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

Wednesday Rides

Poddlers’ Ride

Well it was like old times...nine poddlers raring to go. Our leader was home from France, but only for five days until zooming off to USA, so she skillfully guided us to Knaresborough, where Sue T peeled off to the market, Occaney, where Sue D retraced her footsteps (tyre marks), in order to get a variety of jobs done in the pm, while the rest of us continued to Bishop Monkton and Markington. 

The going was steady as we had to weave around hay-laden tractors and trailers, and various types of agricultural machinery. Having arrived at Ripley we said "adieu" to Gordon and Dennis, whilst the famous five enjoyed coffee and cakes in the sunshine at the church.After discussing wine with a rude name in France, Cicero, hand-written labels at the costume display in Chatsworth House and being told off for eating a picnic in a French graveyard, we wended our way down the Greenway; Joe and Geraldine speeding along at the front,Caroline and I bringing up the rear with Paul B who was off into town with ideas of booking a surprise fro "er indoors"! A very pleasant ride of 27 sunny miles, and thanks to the leader for squashing in a ride between her travelling exploits! Jen A



Wanderers’ Ride

Due to the away day a select group of five set off from Hornbeam heading for the hills of Nidderdale.  Another three select riders joined at Bilton Lane. The sun was shining and everybody was happy as we went up the valley to Darley. Jeanie left us at Darley Head to return via Hampsthaite and Sophie’s. Climbing and more climbing followed, interspersed with grumbling and a photo shoot to show off the heather. Finally we got onto Sandy Gate and quickly sped off to The Fewston Café for the usual coffee, scones, cakes and bacon butties. All of which were superb value. Home via Swinsty, Little Almscliffe and Beckwithshaw. 32 miles in lovely weather. Michael S




Off-Road Ride

With the "Long Ride" usual suspects otherwise engaged Martin and John chose to meet earlier at Hornbeam and dispense with their road bikes in favour of off-roading on mountain bikes. The odd couple headed out the back of Hornbeam and down Fulwith Mill Lane. There was then the first climb up and out of Crimple Valley where bike handling skills were first tested by the combination of the gradient and the lack of traction.

After crossing Follifoot Road and heading along bridleways there was a short burst along the A658 and Follifoot Lane through Krikby Overblow and then back onto bridleways. The nettle stings which would throb later in the day were a small price to pay for the excellent single track route which brought the riders out in Sicklinghall.

From there the route meandered passed Wood Hall Hotel and Spa and down to the refurbished bridge at East Kewsick before a hard pull up to the A659. It was then a relatively comfortable cruise along the ridge near Wike before arriving at Harewood. Following the frantic initial descent into the estate there was a steady climb followed by a somewhat hairy downhill section made challenging by the slippery rocks.

Then it was pin back your ears and head for Harewood Bridge where the tiring duo turned right along the river before slogging up the toughest climb of the day - Moor Lane. We then headed back the way we had come including the formidable Fulwith Mill Lane climb. A total distance of 24 miles the vast majority of which was off-road felt quite hard for couple of roadies. John S


EGs’ Ride

The forecast was promising so ten EGs decided to aim for Ripley to sample the excellent hospitality of the ladies of the church. We arrived just as the clock struck 11.00am as the ladies were setting up tables outside in the sunshine.

Lots of tempting cakes and scones were on offer with tea and coffee to accompany the scrumptious fare. We took our time to enjoy the refreshments (including a blessing by the local vicar) and the pleasant ambiance before setting off along the cycle path to Hampswaite.

Our leader seemed to be guiding us back towards home up the hill towards Killinghall before swinging right climbing steadily up towards the A59. Here Bob regretfully had to depart our company and head for home on Killinghall Moor whilst the remaining nine descended back down to the western edge of Hampswaite. Many a disgruntled voice was heard seemingly wondering the worth of climbing a hill only to return to the same lower road before continuing on our way.

The route was complex taking in various roads around the maze west of Hampswaite and can be described as fairly "lumpy" but passing along (B)arse Green Lane (not surprisingly someone had obliterated the "B") we eventually dropped down to the village of Kettlesing. Dave P. & Norman now felt the strain of the " lumpy" bits and decided to abandon further painful effort by heading off to home.

Now down to seven the remaining EGs pressed on through the "maze" of roads, passing by Tang, up towards Hew Green, (No, not that Hughie Green!), continuing along the ridge by Staupes. Unfortunately the roads along here had recently been resurfaced leaving loose chippings to thwart our progress accompanied by concern as to the potential lasting effects on vulnerable tyres!

At this juncture Marvin confessed he'd planned for an easy ride today as he was scheduled to partake in a "Sportive" or some such similar event at the weekend so now felt the need to forshorten his participation in today's ride. Dave S. had already explained his need to return home early, so off they went leaving now only five EGs to fly the flag so to speak.

The next section took in the only climb identified on the map by a chevron (only a single one thank goodness), albeit a short one, with continuing problems with loose chippings.

Reaching the relative safety of the road leading to Menwith Hill, we took a right down to Darly,

Colin P. suggested, if refreshments were planned, we could perhaps call in at the cafe at the Post Office in Darley. ( He did suggest calling in at his own nearby house where his wife would by pleased to serve up tea but, although appreciated, it was felt this a tad presumptious).

Arriving at the cafe we were pleased to enjoy bacon butties, sausage sandwiches and other fare on the " balcony" relaxing in the sunshine confronted by the unenviable view of beautiful Nidderdale.

Perhaps with a little reluctance we departed the "idyll" of the peaceful ambience of Darley and at a measured pace, aimed our sights for Brimham Rocks via Hartwith Mill toll bridge, (ignoring the honesty box, not being applicable to two wheelers) and failing dismally to emulate "Contador" in "bunny hopping" the speed bumps.

At the end of "Stripe" lane John Russell pealed off right to head for home to meet a prior engagement now leaving only four EGs! It's a bit like the "Ten Green Bottles!" as one by one they disappear!!!

Relief accompanied the wonderful descent down to the top of Sawley bank and now turning into an ever increasing westerly wind on our track to Ripley. Dropping off Colin P. who'd left his car there, we completed our journey along the Greenway & the wonderfully tarmaced Green Lane leading to Bilton Hall.

Nick said his farewells as our leader and Phil dropped down into Knaresborough to face the traffic on High Bridge and complete a majestic ride through the Yorkshire countryside with 46 quite hilly miles under our belt, or should it be wheels?

Good company, friendly banter, a bit of "joshing" and surely some tired legs? Deputy Leader: Dave W




Long Ride

The Long Ride was a bit short on riders this morning with only three starting the ride.  How Stean was to be the destination.  After riding around the hinterland of Hampsthwaite via Beckwithshaw, Penny Pot Lane and Rowden Lane there were only two riders left.  The ride continued past Menwith Hill and then by several twists and turns we arrived at Dacre. From here we made our way to Pateley Bridge via Yorke’s Folly and then on to How Stean.  The return to Harrogate involved some serious climbs as we turned off the main road at Wath to go up Wath Lane to Pateley Moor.  From here we headed towards Dallow Gill, but turned off to Grantley and headed home via Sawley and Ripley.   A short Long Ride, 55 miles, but a very hilly one at 3700ft of climbing. PCJ


Away Day Ride

Shorter Ride

Today was a great day for the Pocklington ride in to the Yorkshire Wolds which is a hidden part of Yorkshire unknown to many. It was a sunny breezy day, perfect in many stretches and great long distance views to be had. For several this was their first away day and first to the Yorkshire Wolds, a landscape quite different to the rest of our county.

We cycled through pretty villages enjoyed quiet lanes and after the short climb to meet the Way of the Roses route enjoyed the run to the excellent café stop at the Farm Shop at Hutton Cranswick. Paul had called ahead and the staff were ready for us with tables laid and orders taken quickly. We met one of the longer groups who were clearly enjoying the first of their two stops of the day. Radio Humberside were interested in our group so we were interviewed on their live lunchtime programme which gave us the opportunity to talk about Wheel Easy and our away days and why we had chosen the area.

The cycle back to Pocklington joined up with National Route 1 and despite the odd wrong turn, a stop at a fine brick built viaduct we tacked along in the sunshine.

This was a perfect day to do this 43 mile ride. Thanks to our group for the company and the enthusiasm for the ride and for Wheel Easy and to Paul and Malcolm for setting up the day. Amanda, Marion, Anne, Alan, Julie Tim, Martin, Steve, Paul, Malcolm, Gia.

Long (Slow) Ride

The prospects were for another sunny day as we rolled up in Pocklington for todays Awayday ride.

Malcolm, Gia and Paul were this months organisers and they had done a good job with free car parking, loos close at hand and plentiful early coffee shops! Liz Pugh (along with Richard) failed to make the start line as she had a blow out and they went in search of a bike shop

The thirty plus riders who did make it were quickly organised into the three rides on offer and there were fourteen riders who set off towards the Wolds on the longer ride at a slow pace.

The first part of the ride was wonderful as we headed towards Millington and through the pastures and then on to Hugate and Tibthorpe before diverting to Hutton Cranswick and a swish new garden centre for coffee. We enjoyed the break and we were getting ready for the off when the short ride group arrived for their refreshment break. Quick greetings and we were off on our way to our next stop Beverley. Through South Dalton with its impressive spire and as we pressed on we were joined by Liz who had had a repair to her tyre and managed to meet us on the route. On through Cherry Burton into Beverley which was in the grip of 'race day' -our lycra didn’t look out of place with some of the skin tight clothes on display (and that was just the men!) as Jill lead us to our lunch stop at Cafe Velo.

What a great find! Our bikes were secured in the yard and we were welcomed and quickly found seats as the faster group were just finishing their break before setting off back.

The food was good and there was a good choice and the service wasn't too bad as we had landed as a group of fifteen riders. With some good banter it made an enjoyable lunch break.

We then faced the ride back – with the first hurdle being getting past the race course. This was made easier through Keith local knowledge and we had few hold ups (although there were a few catcalls as we went on our way!). We made a slight deviation on the agreed route and missed North and South Newbold and then we chose not to go off road and do a short loop back towards South Dalton before diverting towards Market Weighton. Again, another delightful ridge run with great views and quiet roads and we made good progress through Market Weighton and on to Pocklington.

Another great route from Colin and great weather and a superbly researched and organised Awayday by Gia, Paul and Malcolm.

Just 60 miles and 2000' of climbing made it a great day out in the Wolds. Thanks to Colin for the route, Keith for inputting his local knowledge that saved us some time and to everyone who came along on the ride for their company. Sorry my sore throat meant I didn’t say too much- but there again that may have made the day better! Kevin D



Long (fast) Ride

Having assembled behind the old railway station in Pocklington, the "slightly faster long ride, lunching at Beverley, group" set of with seven riders.  The Yorkshire Wolds are such a wonderful place to cycle, and once we turn off the main road at Kilnwick Percy, just 1.5 miles out of Pocklington I'm reminded of just why I enjoy cycling in The Wolds so much: traffic free roads, smooth road surfaces that we in Harrogate can only dream of, gentle undulating landscape with no steep hills, great scenery, fantastic long range views.   Add to that lot, the weather was an added bonus today. After the general misery and disappointment over the poor August weather so far, today's weather was the icing on the cake.  The day couldn't have been better in any respect.

We stopped at the Garden Centre at Hutton Cranswick for coffee, and warned the lady behind the counter that there would be another 25 cyclists following in groups during the next hour.  A short while later a few cyclists started arriving wearing Hull Road Cycling Club clothing. A fairly young and fit looking bunch I might say, all on on expensive aero bikes with deep rimmed aero wheels costing more then my bike!  As their numbers swelled, I wondered whether I should let the lady know that these twenty or so were not part of the number I had given her.  Then Malcolm arrived and announced that the other Wheel Easy groups had gone to the Farm Shop café a short distance further on. How was I supposed to know that Hutton Cranswick has both a Farm Shop Café and a Garden Centre café 100 yards apart?  I had brought our group into the first, but wrong, one - sorry everyone!

Our numbers varied a little as the ride progressed.  Shortly after we left the excellent coffee stop, we caught up Richard and Liz Pugh, who had been delayed leaving Pocklington as Liz suffered a wheel failure and needed a new wheel.  They had therefore omitted the coffee stop.  After a short while, Liz dropped back to await the slower group, whilst Richard stayed with our group for the rest of the day.  When arriving in Beverley we couldn't help noticing the incredible number of very attractive young ladies dressed(?) to the eyeballs,  I thought I'd arrived in heaven if this was a typical everyday occurrence in Beverley, and was working out how to explain to Mrs W that we were moving house from Harrogate to Beverley, when it transpired that it was Beverley Races Ladies Day, and therefore this only happened just once a year. Cancel that house move!

Lunch was taken at the Velo Café in Beverley, which coped extremely well with the sudden influx of our group, and then later, the much larger second group.  With time to spare we visited the Minster, which is "one of the largest parish churches in the UK, larger than one third of all English cathedrals and regarded as a gothic masterpiece by many".  From a brief look inside, it clearly justifies a longer visit on another occasion.

We arrived back in Pocklington at 4.30pm. 64 miles, average speed:13 mph.  Another wonderful away day ride.  Many thanks to our organisers: your work was well appreciated by us all. Can we repeat next Ladies Day, please?   Eric W



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.