Harrogate Cycling for Pleasure
Harrogate's cycling club for people who
don't wear lycra! (and some who do)
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday Rides

Poddlers’ Ride

Beware the Ides of March particularly if you are cycling between Knaresborough and Wetherby, because the car drivers are balmy.  John...newly returned from a long Wheel Easy break, looking for quality miles not quantity of miles, to break himself back in gently, was nearly witness to a head on crash between an impatient  Saab driver and others, which had the possibility of finishing his cycle return as well as ruining the careers of any cyclists in the vicinity.  

Anyway, nine riders chose a Poddle so that was lovely and after much early morning pondering they allowed themselves to be led to find a never poddled before road from Bramham to the best bit of the cycle path down to Wetherby. Sue left us at Bramham so she could wave good bye to Jill at Hornbeam.  After impecible service in the cafe on the Shambles Wetherby we does home in the glorious warm sunshine so typical of March in the Harrogate area.  What?Once more thank you for your company and patience...I had a lovely morning. 33 jolly miles at a gentle pace. Caroline G



Wanderers’ Ride

There were thirteen takers for the Wednesday Wanderers on this sunny morning. No Geraldine today, as she is still recovering from her (first) cataract operation. I had received information that the road between Follifoot and Spofforth was closed, so a re-think of the route came up with going to Wetherby via Kirkby Overblow and Sicklinghall. 

We set off in two groups along Leadhall Lane, having agreed to meet up at the start of Walton Head Lane. Lots of Red Kites around on the way to Kirby Overblow, where Nicky (Holden) was waiting for us, making fourteen. 

On leaving KO, I had a phone call from Paul Blackham asking where we were, as he was waiting for us on the original route in Spofforth. We agreed to meet him in Wetherby, but stopped in Sicklinghall for a group photo with the lovely daffs coming out. 

In Wetherby three people left us to return early. Through the town centre and along the A1 cycle path. At the roundabout, instead of going under the A1 and continuing on the cycle path on the east side of the A1, we took the road which runs parallel to the A1 on the west side, which has a wonderful surface and little traffic.  Over the motorway bridge to Bramham and then right up the hill towards Tadcaster, where we stopped to admire the repairs to the bridge. Coffee at Thorp Arch Trading Estate was agreed on, where we sat outside and took in the sunshine and enjoyed our cyclists’ discount, despite the rather slow service. 

We returned along the old railway cycle path to Wetherby and the Harland Way to Spofforth, to Follifoot on the ‘closed-to-cars-but-not-to-bikes’ road, Rudding and up the Showground Hill. About 39 miles. Joe S




Wednesday Ride - report to follow


Long Ride

With no designated ride leader we resorted to the usual default ride of going to Masham.  After meandering through the streets of Harrogate we eventually joined the Greenway at the Bilton Lane junction.  We progressed quickly from there to Ripley and then to Fountains where the group split up, not planned, but we all met up again at Masham.  It was decision time now as to the route back home.  For some unknown reason everyone seemed keen on “doing” Lofthouse.  As usual the assault on Lofthouse was met with some brisk crosswinds.  After the glorious descent into Nidderdale a sprint to Pateley Bridge was undertaken, accompanied by a strong tailwind.  After refreshments at Tea Cups we returned to Harrogate along the main road.  We were treated to an unexpected bonus of a mostly traffic-free road.  This was due to the fact that road closures were in force due to road works.  PCJ



EGs’ Ride

We had eleven riders at Low Bridge and the weather forecast was good, the general view was no hills today please ( I was not there on Sunday). However Dave Watson had a ride planned which included the trial of a new cafe (always worthwhile).

So on to Minskip and down the A168 to the cafe (see photos). A small cafe but lots of room outside, all very new. The menu was a bit restricted, but may improve, the coffee and tea were excellent.

Then back to Aldwark Bridge and on to Sutton-on-the-Forest to lunch at the Hall, however this was closed, so Dave`s team headed North and Bill, Dave P, and Roy headed for Easingwold via Huby.

A nice leisurely lunch was taken, in fact about an hour in total, DP and Roy were ready for another cuppa, however Bill was eager to get away to arrive home before dark, so away we went.

A nice ride in excellent weather, although at times the wind could be annoying, but very spring like.

Dave P and Roy felt the miles in their legs, but we made it. We await Dave Watson`s report with interest. Dave P





Following last weeks hilly 50 mile ride and immediately upon arrival at Low Bridge our leader was met with a chorus of "what about York today, it's flat out there”. So in deference to the majority, eleven riders pointed their velocipedes west following our leader towards Sutton-on-the-Forest.

Our first call however, in consideration of Roy's need for an early coffee fix, was to a new venue at Spellow's Cafe on the Rabbit Hill Ind. Est. Here we were greeted by the loan owner who seemed a little aghast at the arrival of so many customers at once. However, give her credit she quickly took our order and with our leaders kindly assistance carrying trays of tea etc to the gathered group under cover, albeit outside, we were served quite promptly.

Just about to set off for the next phase Dave P. (No not that one!) discovered a rear wheel puncture. So all hands to the mill and in no time we were on our way. Following the usual route through Ouseburn, across Aldwark bridge, passing through Tollerton, we arrived, for a change, for an early lunch. The best laid plans and all that!  We discovered the cafe at Sutton Hall still closed for the winter (we presume).

Our leader suggested that, since the next phase of the ride, of unknown distance, was likely to be a little hilly in parts, Roy, Bill and Dave P. might like to take a short cut to an alternative eating hole in Easingwold (where we could meet later), so off they headed whilst the remaining eight pointed their wheels towards new adventures around Farlington and Skewsby. That was the plan but our leader, working from a petrol station map of questionable scale, wrong slotted (rally speak for taking the wrong route) on a couple of occasions. As a consequence of the delay in reaching our refuelling stop, an enforced pause was made en route, to top up our reserves with bananas and gels just to keep the legs turning.

Thereafter, the planned route was regained and the challenge of Brandsby bank (13%) was met.

Reaching the top and consolidating the group, after decending the 14%  hill into the village,  we carried on towards Crayke and Easingwold, passing, unusually, a harvest of elephant grass in progress, we're told, intended for our power stations!

By now, as our track had become gradually extended, time was overtaking us, approaching 2.25pm and expecting Dave P. and others to have already abandoned meeting us in Easingwold, towards the bottom of the hill up to Crayke, our leader spotted an alternative eatery recently researched online called "Dutch House Gallery" and made an executive decision to pull in for a belated lunch.

Apparently it is called Dutch House because the owner is from Holland and the menu reflects his tastes, seemingly mainly pancakes, either savoury or sweet.

As the hour was nearing 3.30pm  before departing, due haste was the course and we past quickly through Easingwold aiming for Brafferton and Boroughbridge.

It is fortunate the weather had been more than kind to us as we had enjoyed both warmth and continuous sunshine so the journey home seemed to pass quickly and to everyone's relief we soon approached Sandy Bank on our way home, completing around 60miles in total. Those based in Harrogate may have approached 70miles!! Dave W.


Away-day - Osmotherley

Another Awayday ride and another fine sunny day- although it was a cold start form the car park just outside Osmotherley. A record 23 riders assembled for todays ride around the North York Moors led by our 'guest' leader, Richard Leake who led a great ride last year. Our first stop was only about half a mile into the ride as we had a comfort break at the public loos in Osmotherley as there had been none at the car park!

With that out of the way we set off and immediately hit a steep climb out of the village- and when we all reached the top we were warming up fast. There were more   steep climbs and descents as we headed for Hawnby and a coffee stop. Progress was slow with the climbing and the sun was now coming out as we reached the village and we were able to sit in the tea garden as the two owners worked hard to get all the orders out to us as quick as possible. They did really well and suitably refreshed we set off to climb out of the village (not an easy task I might add!) and set our sights towards Chopgate and lunch.

The sky was now clear and the sun had some warmth and we all enjoyed the great Moor views as we had respite from the hills on a long stretch of open road. It didn't last as we headed up the valley -but this time we knew when we reached the head of the valley we had a lunch stop- unless you are Bianchi Bob who sailed past and down the hill and lunched alone at a local pub!

Lordstones cafe has a beautiful setting and good facilities and the food was good -but service was erratic with half the party getting served quickly and the other half left to wait. This led to the group splitting in two with Richard leading off those who had finished and Colin a group who followed on. Bianchi Bob was dragged out of the pub to join in and we had a great view over towards Teeside before a speedy descent down towards Hutton Rugby, Potto and Swainby. This was enjoyed by all but we knew there was a sting in the tail with one final steep climb back into the valley and the car park. By this time legs were getting tired and so there was a little more tarmac touching (but quite a few made it all the way) before riding down the valley and back to the car park.

It was another great route(34 miles) and we knew we had done some climbing (2500') as we dragged out tired legs into our cars and set off home. Once again, it was a great group with good banter throughout the ride and everyone encouraging and helping each other.

Thanks to Richard and Colin for the route and ride leadership – we really began to feel we had left  winter behind with todays ride! Thanks to everyone who tuned out to support the away-day. Kevin D


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.