Short and Gentle Ride

 A last-minute recce revealed that the planned route might have been short but it certainly wasn’t gentle! So, it was decided to do the beautiful Sophie’s Loop taking advantage of the newly reopened road near the base and the last day that Sophie’s coffee shop is open for a month.

There were lots of people for the short ride today: 3 Davids, Diane, Mike, Paul, Tim and Colette. Caroline kindly offered to lead a second group of six to keep the numbers manageable.  It wasn’t long before we were all happily off route and doing an intricate tour of the St George’s housing estate. Eventually we found our way out and were back on track. Tim commented that he had done 6 miles before he had even left Harrogate ……

 A huge thank you goes to Mike who acted as back marker – he did an amazing job of making sure everyone was kept together. We bumped in to three different Wheel Easy groups while on the ride today. We managed to execute a very skilful tag team at Sophie’s. The Medium Brisk group were just finishing when we arrived and handed over a precious large table. Then birthday boy James and his group arrived just as we had finished and took over the table for the third sitting. Malcolm was already at Sophie’s and what a pleasure to hear about his plans for extending the cycle path to Pateley Bridge.

 The final hill was conquered with encouragement from Diane and David who were looking forward to getting home to their Sunday Roast. David told us that Diane’s Yorkshire puddings were the very best and she shared her recipe (that never fails) with us. With her permission, here it is:

 4 eggs

140g plain four

200mls milk

pinch of salt

beat all of the ingredients and put in the fridge

hot oven with rapeseed oil in 12 individual tins

15 mins cooking at about 180-200 degrees

It was a stunningly beautiful day and we were rewarded with impressive views throughout the ride. Thank you all for your company. 23 glorious miles. Colette


 Medium Ride – Steady

A good turnout today for the medium steady ride, so we divided into two groups.  A bright day with dry roads for the most part, but nothing like the advertised 12 degrees (my computer registered two degrees on the ridge above Birstwith).

Suitably steady progress took us via Beckwithshaw, Little Almscliffe and the Sun Inn to Fewston Farm Shop, where toes were thawed out.  Then back via the MoD wireless station, Menwith Hill, Hampsthwaite and Knox, where we went our separate ways.

A few creaks and groans from bikes which hadn’t been out for a while, and from lungs which didn’t much appreciate the cold air, but good to be out with a hint of spring on the horizon. RL

Medium Ride – James Birthday Party Group

On a cold but sunny morning there was a good gathering of riders, including James who was celebrating a ‘special’ birthday. Gia wished him Happy Birthday on all our behalves followed by singing of Happy Birthday to an embarrassed James!

It had been decided to do the medium ride but James had added a loop to pass his daughters house and five riders were tempted to join him with the promise of cake!  With the sun on our backs we set off on the published route via Beckwithshaw/Little Almscliff and after crossing the A59 and onto the Listening station road before turning off onto Moorcock Lane on the additional loop. We had some fabulous views across Nidderdale and quickly reached James daughters house and were served cake and had a photo opportunity.

We then made our way to Sophies as the temperature started to drop where the short ride group were just leaving which enabled us to get a table, warm up and enjoy coffee and more refreshments! The talk was of shared teapots ( among other things!) before we had to brave the ride back.

Monica left us to go back via Pennypot and the others headed towards Knox, with Paul leaving us at Killinghall and James for Knaresborough ( and more cake -hopefully) and Gia,Kevin and Debbie heading for town.

A special ride to help James celebrate his birthday. A lovely route and despite the day getting colder it was really enjoyable.

About 30 miles for most of us and an enjoyable birthday ride for James. Kevin



Medium Ride – Brisk

What a pleasure to ride without wind and rain, and with a bit of sun to boot! Andy, Mark K., and Navah decided to forego the hills of the Med Plus route and stick to the relatively tame Med route at a brisk pace, taking advantage of the finally-open Menwith Hill Road. The ride out to Fewston included discussion of the proposed return of U.S. nuclear warheads to the U.K. and the $83.3 million defamation judgement against Trump, while enjoying the lovely countryside. A stop at Sophie’s for not-carrot cake (in Andy and Navah’s assessment) and a bacon-and-egg bap was accompanied by discussion of Singapore’s housing and government policies. The ride back to Harrogate was quick, returning by 1230. A pleasant and intellectually stimulating jaunt of about 26 miles and 1700 feet of climbing. – Navah L.

Medium Plus Ride – Steady

Well what a treat, a Sunday morning with no ice, rain or any wind to talk of and sunshine as well. A good turn out this morning and after wishing James a happy birthday four of us elected for the medium plus ride :- Mike W, Peter J, Peter L and myself. To be honest a ride leader was not required as we all knew the route and just enjoyed a steady pace with lots of chatter. Through Kirby overcoat and on to Dunkeswick then Leathley where the climbing really starts on this ride, I could tell my legs hadn’t been out for two weeks but Mike kept me company at the rear! After Norwood mostly downhill to Darley where Peter L gave us some history about the Darley memorial hall, previously a cinema for the builders of the upper Nidderdale reservoirs and then moved to Darley after the works were done. Refreshments at the post office, very busy with spectators of the football match but we didn’t have to wait too long. Much debate over lunch about the inadequacies of all politicians and the state of the nation’s finances, unfortunately no remedies though!! So one more climb up Stripe lane and then back to Hampsthwaite where we made a slight deviation to the route up Hollins lane to make it easier for our various ways home. A very enjoyable ride, thanks to all, Just over 40 miles and 3,250 feet. Steve B.