Medium Steady – Route 198

What a beautiful ride! At various times throughout the ride we numbered 9, 8, 9 (one 5 and one 4), 10, 8 (one 5 and one 3) all with the same goal to have a great ride and avoid as much rain as possible. I can confirm we achieved that goal! Gia, Debbie, Margaret, Alison, Mike, Monica, Paul, James, Backmarker Supreme Peter, and me, John. From the start I knew this was going to be an interesting one as Gia suggested an experiment (or was it a challenge) to see which was the quickest way out to Pennypot: Otley Road – Harlow Moor Road or Whinney Lane – Beckwithshaw. Gia led the Otley Road group and, yes, that was the quickest. Having re-grouped we headed for Darley via Hampsthwaite and Birstwith. A right up the hill at the Wellington and a left along Low Lane led us to the start of a very long climb from the Packhorse Bridge (see pic) all the way up to Dike Lane and Nought Moor Road. A brief re-gathering stop then past Yorke’s Folly and steeply down Nought Bank Road to Pateley for refreshments at a very busy Wildings. We were 8 at this point because Alison and Margaret both had better offers and had left us at Bewerley. Back out via Beverley and Glasshouses for the final split of the day as Gia, Paul and Monica headed for home. The remaining 5 stayed on route and thoroughly enjoyed all the climbing via Smelthouses up to Brimham Rocks most ably back-marked by Peter. Needless to say we had earned the lovely, careful, swoop-ish down Careless House Lane and onward to Ripley, the Greenway and home. Thanks to everyone for making my first experience of leading a Medium Steady ride so lovely, and so full of many fabulous views and great chat. 42.4 miles / 3691 ft elevation for me (hey, the .4’s important and so is the 1ft!) John C