Remembrance Ride

Remembrance Sunday is something most like to be involved in so this year a group of us decided to make our ride have more of a personal connection with the day. We met at Ripley and headed out through Hollybank Woods, Burnt Yates and along the B road to Summerbridge. It was a perfect November morning with some watery sunshine and glorious autumnal colours. At Summerbridge we turned down to Dacre Banks and Holy Trinity Churchyard. In the churchyard is the grave of Private Edward Kirkley who was in the Army Cycling Corps.

There is not much information on-line about this lad other than he was 22 years of age and killed while in the Army in 1916. He was born in Knaresborough. Being in the Army Cycling Corps we know he will have had at least some knowledge of the pleasure of cycling, and we know that he was born and lived in Nidderdale. Two good reasons for us to feel a connection to someone whose life was cut short in service to his country.

After paying our respects we went up to Summerbridge War Memorial and joined in with the service. It was sad to hear the long roll call of honour for the fallen from the relatively small population of this parish. The service felt very touching and personal under the circumstances.

Then it was a hilly brisk ride to Sophie’s for much needed warm sustenance. Thank you to James, Paul, Yvonne D, John and Colin for joining Yvonne S and I on a memorable morning. Martin Weeks


It was cold at the showground; properly cold, but no significant wind. 8 takers for the short ride, including newbie Roger on his trusty non-electric bike. We set off towards Hornbeam and Leadhall Lane, but had lost 2 by the time we crossed Leeds Road. Roger had left his phone on his car, and Kevin Douglas went back with him to pick it up, agreeing to meet up with us in Kirby Overblow. No incidents on the way to Burn Bridge or Walton Head Lane, so we pressed on towards KO, where an already-cold Paul B was waiting for us. We hung around for quite a while hoping to see Kevin and Roger, but after about 10 minutes, we agreed that they would realise it was too cold to hang around much longer and so we proceeded towards Sicklinghall, at which point it became quite misty with low cloud. About half way to Sicklinghall, Geraldine raced up to the front to report that Brian had had a puncture ‘some way back’. When I got back to Brian, Roger and Kevin had arrived, and the rest of the group also returned to where Brian had his puncture. I knew that Brian had had great difficulty trying to remove the punctured rear tyre from the rim the week before while he was at home, (he ended up taking the bike back to Chevin)  and we suspected that it would be unlikely that we could remove it at the roadside in the cold. Step up Kevin D (who had returned with Roger to the showground to pick up his phone), who gallantly offered to return home to put his bike rack on the car and come back to collect Brian and bike. Off Kevin went, and we all stood around getting even colder. Jill tried riding back and forth in order to warm up a bit. To pass the time, we thought we might as well try to get the tyre off, and with great cooperative effort we did. Initially we couldn’t find the source of the puncture, but very careful searching of the outside of the tyre found a small piece of glass deeply embedded in the rubber which was not detectable from the inside, but had (apparently) punctured the inner tube. New tube fitted and wheel replaced and inflated meant that Kevin’s heroics were no longer needed. Paul B managed to ring him and stop him from coming back fruitlessly. Everyone was really quite cold by now, and we agreed to head speedily to the nearest warm coffee stop, which was the Castle Inn in Spofforth. Coffee and Smarties consumed we headed back to Harrogate via Follifoot. A big thank-you to Kevin for his services above and beyond the call of duty. And a warning to people using ‘tubeless-ready’ tyres with inner tubes to check if they (or anybody else) can remove the tyre from the rim in the event of a puncture. About 22 miles. Joe.

Medium Plus Briskish

I have to admit that I was slightly ‘dithering’ about today’s ride – nil cycling for 2 weeks and cold weather. However I needn’t have worried as a lovely group of 8 cyclists set off into the mist, coffee destination Pateley Bridge. We stopped at 11.00 and observed a 2 minutes silence with a lovely set of words from Helen. As luck would have it we were at Packhorse (Fairy) Bridge and Tall Tim suddenly appeared. He and Zoë decided not to stop for coffee and made their way home at the bottom of two stoops. Coffee was at the Pancake House and was excellent – bit pricey but I was impressed with T(4)s huge waffle with apple and cream. The climb through Smelthouses up to Brimham is always a struggle for me but we were rewarded by the ‘swoop’ down Careless Whisper, Ripley, Greenway and home. 39+ miles for me with 3,500 feet of climbing – 2 degrees! I’m so glad I went out today. Thank you. Janet G

Medium Steady

With the weather better than expected, seven riders joined Chris and me to do route 19. After a wrong turn through the Saints we ended up with an uncomfortable few minutes ride on Wetherby Road, before getting onto the Stray cycle path. Then onto the Greenway to Ripley, up Scarah bank, and down Watergate Road (which is passable on bikes despite the road closure signs). We stopped at the entrance to Fountains Abbey to observe two minutes silence. We continued through the Deer Park to Tates for welcome warmth and refreshments. The temperature felt to have dropped noticeably as we left Tates for our return to Harrogate opting to go up Knaresborough Hill rather than Beryl Burton Way. We managed to get home before the worst of the rain. A nice ride of 30 miles with good company. Chris