Harrogate Cycling for Pleasure
Harrogate's cycling club for people who
don't wear lycra! (and some who do)
Sunday, February 25, 2018

Wheel Easy Ride Report 614

Short Ride

A gentle 21 miles for seven short people starting at a six layer level of cold finishing a blazing two layer level.... with blue skies and sun. A quick burst to Wetherby via Knaresborough and somewhere, a long loiter in the cafe in the shambles and a dash back home via the Hartland Way to Spofforth, Follifoot and the show ground. No hint of what the weather people have predicted for next week just the smells of spring. 20 miles, 13 736 paces, 54 floors. CG 




Medium Ride 1

“Danger of Ice”, said my car this morning, along with reminding me that it was due a service in six weeks’ time.  The forecast had also mentioned sunshine so lots of people had decided to give it a go and there were around 20 for today’s leaderless Medium Ride.  Martin took one group (the opposite way round to avoid the Siberian winds on the return leg) and Keith and Alison were shoved forward again to take a group of 9 (the published way round to avoid overloading the cafe at Fewston). We had a guest today in the shape of Sally’s daughter Emily, which had the added advantage of reducing the average age of the group considerably. 

Off we went, and nothing dangerous happened.  There was no ice, only sunshine and intense cold and we were glad of the hills to warm our fingers and toes.  Keith and Alison did become a bit baffled at Kettlesing Bottom and had to resort to looking at the map on a couple of occasions, after going up an unnecessary hill.  It would be churlish to suggest they were the worst leaders we ‘ave ever ‘ad but we resolved this problem by retrospectively nominating Emily as Captain of the day and blamed her for all the navigational errors and confusion.  

We finally made it into Fewston Village Hall after doing the Timble Loop, mainly because Alison said we weren’t allowed anything to eat until we had done at least 20 miles!  (See what I mean, worst leader we ‘ave ever ‘ad).  It was in fact quite dangerous in the Village Hall because there was a huge array of large slices of delicious home-made cakes and a nice man called Paul shared his second slice of fruitcake with me.  He should be awarded an immediate Distinguished Conduct Medal.  My mother did warn me about accepting cake from strange men but, I am over 60 now, so sod it – live dangerously! 

The blue skies and sunshine continued after lunch and we enjoyed perfect winter conditions all the way home via the proper route through Beckwithshaw and past the Squinting Mongoose.  It was good that nothing dangerous actually happened, so I think, on balance, there is no need for Ride Leaders to be armed.  Hope you are all braced for next week – all that Siberian weather is about to descend upon us!  Helen T




Medium Ride 2

Medium Ride (clockwise).  What a cold morning!  Seven of us decided to go to Beckwithshaw and Little Almscliffe Crag to Fewston.  By this cunning plan we hoped to avoid returning back across Beckwithshaw Moor straight into the cold easterly wind.  Arriving at Fewston we almost mistimed things but the Village Hall opened a little early for us so four of us thawed and enjoyed the cakes, while Monica (nursing a bad cold), Debbie and Sue decided a ride around Timble was needed to justify calorie consumption.  They arrived as we were leaving and with James heading off for a prompt early return soon there were only three of us taking the lanes around Kettlesing and Hampsthwaite to return homeward and enjoy the cold sunny cycling.  26 miles. Martin W.




Medium Plus Faster Group

The prospect of a long, hilly ride in cold conditions did not appeal to all this morning. Nevertheless eight riders set off from Hornbeam in the Medium Plus faster group. There is usually quite a wide range of fitness and enthusiasm levels in this group and today was no exception, so that by the top at Little Almscliffe the field had become quite spread out. As we climbed towards the top of Norwood Edge one rider fell back to the M+ slower group, who were hot on our heels.

Ilkley never seems to have a large enough coffee venue to accommodate even a smallish group of cyclists on a Sunday morning and what's there is seemed busier than ever today. Having failed to get in at the Stazione, the Church Hall and Avanti, we were thinking of giving the Stazione another go, when we spotted the slower group heading that way too. Finding that the Cycle shop was not open, we finally found some seats in “Outside the Box,”which turned out to be a very satisfactory, if somewhat slow, choice.

Not surprisingly, we set off up the Cow and Calf some way behind the slower group.

The weather by now was pleasantly sunny although very cold out of the sun and we closed in on the slower group near the top of the Chevin, by which time the climbing was beginning to take its toll on some of our legs.

For the rest of the ride, technical and rest stops meant that we were repeatedly swapping places with the slower group and in danger of losing our title.

It was an enjoyable but challenging ride of nearly 50 miles, with apparently over 3,600ft of climbing and, more than ever, the Showground hill, when we finally reached it, was a hill too far!

David W

Medium Plus Ride (Not-so-slow Group)

It was a chilly but sunny morning as Andy, Alan and myself departed Hornbeam. I was late, and the rest of our group had already left so we were playing catch-up on our not-so-slow group. The 3 of us finally caught up with them on the outskirts of Beckwithshaw.   Over rolling, quiet county lanes (and the odd main road) the 7 of us headed towards Ilkely. 

Our usual café stop, the Station was full so we decided to push on up towards to the Cow and the Calf and dine at the café (tent) opposite the pub. After a few coffees and tea cafes we left the wind-swept café and raced down, through the biting cold wind, towards Menston. We had great views of Ben Rhydding and Burley-in-Wharfedale to the left in the valley below. 

We managed to catch faster group not far from Bramhope where our group stopped for a photo. Soon after, Janet and Glynn peeled off. The rest of us headed towards Harrogate via Pool in Wharfedale, Dunkeswick and Kirby Overblow where it finally started to warm up – a little.

Overall, a chilly, challenging but very picturesque ride. Thanks for a great day Andy, Alan, Janet, Helen, Julie and Glynn. 47 hilly miles. Declan


Long Ride

At last, a frost and ice-free day; but very cold at times if you were under-dressed.  Eleven riders set off including the Audax guys with Bob and Tracy on their tandem. The whole ride was very pleasant but uneventful, the highlights being:
- Lots of snowdrops!
- Very little riding straight into the cold breeze
- Some very tidy 2 by 2 group riding
- Lots of sunshine!
- Martin doing great turns on the front, leaving him pretty tired at the end
- 52 miles at a decent pace in beautiful weather
It's a shame the Wednesday forecast is looking grim!  JH



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.