeze and the Greenway was packed with cyclists, walkers and armies of dogs, all in a pretty cheerful frame of mind.  We all began to feel a bit overdressed by the time we got to Brimham Rocks.  Merino wool is great but you can have too much of a good thing.  We paused for a photo shoot and I tried to marshal the group artistically whilst keeping a lid on the locker room banter that, it has to be said, was mainly emanating from the ladies’ locker room!  Moving swiftly on ……  we intercepted Paul from Grewelthorpe who was out on his own and joined us for part of the day.  

On the way up to Dallowgill Moor we were treated to the sight of about 200 tractors on a charitable rally to Pateley Bridge in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.  There was a huge variety of machinery ranging from the new expensive stuff you only hear about on the Archers to a little grey Ferguson with all its innards painted gold.  We must have inhaled a whole year’s worth of diesel fumes as they all passed us!

The sun and warmth only increased as we made our way to Fountains Visitor Centre to fuel up.  It was the usual snail-like service but jolly nice once you eventually got your order, so I never complain about a decent coffee.

My group had expanded and contracted a bit during the day and this continued as we returned home via the advertised route.  Not sure what I ended up with – once I get tired I just can’t do simple addition and subtraction but I don’t think I totally lost anybody.

It was a magnificent day out in the delightful company of the usual suspects, some smooth talking EGs and some very well behaved Fast Boys and it really was 44 miles at an average speed of 12 mph (which I don’t normally do).  Helen T




For six of us returning homeward after lunch at Fountains just didn't cut the mustard on such a mild and sunny March Day, so we headed out on a circular ride around the Vale of York taking in Skelton-on-Ure, Boroughbridge, Aldborough, Marton-cum-Grafton, Ferrensby and home via Knaresborough.  There was even one plea for more miles but several pairs of legs were shouting "enough" by this time and we made our way home after 50 smile-inducing, wellness making, great miles. Martin W


As there was only one official rider leader for medium plus today, the usual faster group set-off in self-led mode in a peloton of twelve riders, including the usual suspects of Andy, Paul, Mark Townend, Tony and Mark pushes-big-gears Carter. 

The weakness of our collective self-led approach became clear as we departed from the planned route at Ripley and headed off to Drovers Crossroads. After being distracted by a long procession of impossibly squeaky clean tractors out on some kind of tractor club run, we ended up improvising a route via Raventofts, How Hill Road and Sawley in order to get onto the B6265 and back on track from Fellbeck onwards. The sunny weather made the run over Dallow Gill Moor glorious and we decided to do a high speed run into Ripon from Grantley and not bother with Studley Park. 

The cafe stop was at Spa Gardens in Ripon, where we basked outside in the sunshine and discussed drugs in cycling and Mark Townend's dodgy-looking caffeine-laced chewing gum. We followed the planned route back as far as Bishop Monkton, where we deviated off via Markington and Drovers Crossroads to return into Harrogate via the Greenway, having covered about 46 miles at an average of 13.3mph. Good company as usual and an enjoyable semi-improvised ride. Michael I


All rides are at your own risk. Please ensure that you have your own third party insurance (check your house insurance) and consider Cycling UK membership.