Sunday 6 Jan

Medium Plus Main Ride

There were loads of people up for the Medium Plus ride this morning; I guess this is because it looked an easier option than the Medium Ride, which looked a tad hilly. Alliances were formed, based on who knows what, and several groups set off.

My group looked to be only four strong until Jill appeared on the back (thanks Jill), and we made our way down to Low Bridge, where we exchanged Marish for Geoff, whom I was pleased to see after his hasty exit from the EG’s ride on Wednesday.
A gentle ride was the promise, and gentle it was. A decision to avoid the bridlepath at Copgrove was democratically reached and we meandered along through Boroughbridge and past Dishforth Airfield to an early arrival in Ripon, having been overtaken by one of the faster groups, who had set out before us, but had been more diligent in their interpretation of the route.

Oliver’s Pantry was the venue of choice for all sections of the ride this morning, but with plenty of accommodation there was no problem.

The food was good, medium priced, and brought out with excellent speedy service. What more is there?

Ripon bypass was quite busy but we all made it safely, but a catastrophe of epic proportions was narrowly avoided in Littlethorpe when the vicar strolled into the road right in front of me. Jill thought that there would have been very bad Karma had I hit him, but fortunately he stepped back at the eleventh hour, guided either by forces we don’t understand, or my shout of “Oi”.

We had attracted Allen and Mike at the lunch break, and soaked up Andy from the faster group ahead on the way home, and met up with Liz as we entered the Greenway. Thereafter group members gradually peeled off for home as we neared Harrogate.

As well as those already mentioned thanks also to Fred, and Chris, both nursing debilitations in the legs; I hope you are both on the mend.

Around 40M of pleasant cycling.   Dave S.

Tail-End Charlie Group of the Medium Plus.

Being the last group of the Medium Plus to leave Hornbeam there was no pressure to set a fast pace and indeed it could be an advantage to get to the cafe stop after all the other Groups had finished and left space for us. So 11 of us set off through Knaresborough, to be joined at Grimbald Bridge by Maris who had defected from the Group in front. All was well to Farnham but then Charlie suffered a severed gear cable and had to leave us to return, on foot, to Knaresborough. Hope all is now well with you, Charlie and that you got back safely. We progressed without further incident to the outskirts of Roecliffe for the photoshoot, courtesy of Gia, who was doing her best to observe her New Year’s resolution which I am afraid I am not at liberty to disclose. Onwards with the bonus of sunshine through Boroughbridge to Dishforth and Marton-le-Moor, a squeaking bottom bracket manifested itself and although it was not resolved, it did provoke the inevitable earnest discussion on bottom brackets generally. With a little detour through Copt Hewick into Sharow and we managed to arrive at Oliver’s Pantry just as all the faster groups were vacating so we had our choice of table. The usual variety of food, drinks and topics of conversation ensued, including the return route and in the absence of an official Ride Leader the various unofficial ones took a decision to divert and return through the Deer Park, Watergate Lane, Ripley and the Greenway. At the Bilton Lane junction those heading for Knaresborough or destinations beyond took their leave to return through Starbeck whilst the remainder continued on into Harrogate. With well over 40 miles on the clock and good weather we had an excellent day out for the first Sunday of the New Year ands thanks to all who came. James G.


Medium Plus Fast Group Ride

As nominated Ride Leader on the day (thanks Mark) it hadn’t occurred to me to check the official directions to Boroughbridge, so our group of 12 made its way on what turned out to be a fairly direct route to the town via Farnham and Staveley by general consent. We then picked up the official route taking in Marton-le-Moor, a village where evidence of human activity since prehistoric times has been established with flint flakes found in local fields, (Tony would have added this if he’d done the report) and Sharow, arriving into Ripon before 11am. This now had the feeling of a back-before-lunch ride, especially after our café stop at Oliver’s Pantry who accommodated our considerable number of riders by re-arranging the furniture upstairs and serving us very quickly. Making room for the other Medium Plus Group whose arrival coincided with our departure we discovered that parking outside had become rather congested (see photo). Once all bikes had been retrieved and suitably inspired by talk of sportives to come in 2019, we made our way back to Harrogate by Littlethorpe. I left the group at Bishop Monkton but Strava and subsequent gossip on WhatsApp confirmed everyone got back via Ripley. Great conditions again for this time of year and good to see Jonathan and Steve who haven’t been out with us for a while – 40 miles. Martyn B.

Medium Ride

Consternation at Hornbeam: where are you taking us?  Where is Briscoe Ridge Lane (actually Briscoe Rigg on the OS map – thanks Geraldine and Joe)?  Does Pill White Lane even exist?  15 souls, some with (possibly misplaced) confidence in me, others because they enjoy a route planning disaster, set off in 3 separate groups (many thanks to the informal leaders and back markers).  The method in the madness gradually became clear: this was a completely unapologetic ‘local highlights’ route, linking the best views in the area.  Colin T. pointed out the views from Briscoe Ridge/Rigg some time ago, and they really are fantastic, south to Almscliffe Crag, and north and west across Nidderdale and beyond.  Then, views along lower Wharfedale, first from the ridge above Lindley (Pill White Lane is the road you get to when you have cycled up from Farnley and Lindley), and again as we rode up the last part of Norwood Edge.  Next, to-die-for views north across Nidderdale again, which we admired and then cycled into, towards Menwith Hill.  Finally, the under-appreciated views east on the road from Clapham Green to Hampsthwaite.  Brilliant company, on a clear and mild day.  An augury, maybe, for 2019: fingers crossed.  28 miles and over 2000 feet/600 metres of climbing.  Given that last number, gold stars to those who were wondering if they would get round – and did, easily.  Justin K.


Short Ride
Five takers for the short ride and four notes from Mothers or Guardians.   A perfect day for cycling….no wind…no snow…no frost….no rain…no total grey cloud cover.   So all good. After Monica had abandonned us on the Stray we had a quick short ride via the unknown streets of  Harrogate to Knaresborough, Scriven, Lingerfield, Scotton, the Brearton loop, Nidd to Ripley.  Here we stopped for coffee (David not in too much of a rush to finish his packing for his ski trip,Rachael ready for a cup of coffee and Paul still with us) and were joined by an incapacitated Jill J. and Jane who was out checking she could still ride a bike without stablisers in her lovely new cycling outfit.
David,Rachael and Paul left us gossiping to get back and finally three of us left the warmth of the cafe to go our various ways.  As I made way quietly home, I was overtaken by a peleton of medium plus Wheel Easy Riders screaming down a Green Way filled with dogs on leads; off leads; children on bike old and new; children off bike wield scooters and cars; multi generational families strolling and striding; multiple runners running; perhaps we need a Green Way By-pass.
Anyway a good morning out and could we have some more beautiful days like this to cycle in.  About 20 miles give or take.


Long Ride
Masham was chosen as the primary destination. A group of six left Hornbeam and headed for Knox by going through town and along the A59. Whilst waiting at the traffic lights some riders witnessed a bizarre incident where one motorcyclist ran into the back of his mate. No Wheel Easy riders were hurt or involved. From Knox it was onward to Hampsthwaite, Clint, Brimham Rocks and Fell Beck to eventually arrive at Kirkby Malzeard. Here Richard L suggested going via Ringbeck. This turned out to be a “hill climbing” training course, with the only relief being the downhill swoop to Swinton and Masham. After huge helpings of beans on toast surmounted by fried eggs it was back to Harrogate. We opted for the normal route of High Burton, Snape, Wath, Ripon and Knaresborough. About 60+ miles with reasonably good weather conditions for the time of the year. PCJ