Harrogate Cycling for Pleasure
Harrogate's cycling club for people who
don't wear lycra! (and some who do)
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Wednesday Rides

Poddlers’ Ride

The BBC weather forecast from the Met Office is no more.  Quite sad I feel, but perhaps it might be accurate now....and it is certainly a joy to see on the TV weather forecast.. ...wind speeds and direction, isobars and high and low pressure shown, and quite specific localised rain and snow shown. Lovely no wonder the weather people were so over-excited by it.  Anyway having watched several of the new clear forecasts, one thing was certain, it was going to be a cold Wednesday morning.  And yes it was -4C at 7.45 and no better by 8.30.  So the Poddlers' talked themselves into a walk.  We gathered at 10 and nine Poddlers (five regulars, Nicola and three strange men) set off across the Stray to Kingsley Drive, Bogs Lane, the Starbeck bit of the Greenway, and around through a brassica field to the other bit of the Greenway, over the iron bridge and back to cafe CCO  to eat up leftover biscuits and cake before the cafe owners left for their winter holiday. It probably would have been a good day to cycle but the temperature was still in the minuses on our return and although perfect in the sun there were many icy spots lurking ready to cause slippages. So thank you for playing out everyone 11,978 proper paces, 9 kms, and 23 floors and about 5 million calories taken in to make up for all the walking we did. Caroline G



Wanderers’ Ride

It was a beautiful, sunny morning, BUT with a temperature hovering around freezing. We'd already been warned that we might be the only group meeting at 9.30. 

A group of eleven assembled- nine Wanderers and two Long Riders. We set off, tentatively as far as I was concerned. Andy did a great job as 'ice spotter'. Fortunately, the roads were dry so we soon settled into the ride. We exchanged cheery waves with Nicky as we came into Follifoot. 

Dennis left us at Little Ribston. Another rider, Bob, left us near Cattal. Then it was along pleasantly flat roads to Walton and along to Boston Spa. The Wise Owl café was warm and welcoming. However, we had to get back so returned to the cold. 

Mike sped off, while the rest of us made our way up the A1 cycle path to the Little Ribston turn.  We decided to go back by Knaresborough. The Riverside looked lovely on such a sunny day. By the time we got to the top of Knaresborough hill we were down to five. We went our various ways after a sunny, crisp ride. Spring felt as though it really was on its way. Alison N



Wednesday Ride

The Wednesday Riders are getting reasonably well organised. Anxious communications began yesterday with a couple of emergency walk options. This morning more anxiety as we woke up to freezing temperatures, bright blue skies and we waited for the first communication. By devine right this came from the vice chair and was swiftly followed by a doubting previous chair, an enthusiastic previous chair and a proposal from another former chair. 

So, we were sorted to meet at 10.30 and wander down to Wetherby for coffee. Eight of us gathered in the sunshine 25% on fine electric bikes. We rolled up at Pomfret’s in Wetherby after Malcolm had done a recce of the damage done to the start of the Harland Way at Spofforth by Yorkshire Water and the local farmer.

We were warmly welcomed in the cafe and with Martin’s enthusiasm knowing no bounds we headed off with the words Great Ouseburn, Boroughbridge for another cafe stop! Unprecedented scenes for a winter ride.

Paul left us at Little Ribston and the rest of us crossed the railway line at Whixley where the kind guy offered to open the gates for us.

The weather just got better and despite a bit of snowy slush at Whixley we avoided any mishaps and gathered at Great Ouseburn for the lunch decision.

New territory for the Wednesday ride we chose the Punch Bowl at Marton cum Grafton where we were served up in double quick time excellent sandwiches, chips and soup and the odd pint of beer. Great service too.

Home the usual route, home by 4, still bright but not as sunny and 39 miles. A great ride out for us all. James, Martin, Kevin, John, Paul, Jill, Malcolm and Gia



EGs’ Ride

At first sight It might have seemed that the cold weather had put off some EGs, but EGs are made of sterner stuff, definitely not 'fair weather' cyclists.  No, we had lots of absentees due to other very good reasons: holidays, family business, caring duties, illnesses, business commitments etc.  So only five EGs gathered at Low Bridge today, but we were delighted to welcome three guests from the Wednesday Long Ride: PCJ, Terry and Richard S.  Amongst our absentees were a host of EG leaders, so deciding where to go was a bit of a problem:  Norman suggested Wetherby for coffee, and miraculously our bikes just seem to take us there and lock themselves up outside Morrisons without any further input from their jockeys.  However, the absence of leaders had resulted in three different routes being taken between Spofforth and Wetherby (surely a first for any Wheel Easy ride!), but the bikes sorted it all out for us and brought us back together at the correct establishment. Well, all except for Bob, who had left the ride at Spofforth.  

After coffees for seven, and a full English breakfast for Dan (and he'd probably already had one before leaving home), we ventured south to Bramham, where Norman turned off for home, leaving six to continue to Aberford, Lotherton, Sherburn in Elmet and South Milford for our lunch stop.  Dan ordered yet another full English breakfast, but the order was rejected as breakfast are not served at lunchtime. Instead Dan had to settle for a BELTer Burger.  What's that you may well ask?  Well its a Bacon, Egg, Lettuce and Tomato Burger, in other words another full English Breakfast stacked vertically between a bap, and served with a plate of chips!  We then returned home via Church Fenton, Ulleskelf, Tadcaster, Wetherby and Knaresborough.  This Harlow Hillbilly had covered 57 miles, and the weather had been fantastic throughout with deep blue skies and glorious winter sunshine.  Without doubt, the best cycling conditions of the year so far.

Keen readers of EG ride reports will be aware that the normal author has an unusual obsession with statistical analysis of names - and he is ecstatic beyond belief whenever an EG ride consists of more than 50% of Daves.  Well to satisfy DP, our absent leader, amongst today's eight starters there were no duplicated Christian names, each name (Richard, Peter, Bob, Norman, Terry, Geoff, Dan and Eric) therefore scored 12.5% of the total.  Amazingly  - and probably for the first time in the history of the universe - 'Dave' scored 0%! Now here is another amazing statistic to delight DP: of the six finishers, four surnames scored 16.667% each, and one surname scored 33.333%.  Yes, there were two riders with the surname 'Waters', and on this occasion I wasn't cycling with my mother, father, sister, wife, son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter.  How could that be?  Could Geoff be my long lost brother? 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.