Short Ride

This was a great day for a ride out to Fewston Farm Shop. Nine of us started out from the Showground and we picked up two more along the way. We were all experienced riders although at least three of us were recovering from …. stuff. It was certainly a hilly ride and showed the differences between electric and non-electric bikes. My normal bike just loves going down hills but seems to struggle with the uphills – nothing to do with the rider, of course. So, although I was the leader and planned the route, I’d like to thank Brian and Joe for leading on the uphill bits where they sailed past with ease.

Keeping well spaced, we went through Beckwithshaw and up the long drag past Little Almscliff. Then it’s downhill all the way to the dam at the side of Swinsty reservoir.  This was followed by the climb up to Fewston Farm shop for a well earned break. Loads of cyclists there but they got through us quickly. We retraced our route a bit and then went up Penny Pot Lane for a while, turning left to what used to be the Black Bull on the A59. We crossed over, down into Kettlesing, past Birstwith Hall and up that nasty hill to Swincliffe. The effort was more than compensated for by the downhill into Hampsthwaite. At Killinghall, Brian took over and guided us all nicely back through Harrogate.
Thanks to everyone for a fun day out. Steve W



Medium Steady Ride
A somewhat overcast sky and breezy conditions greeted us this morning but didn’t deter twelve riders who wanted to tackle a few hills. Splitting into two groups with me leading the first and the second group picking up Gia we headed out to Little Almscliffe and Fewston. Up the rise to Timble and the clouds looked threatening. As we dropped to Blubberhouses the talk was about what lay ahead. Diane hadn’t experienced the climb upto West End before. I had a chain malfunction just as we started climbing but it was quickly fixed and we managed to get going again. At the top we were able to relax and reflect (see photo) before the drop over the dam and then the climb up to Stonehouse Inn which is looking a bit sorry for itself.  The swoop down to Darley was a welcome relief. Coffee and ‘nosh’ at the Station shop where the brisker group were just departing. The skies were clearing and it was brightening. We decided on Clint Bank and the Greenway as our route home. Despite the Ripley Show we got through with no issues and the Greenway was very quiet. At Bilton crossing we said our goodbyes.
Thank you all for your company and banter. 34 miles for me and around 2500 feet of climbing. No rain. Well done everybody. Colin B
Medium-plus Ride
Two groups split to undertake a grand scenic ride up to Snape and Masham under a superb range of cloudscapes today.  Our group (Yvonne, Tim2, Debbie S, Steve B, Maris, John, Sarah R) set off second after a respectful gap and pushed on through Ripon, Hutton Conyers, Wath to Snape stopping to admire the Catherine Parr former residence and the fruitful allotments, then with lunch almost in sight we headed up the hill to Masham and sat à la terrasse chez Johnny Baghdad.  Nicely replenished, it was onward and upward (and upward a bit more !) past the Swinton estate to Grewelthorpe then down past the marvellous views of the Ure Valley on our left and the Himalayan Gardens on our right swooping back into Ripon.  We had evaded the rain clouds throughout the day, so at the end under heavier skies, most of us kept pedalling to complete a satisfying 100km stretch.  Thanks to Steve for taking some of the wind and Tim for keeping my map brain on course.  Well done group on a fine job on the hills – lovely to see lots of chuffed faces! The ride itself was approx 60 miles and 2,800 ft. Yvonne D.

Medium Brisk

Five people pulled away from the ginormous mass gathered to do the Medium Steady ride on Sunday, to head out at a brisker pace. Mike, Steve, (one of the) Tim(s), Gordon, and Navah set off from the showground, picking up Andy at Asheville and waving hello to Justine on their way out of town towards Beckwithshaw. The men paused briefly on the road by the Washburn Heritage Centre at Swinsty Reservoir with the suggestion of a ridiculously early cafe stop, but Navah rode past disdainfully and the group continued on their hilly way. The leapfrogging repeated for the next 15 miles, with one person (who shall remain nameless) always dropping behind going up the (numerous) hills to pass the rest as they paused to catch their breath and wait for the laggard at the top. Everyone made it up the crazy 20% grade past Blubberhouses without falling over or passing out or being hit by an impatient, and very unsympathetic, driver who honked at one rider (who shall remain nameless) who was possibly weaving a bit in the struggle. The climb from Thruscross Reservoir was nothing after that, and the riders were rewarded with views of purple heather in bloom on the moors. The group paused for a few minutes on the way into Darley for a herd of cattle (that were rather suspicious of the brightly-attired humans, even the ones attempting to hide behind a parked car) moving down the road. The café stop at the post office in Darley was a real treat, with several variations of bacon sandwiches and hot drinks, and the last two flapjacks in the place, consumed and finished just as one of the Med Steady groups arrived. More Wheel Easy cyclists, heading to Sophie’s, were encountered on the way to Hampsthwaite, and even MORE at the top of Lund Lane. Steve dropped back to finish the ride with Justine, and the remaining five split up at the top of Knox Lane with Mike and Navah riding through Bilton to get home while Tim, Gordon, and Andy headed to the Greenway. Lots of climbing (2800 ft) packed into 32 miles, with only a light sprinkling of rain at the very end: a challenging ride with good company and bacon sandwiches. – Navah L.