Harrogate Cycling for Pleasure
Harrogate's cycling club for people who
don't wear lycra! (and some who do)
Sunday, July 16, 2017

Wheel Easy Ride Report 583

Short Ride

Just three of us for the Short Ride today but this was about quality not quantity.  So Jean, Jo and Martin decided on a ride to Fewston Reservoirs, and we headed west into a stiff breeze to Beckwithshaw and over the Moors past Little Almscliffe Crag. The views today we're stunning with brilliant visibility.  We swooped down from the Crag accompanied by a male Kestrel ( Jo says the females are much bigger) and briefly stopping for a photo we saw loads of butterflies.  The Visitors Centre at Fewston was serving lovely coffee and great cakes.  I opted for the bakewell tart and one of the volunteers was most concerned it was too squishy and offered to change it for something else.  Some chance! - it was scrumptious.  Resisting all temptations for seconds we returned with the wind behind us and all going well until Jean's chain snapped.  Luckily I had a chain riveter in the toolkit and after a greasy temporary fix we set off again.  Soon home after a most pleasant morning and 22 miles in good company and with great cakes.       Martin Weeks




Jill's Medium Ride

10 riders opted to come with me on the shortened medium ride missing out a there and back to Beningbrough Hall. The pace was steady on the outwards stretch before calling in at Tancred Farm shop for our lunch stop.  Luckily the only problems were 2 chains falling off before we left Knaresborough and a rattling water bottle cage - all sorted without the leader having to get involved!!  Nobody was lost and more impressively the leader didn't get lost either. Splits happened at Little Ribston as everyone chose the route home that they preferred. Thank you all for your patience and good cycling form from the novice leader. No photographs from me... but some may appear. Jill J





Medium Ride

Lots of people turned out for the Medium Ride but split into two groups, one going all the way to Benningborough and the other cutting the route slightly short by continuing directly from Great Ouseburn to Thorpe Underwood.

So twelve set out for Benningborough, making our way down to Low Bridge in Knaresborough in small groups of four to allow cars to overtake. This seemed to work reasonably well. After Farnham, we tried an experiment to ride in a compact large group, two abreast when possible, as there was some interesting debate about which was safer. This seemed successful too though it requires more concentration and good communication between the back of the group and its head.

After a very pleasant lunch in the sunshine at Benningborough we set off back to Aldwark where we put the hammer down and and pushed along till we got to Whixley. Thereafter, a relaxed cycle back through Cattal, Walshfort, Little Ribston and home. About 44 miles in very good company.    Al D



Medium Plus Ultra-Fast Ride

Nine riders formed the peloton departing from Hornbeam for a speedy ride to York.  Although following the prescribed route for most of the outward bound leg we made some strategic amendments to get to Cycle Heaven.  At Cycle Heaven the main concern was to ensure we got our discount for being in a cycle club.  The Medium Plus Fast group arrived just as were finishing and there was the usual exchange of friendly banter.  On leaving Cycle Heaven Richard P took charge of leading us out of York and setting us on our way to Askam Richard.  Despite the headwind the peloton was on excellent form, a la TdF, and fairly blasted its way back Harrogate.  PCJ





Medium Plus Ride (Fast)

There was a veritable surfeit of leaders for this ride today. I was standing in for Sue C, who had been stormed by the Bastille (or something like that), and there were only three takers who wished to experience my leadership skills. One of them was me!

After a steady pace start, by Kirby Overblow, we were tramping on at a fair old whack, and Tadcaster came in under the hour. The high quality but slightly odd tea stop in Bolton Percy was also still too early for us and we decided to press on to Cycle Heaven, where we discovered the ultra fast boys reclining, and generally taking the Mickey out of anybody within range.

Beans were taken outside, where the serious topic of the binary or otherwise nature of gender was explored, coming, of course, to no particular conclusion, other than the Yorkshire "It all seems a bit daft!"

Back on the road again across the racecourse, and now, as ever, beginning to realise why we had belted it down to York (the wind), we cracked on in fine style, passing the gentler section of our ride, still on their outward leg.

The Marston Moor Monument came and went with barely a glance from our little peloton, doing bit and bit, just like the TdeF lads do.

A great ride boys at a cracking pace all round. Thanks to Rob and Alastair.  DaveS



Medium Plus Ride (Civilised)

Weather set fair as about a dozen riders set off from Hornbeam. An early breakaway left the peloton heading towards York under orders from our leader Kevin (GC) Douglas. Helped by the wind we cruised through Wetherby and Tadcaster and paused for tea and cake served on china in a cafe garden before crossing the millennium bridge and stopping for lunch at Cycle Heaven. We followed various cycle tracks through the city before heading to Beningborough. A third coffee stop was spurned as Kevin drove his domestiques now into the wind back through Arkendale and Knaresborough arriving back to Hornbeam after 60 miles around 5pm. A great day out (much of it new to me) with lots of sunshine and good company as ever. Charlie.   





Note: Tide out!!



Long Ride

Sports pundits continually tell us that sport is a game of two halves.  Today's ride, however, for me was a game of one half, and what a wonderful first half it was!  More of that later......
8 of us set off from Hornbeam and made excellent progress fully enjoying the wonderful weather - far better than the forecast.  We took great care to avoid being a rolling road block traffic as we passed through Harrogate, Starbeck and Knaresborough, although one lady on a mobility scooter in Starbeck displayed her displeasure at Andy's cycling style - as he wasn't wearing a helmet! I think he should have pointed out that she wasn't wearing one either whilst riding her motorised vehicle.   We made good time through Boroughbridge, Thornton Bridge, Sessay and stopped in Coxwold for coffee.  Great news: we revisited the tea rooms which have been avoided for the last 2 years because of poor service and very surly attitude, and we were greeted with a wonderful smile and humour by the new owner, and received excellent service.  Sitting in the back garden was an absolute delight - see photo.  So the Coxwold tea rooms can now be put well and truly back on the Wheel Easy radar.
We continued to Yearsley and enjoyed the wonderful panoramas in both directions as we followed the ridge to Terrington and Coneysthorpe/Castle Howard.  It had been such a perfect ride which I was enjoying immensely. Then something happened: very suddenly I had a problem.  Some weeks ago I had labyrinthitis, which I thought  I'd fully recovered from, but I was in trouble again.  I took the climb from Coneysthorpe very steadily, and was OK on the long descent into Malton, but as soon as I stopped in the Market Square, the world went pear-shaped again.  A couple on the next table at the café overheard the conversations about arranging for a taxi to get me home, and offered to bring me and bike home.  So 7 riders were able to continue on their way, and I was brought home by Andy and Anne, a wonderful couple from Great Ouseburn.  As we overtook the Wheel Easy medium ride on their way back from Beningborough, I found myself sinking lower and lower in the car seat to avoid being spotted!  So many thanks to Andy and Anne, and to all the Wheel Easy long riders who really took control of my predicament.  Cheers guys!  Needless to say, by the time I arrived home, I felt fully recovered and somewhat embarrassed by the hassle I'd caused.
I understand the second half of the ride turned out to be quite a test of stamina due to the westerly winds, as the homeward leg was 45 mile due west!  So for me, the first half of the ride was 47 miles @15mph, for everybody else, the full ride would top 95 miles due to some detours around Malton.  Some may then have chosen to add a little more to achieve the century.              Eric


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