A beautiful day for a ride of any length and the views and lanes around Hampsthwaite, Birse Bank Lane, Kettlesing and Tang were at their finest. Really nice to share the ride with Sarah and Sue who were both at Wheel Easy on the very first ride of 10 miles in May 2006. Kevin too was up for the short ride today and we met up with Paul and Malcolm for coffee at Sophie’s. 22 miles. Gia
I was in danger of having another Billy No Mates moment today as Scottish Brian and I appeared to be the only takers for the medium ride. However, Peter B soon joined us, along with Mike the Vet and Young Richard. Richard looked suspiciously like a Fast Boy to me but he reassured us he was in need of a flattish, easyish ride today so he can’t say he wasn’t warned!
With another glorious day in prospect we made excellent progress to Wetherby, via North Deighton, to avoid the high probability of punctures on the railway track. We did risk the track from Wetherby to Walton, then the advertised Rudgate, Cattal, Whixley route and on to Tancred Farm for a rather early brunch. There was a huge contingent of Selby riders in situ but the café was coping admirably. The bicycle eating goats were also in evidence but didn’t seem too peckish today.
Feeling a bit full, we sauntered gently on, returning by Marton cum Grafton, Arkendale, Staveley, Farnham and Knaresborough. The chat turned to the potential shortage of turkeys for Christmas so Mike recommended that we tried a goose. The most interesting thing I learned today was how to kill and pluck a goose. All a bit gruesome, involving a walking stick, a lot of determination and a penknife but good to know how to do it.
The sunshine and blue skies never faltered all day and neither did our good spirits. Thanks to all for being so easy to lead – everyone knew where they were and where they were going. And thanks to Mike for treating me to a pot of tea on the balcony at the Showground sports club at the end. Basking in the warmth, watching the sun go down was a delightful end to a perfect day. Just short of 38 miles today. Helen T
Medium Plus Ride Group 1
Sunny autumnal day brought many cyclists out, so the Medium Plus group 1 set off with Yvonne, Tim, Navah, Fiona, Mike, Helen & Doug joined en route by Dennis & David to enjoy the turning colours of the trees & hedges. Up Little Almscliff, up to Menwith Hill, down to Birstwith (where Fiona’s battery felt dubious about covering the whole route so she headed for early coffee in Hampsthwaite) then up to Fountain’s Abbey and a lovely stop for refreshments at Tate’s where the service is just so nice. Then Medium Plus groups 2 & 3 arrived for their break and a quick greeting as we set off down towards Ripon – a couple of our group with stuffed jersey pockets after buying some Spring bulbs. Bryan N fortuitously arrived at Sandy Bank to kindly take our group photo before we headed into the Knaresborough traffic. Lovely ride in pleasant company. About 44 miles. Yvonne
Medium Plus Ride Group 2
Wow. Twenty-two of us for the medium plus today. A beautiful October morning had certainly attracted the riders. Thankfully Yvonne and Tim stepped forward to lead brisker riders Mike W volunteered to take a slightly slower group while I led the ‘steadies’. Broken into our groups we departed the show ground and headed for Beckwithshaw and Little Armcliffe. Fabulous views as we negotiated the very busy A59 crossing to Menwith and Birstwith. Up Clint Bank for the first real climb of the day followed quickly by the climb out of Shaw Mills. By now most of us had a bit of a sweat on as temperature was rising at the same speed as our climbs. On to Fountains and the sweep down through the deer park. We had agreed to meet for refreshments at Tates just outside Ripon. The brisker riders were already enjoying their eats as we arrived and within 5 mins the ‘slower’ group arrived. I have to say this is my second visit in a week and I’m very impressed with the staff and food. The quickies departed never to be seen again. Peter left for a few extra miles to Masham as the steadies headed for Ripon and Littlethorpe. Across to Bishop Monkton Farnham Knaresborough and home. Well done to Ian in our steadies group who had intended doing the medium ride but somehow finished up with us and completed the route on a fixed wheel bike. Phew.! Great ride great company great weather. My thanks to Mike W Tim and Yvonne. 41 miles for me. Colin B
Medium Plus Brisk Ride
It was a corker of a day – dry, bright sunshine although there was also a chilly wind at times. Vince, Janet, Mike, Mark, Chris, Helen & Tall Tim travelled up the Nidd valley to Pateley Bridge & then on to Lofthouse and finally Scar House Reservoir, followed by tea & bacon sarnies at How Stean Gorge. Back to Pateley, up to Fellbeck and down to Fountains Lane. Marvellous. 57.5 miles in total. Tall Tim