Harrogate Cycling for Pleasure
Harrogate's cycling club for people who
don't wear lycra! (and some who do)
Sunday, May 28, 2006

Wheel Easy! Ride Report No. 4

10 Mile Ride
A sunny wheel easy day meant it was a treat to be out biking and judging by the large number of other cyclists we saw out today, they thought so too.

Sarah led the ride out towards the end of Hornbeam Park, along the track behind the Fulwiths and across the Leeds Road where we circled round Harrogate to eventually join the cycle path alongside Asda. We travelled the familiar route towards the Gardeners Arms where everyone talks about stopping for a few pints but nobody does!

From there the excellent route takes us up the Beryl Burton cycleway and down into Knaresborough and on to Waterside. Here we had a "comfort break" and Gia decided to offer a longer ride home for those wanting a few extra miles. Pete and Annie are training for the C2C (a target for us all?), Alec made up the foursome, while Sarah led the others home. The longer ride took us along Abbey Road and up to the St James Park roundabout. (Does anyone know what the big building is on the corner that looks like a service station, is it a church?)

The ride to Little Ribston is slightly downhill all the way and the following wind made it very pleasant. We crossed in to Spofforth and returned back to Harrogate via Follifoot and Rudding Lane.

We hope that we can continue to offer the flexibility of altering the rides on the day according to the needs of the group and indeed the weather.

After separating from Gia's group we returned back up the Beryl Burton way - some struggled more than others but all made it in the end. Dave left us at the top of the hill as he lived down by the Gardeners Arms which left the four of us.

We headed back round Bogs Lane to Kingsley Drive and Kingsley Road, carefully crossed Knaresborough Road and cycled through the very quite roads around the Woodlands estate where Helen lives.

From there three of us continued up Hookstone Road, and via the St Georges cycle route back towards Ashville and the home of Bill and Micheline, and finally I took the cycle path down the back of St Aidan's to Fulwith.

I think all had a good time but there might be some minor adjustments to saddles etc before next week!

30 Mile Ride
What a difference the sun makes! After our regular Sunday soakings, at last we had a fine day and without doubt enjoyed the best as well as the most ambitious Wheel Easy! outing yet.

We were delighted to welcome a number of new cyclists, including Micheline and Bill, Pete and Annie, Sarah B, John and Peter.

We decided to split the longer ride to Boroughbridge into two smaller groups, one of 7 riders with Phil and Sue leading, the other theoretically slightly faster group of 5 nominally led by Malcolm but with generous 'back seat' support unstintingly available from and frequently offered by everyone else!

The Hookstones, Forest Moor Lane, Abbey Road and Halfpenny Lane brought us to the Boroughbridge Road in Knaresborough, and a few hundred yards along this we turned down towards Farnham. The modest hill out of the village was the only challenge before the lovely, easy run through to Staveley where we stopped to regroup outside the Royal Oak for a 'team' photo. A handily placed portaloo proved very popular and was awarded top marks.

Some old hands had commented - critically, but needless to say constructively - on Peter's bike which he agreed would benefit from some minor maintenance. Of immediate concern though was the paucity of air in his tyres, which was making pedalling hard work. A quality pump was required, and Sarah turned out to have a weighty treasure hidden in her rear pannier bag, a luxury foot pump, complete with pressure gauge and bike adapter (few of us were aware that this adapter existed) supplied by those clever people at Ace Cycles. Peter was soon able to wheel easy on a cushion of 45 or more Psi.

While all this was happening we were joined by Norman and Barry who stayed with us through Minskip as far as Boroughbridge before continuing to Ripon, bringing our numbers up to 14 for this part of the ride and for the al fresco refreshment stop where we contributed to the day's takings of two Boroughbridge cafés.

Then it was back along the fine road to Roecliffe, and the track to Copgrove, before returning to Farnham and Scriven. Phil's group took a slightly different route, but we were all reunited as we entered Knaresborough.

From here people began to peel off to take the most direct route home, but the gradually diminishing group followed the route 'pioneered' by the 10 mile riders in previous weeks, the Beryl Burton Cycle Way to Bilton Lane, along the Bilton Triangle path parallel with Dene Park, to the new track by the railway line and over the excellent new bridge to Asda. East Parade, Stray Rein and finally just Peter and Malcolm returned to Hornbeam where we loaded his bike back into the car for Peter's drive back to Wetherby.

About 32 miles from start to finish, easy paced and practically effortless cycling on a lovely summer's day - exactly what Wheel Easy! is all about.

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.