On a glorious autumn morning 9 people joined Chris and me on today’s short ride. We rode through Burn Bridge, up Walton Head Lane to Kirkby Overblow and then made our way to Wetherby via Paddock House Lane and through the grounds of the Wood Hall hotel. This seemed a popular route today, there were a number of large groups of cyclists from various clubs in the Leeds area. Denis left us on the outskirts of Wetherby and the rest of the group headed to the market square to try to find coffee. Gourmet was full of cyclists and could not accommodate us. Jill went home as planned. Caroline and a small group decided to head towards the Castle at Spofforth. The rest of the group had a biscuit and banana break by the Town Hall, two people went on a hunt for take away coffees but returned empty handed, because the queues in all the cafes and take-way shops were ridiculously long. After a quick discussion it was decided to return home along the cycle track at the side of the A168 then on to Little Ribston. From there we made our way back home via Abbey Road, Bland Hill and Forest Moor Road. About 24 miles Chris and Chris
Medium Plus Steady
The 2nd October and yet another warm, sunny day dawned with just a gentle breeze. The 40 mile route was really popular and, to begin with, I took the first 9 and Steve Bungay took the second. This is not how it ended but I am sure, at the start, that we had Mike W, Colin B, Debbie H, Margaret C, another Peter and a John.
I nominated Liz F as my Lead Out Man to Knox Bridge because, after only 15 years with Wheel Easy, I still can’t find my way out of Harrogate. We picked up Peter Jackson at Knox so it was good to have someone with an encyclopaedic knowledge of every single route in the Wheel Easy song book. As if the day couldn’t get any better, Peter Bradley intercepted us at Lund Lane so I could now relax and do nothing for the rest of the day. Although we were a (very) mixed ability group we managed not to descend into chaos and kept naturally apart, just enjoying the dry, quiet roads up to Brimham, meeting Martin and Yvonne on their tandem. At this point we were chased down by Richard Leake who had set off late and had clearly sprinted all the way. He looked really hot, in the red faced and sweating sense! There had been a degree of cross pollination between the groups from the start so, finally, Steve B took a speedy contingent forward, we were somewhere in the middle and a third group was not far behind.
A unanimous decision was taken to have an early lunch at G&Ts, Risplith, sitting outside in the sunshine and I was able to impart the exciting news that we are going to get a Wetherspoons in Wetherby. According to a reliable source (my hairdresser), they have bought the Sant Angelo restaurant (formerly The Angel Pub) on the Main Street and I have already written to them to suggest that they provide some secure bike parking for the legions of cyclists who pass through Wetherby. All good news for those of you who like a pint of beer with your full English breakfast.
With café legs reminding us of the perils of a long, conversational break, we continued in the undimmed sunshine through High Grantley and Galphay before descending into Ripon and the Littlethorpe, Knaresborough route home. It was indeed 40 miles in delightful company and here’s hoping the golden October continues for a little while longer. Helen T
Medium Plus Steady – Liz F’s Group
This was the last group. We got to Galphay, had lunch at Tates but then varied the route and came back from Fountains. 44 miles, 3144 feet.
Medium Plus Brisk
Lovely October sunshine, leaves turning yellow & brown, dry roads, little or no wind, Julie swallowing flies, T1 dreaming about decorating, Vince puffing like a steam train, Andy getting hot (& then cold & then hot), T3 still looking for his legs & Trefor waiting for his poached eggs to arrive (which never did). Leisure cycling at it’s best. Route 271 – 47 miles. Tall Tim
Route 257 is a magnificent circuit commanding views at one point or another of Wharfedale, Nidderdale and the reservoirs of the Washburn Valley. It was enjoyed today by a handful of Michaels and Davids – some battery operated, others not – accompanied by Diane making her first ‘medium’ appearance. Led by Tim (4) the group made swift work of Burn Bridge, swelling, both in size and Michaels, as it was joined by Mike and Fiona on Briscoe Ridge. Eight now, we passed a group of sloe-picking cyclists along the bucolic gated road, before surmounting Norwood Edge; chapeau to Diane and Dave. Swooping down to Menwith and through the network of lovely lanes South of Birstwith, we arrived at ‘Sophies’ where the eponymous café owner was looking a little flustered as she made flat whites for what appeared to be the entire cycling population of the West Riding. Back then to Harrogate via Ripley and the Greenway without incident. A lovely Autumn morning, and no better way to spend it. Tim S