Harrogate Cycling for Pleasure
Harrogate's cycling club for people who
don't wear lycra! (and some who do)
Sunday, November 26, 2017

Wheel Easy Ride Report 602

Non Led Short Ride



Sort of Medium Plus Ride

With the roads being icy and the weather cold and windy there was a surprisingly good turnout at Hornbeam for today’s rides. However, after some discussion it was decided to abandon the official rides and leave it to each individual to decide whether to ride and also what route to take.  In the circumstances this was the right decision but it lead to rapid regrouping and a lot of angst as to what was the best route.

After some left for coffee and a group left for Otley and Boroughbridge there were only four of us still trying to decide!  We eventually decided to head towards Wetherby via Follifoot and Spofforth but avoiding the Showground Hill (more detail later)

The four of us (Monica, James, Debbie and I) set off to Forest Moor and then turned towards the by-pass which we crossed and then onto the 'old road' and then crossed the Wetherby Road and along the lane into Follifoot. We took it carefully and with the sun having been out on the road we had encountered no problems as we set off towards Spofforth where we decided to head towards Little Ribston and then Cowthorpe.

The sun now had some warmth and so we decided to head to Cattal and Whixley and take coffee at Tancred Farm.  We enjoyed our coffee and food in what was a quieter than usual cafe and then we had to venture out into the cold again having enjoyed the warmth and chat about Paddington Bear 2(it’s very good and recommended!)

Our route decision was a group one as we made for Thorpe underwood and then Marton com Grafton and onto Arkendale. We were not stopping too often as it was cold when you stopped but it was still clear and no problems on the road.  We headed back via Ferrensby and into Knaresborough where James left us for more unpacking and the three of us road back into Harrogate. We were glad to be getting home early as when the sun went in it went cold-another good decision!  We were all glad we had decided to ride today and were pleased with our choice of route (thanks James) as we encountered no problems with icy roads as we kept to a low-level route.

Thanks to the everyone for good company and chat on what was a good ride. 34 miles in clear, cold (but sunny) weather.  Kevin 

Medium plus faster group

The group of 7 set off to Beckwithshaw, turning  right to descend Pot Bank, then passing the Army Foundation College to Hampsthwaite where we resumed the “official “ route. We shortly encountered a sheet of black ice which we managed to safely negotiate and then headed past Menwith into the biting wind, up Duck Street and on to Yorkes Folly. Luckily the potentially perilous descent was ice free and we proceeded to Teacups to defrost and take on refreshments.

The group returned via Bewerley, Brimham, Ripley and the Greenway.

Great ride, great views and great fat bacon sandwiches. 40 miles , 3200 ft Julie E

Mike's Meander Ride

With no official rides today due to icy conditions and slippery paths, Mike Wills, offered to lead a ride out to Boroughbridge and depending on road conditions meander back somewhere. Well it was certainly cold and everyone had extra layers on so it was decided we might as well have some sort of ride and alter the route plan to the road conditions. Alison, Sally, Liz and Tim joined Mike. After a quick conflab about the route to Boroughbridge it was decidedly the safest route was to keep to the main roads. In orderly fashion the five set off down the Wetherby Road, up Bond End to Knaresborough, through Farnham, then Staveley and on to Boroughbridge. The sun was low and blinded us as we cycled on, the day was getting better though as the roads thawed out, we pedalled along the back roads with lovely views and colourful birds darting in and out of the hedgerows. Before Boroughbridge another conflab about the route and it was decided that we would forego an early coffee in Boroughbridge and head to Spa Gardens in Ripon.

The five meanderers cycled on to Skelton, past Ripon racecourse and headed for Spa Gardens. Dave S and his group, who were doing the same route were already ensconced in the warmth of the cafe.  After hot soup for Liz, cakes and scones we reluctantly left the warmth and headed for Studley Royal. The deer herd dashed in front of us crossing the road but were too fast to photograph, so we stopped at the church gate at the top for a photo. Then onwards up Gipsy Hill this kept us warm as we pedalled hard up the hills to Watergate, Sally bought the famed 'Rocking Horse' eggs. Then down to Ripley where we encountered hundreds of cars and people going to the Christmas Fair in Ripley. Safely through this melee the Greenway was not icy as we cycled back to Harrogate. 35 miles, good banter, good company thanks to Mike for leading, hope you enjoyed your jelly and ice cream at grandson's birthday party!!



Not the Long Ride

So, with Health and Safety warnings out of the way, 4 long riders decided to proceed - at their own risk - over a route which coincidentally bore much similarity to the previously planned long ride.  The route was changed to avoid the minor untreated lanes around Beckwithshaw, North Rigton, Almscliffe Crag and Stainburn, and instead take the Otley Road to Leathley.  One minor problem was that Eric was waiting in Burn Bridge for the ride which was now going in the opposite direction.  So, after a long wait and some phone calls, he cycled up Brackenthwaite Lane to intercept Phil, Trefor and Martin at Brisco Rigg, foiling their cunning escape plan!  The four of us continued to Leathley and Farnley to Otley.  Phil - feeling below par - decided to take a short cut home via Askwith Bank and Fewston.  The remaining 3 continued to Bolton Abbey for our one refreshment stop at 'Tea on the Green'.  We then tackled the lumpier bits of the ride with climbs to Barden Tower, Appletreewick, Stump Cross Cavern and Greenhow, before the long blast down Duck Street.  Cold leg muscles certainly made the climbs harder than usual.  Temperatures were constantly being monitored and were between 0 and 3 degrees, with a wind chill making it seem even colder.  Accuweather forecast temperatures throughout the day would feel between -5 and -3 degrees: seems a fair assessment to me.  
Those who ventured out agreed it was a good day for 'Not a Long Ride', which therefore didn't cover 50 miles, nor 3,700' climbing.  We were home before 3pm.   Eric



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.