Sunday 23rd February

Short Ride

Three of us set off on a planned short ride to Beckwithshaw and then over the Moor past Little Almscliffe Crag to get to the Fewston Visitor Centre.  As we headed over the Moor the sky was breaking with patches of blue. Unfortunately at the same time the wind really got up and it became quite hazardous. We decided to cut the route short and return homeward. So it was a curtailed ride covering only 15 miles then home for a hot drink.  Thank you Dave and Lucinda for your company and bravery in tough conditions.  Martin W.

 

Medium-plus Ride

Standard Group

It was nice to turn up on a day without a Named Storm. After enduring all the perils of Ciara and Dennis I guess the next one will be a Lady Storm, beginning with E. I did have an informal bet with Keith that it would be Ethel. Seems I’m wrong – it’s Ellen.

It was a bit grey and drizzly but a good number of optimists had turned up on the promise of an improving situation. You can identify them in the picture, from left to right, as Alison. James, Colin, Monica, Keith, Me, Patricia, Mike, Tim R and Rob – with Sur John taking the picture. We progressed without pause through Burn Bridge and Kirkby Overblow and the busy road down to Harewood Bridge before tackling the only major challenge of the day, Weardly Bank. Then a strange thing happened, the sun came out and the sky turned forget-me-not blue and we all became quite euphoric with joy at this unfamiliar sight. We were like little polar bears, emerging from underground for the first time – if you can imagine such a thing. There was a bit of “please, Sir, where is the cafe stop?”, only to be told firmly, by Keith, that it was Wetherby, no argument! That made us speed up a bit and the fabulous views, as we bowled along Rigton Ridge, distracted us from hunger pangs for a while. We passed a fair amount of standing water en route, marvelled at mighty rivers, and were surprised by former babbling brooks that had swollen into minor torrents.

The oasis of the Gourmet Cafe in Wetherby did not disappoint and we were glad to refuel and enjoy a hot drink. It was also nice to have a good chat to one of our newest members, Patricia. A woman in possession of a brand new bright red bike, a decent sense of humour and an appreciation of a good cafe is definitely going to fit in! We set off again after a watching a short flurry of rain go past and then it was non-stop sunshine all the way back through Spofforth, Follifoot and Rudding Park, shedding riders as we went. We covered 41 miles on a very uplifting day, despite a bit of a headwind towards the end. Bring on Ellen! Helen & Keith T

 

Brisk Group

Route 264 was followed through to Eccup Reservoir (which was full) and then along Scarcroft and Rigton Ridge in ever improving weather conditions before encountering tricky conditions along Town Hill in Bramham (photo) due to Yorkshire Water working away. But soon we were in Da Carlos café in Boston Spa – the six ladies on one table (photo) discussing the recent strong manufacturing figures and Chris Froome’s return to cycling whilst Alistair and Tall Tim sat on a separate table silently glad to have a break from the pace and élan of the ride to date.

The wind had always been present in the morning but on turning left from Thorpe Arch towards Wetherby it become the devil itself. A stinging squall hit us before Spofforth to add to the collage of weather for the day. Past the gated gnomes and then back via Rudding Park and the Showground (photo). 42.7 miles. Tall Tim.

 

Splinter Group

Gia, Sue and myself left Keith’s group at Eccup and headed to Bramhope Deli for a coffee. After coffee we continued on to Pool, Leathley, Stainburn and home. An enjoyable 30 mile. Paul T