Short Ride

Nervously, I headed with Gia for the Showground to lead my first Wheel Easy ride since I were (almost) a lad. It turned out The Shooting Show was happening and the Showground sounded more like a Battleground with loud bangs destroying the peace every few seconds.
There were about 40 WE cyclists dodging the bullets (and a fierce marshall) 12 of whom joined me for the short ride. We split into 2 groups, heading first for Burn Bridge, then up Brackenthwaite Lane to North Rigton, stopping at Almscliffe Crag for the obligatory photo. By now the mist was thinning, the sun was winning and the temperature climbing. In short, it was a beautiful morning. I thought all was going well and was happily humming an early Beatles tune (While my guitar gently weeps) up Leathley Lane when Gia raced up to tell me I was going in the wrong direction. So I turned round, gave my apologies to one and all and headed back down the hill to take the right turn into Pill White Lane and the idyllic gated road to Stainburn Woods. For most of us it was the first time we’d cycled it clockwise, if at all.
Then past Little Alms Cliff and sail down to Beckwithshaw, gathering for coffee at Horticap. From there some headed straight back to Harrogate along Otley Road, others the slightly longer but quieter route via Howhill Lane. A fine scenic ride spoiled in places only by the busy traffic. Thank you to all for the good company. Malcolm

Medium Steady

Coolish start at a very busy showground this morning, Seven of us Monica, Jill, Liz F, John C, Roger, Peter and myself on a leaderless ride with some hills. We quickly made our way through Burn Bridge, Kirby Overblow and Borrowby and dropped down to the A61. The roads were busy as we turned right for Weeton. It turned out that not only was the A59 closed at Blubberhouses and therefore we encountered diverted traffic but the A658 was closed at Pool for the Rob Burrows marathon. The road to Leathley, Farnley and into Otley was horrendous. We decided to miss Otley for our coffee stop due to traffic. The temperature was rising and so was the road as we climbed to Askwith up to to Moor Road. Again very busy due to diverted Skipton traffic. Washburn Heritage Centre at Fewston was our goal for refreshments. John decided to give it a miss but it was a welcome relief for the rest of us. The freshly made sandwiches were very good. We discussed the way home and settled on Little Almscliffe and Beckwithshaw. Peter and I headed for Whinny Lane and the rest for Otley Road. It was a great ride despite the traffic and by now the heat. Thanks all for your company. Home to home 40 miles for me. Colin B