Around 20 takers for the hilly medium ride on this cold, cloudy day, but little wind. James wanted to do the same route the other way round, so he took a group of around 8, leaving about 9 to go with Geraldine and me, including relative newcomer Anna, originally from Estonia but now living in Harrogate. Mainly electric bikes, but a few hardy riders on regular bikes. (Alison wanted to know how we were getting around Darley, and I was able to show her on the OS map printed on my buff…). Out towards the Squinting Cat, picking up Paul Blackham on the way, and then Beckwithshaw and up Norwood Lane, with mercifully little headwind. Geraldine pointed out that I should be at the front, but people kept passing me, including those on non-electric bikes. Right past the Sun Inn, across the A69 past Menwith Camp and then on towards Darley. Alison duly led us down Sheepcote Lane and on to Hartwith Mill and then up Stripe Lane, where we met James’s group coming the other way. The group had a long chat with a dog walker who was also a cyclist who asked about Wheel Easy. To Brimham and then down, down through Warsill to Scarah Bank and to Ripley, where most of us stopped for coffee. It was noticeably colder when we got back on our bikes after café. About 33 miles. Joe Smith.
Contrary Medium Route
James was in a ‘contrary’ mood today as he was offering to lead a variation of the Medium ride – in reverse with a twist! This offer attracted seven other riders who set off on the Greenway and up Scarah Bank. It was pretty cold but the sun was trying to break through as we headed up to Warsill and the climb up to Brimham Rocks.
The group was split in terms of power with the majority having assistance and so we were well strung out as we reached the turn off towards Brimham Rocks. There was blue skies and some warmth in the sun and also some decent views over the Moor to enjoy as we gathered at the junction. Gia then had the idea of ringing Sophies to reserve a table – so we now had a deadline to make for our coffee break. David declared it was mostly downhill from here other than Stump Lane so we should make it easy– he regretted that as we climbed from Hartwith up to Darley!
The added twist in the route was to go not to Birstwith as we came over the Toll Bridge but up to Darley and tackle Stump Lane before heading for Clapham Green and Sophies. Paul went solo and did a variation to add some more miles and still got to Sophies first.
The climb up Stump Lane doesn’t feature in many rides and the steep pull explained why! However the sun was still out and we soon gathered speed down to Sophies to meet our booked time and a well earned coffee break. David, Maris and Monica decided on a little more climbing and home via Pennypot Lane with Kevin, Paul, Debbie, Martin and Gia going up Hollins Hill and Knox back to Harrogate and Knaresborough.
It was starting to get cold as we made it home but it had been a good ride, with an interesting route and, as always, good company. Around 30 plus miles and plenty of climbing. Thanks to James for the route idea and everyone who joined him. Kevin
Medium Plus Steady
A very energising ride on a cold day. 5 riders made an easy group to lead and we played hare and hounds with the faster group trying to outfox them with impromptu short-cuts but they beat us to the cafe by a minute anyway ! ‘The usual’ route to Easingwold – Knaresborough (although we went via Starbeck High Street instead of Low Bridge), Farnham, Arkendale, Great Ouseburn, Aldwark Bridge, straight ahead to Alne and then Easingwold. Nice Elevenses in the Olive Branch which was 80% cyclists but still had room for us. Home via Raskelf, Helperby and Boroughbridge. Eric wanted more so headed off to Ripon via Skelton. Peter J, Steve, Dave Sis and I did a slightly less direct route via Roecliffe, Bishop Monkton, Markington (where have all the snowdrops gone ? – into the pigs stomachs that’s where), and Ripley and home. 50 odd miles at a good pace kept us just warm enough. Peter L
Six set off on a more pleasant morning than was forecast for a ride promising lovely views in Nidderdale and we were not disappointed : the landscape and skyscape were indeed fabulous ! The group of Sharon, John, David S, Paul D, Tim 2 was full of good resolve and followed me up Little Almscliffe, Meagill Lane, through the NCS Forest Moor gated way, and then down Sleights Lane to Kettlesing Bottom. We stopped to admire the 2 cuddly Ryeland sheep by a fine stone barn on Tang Road and braced ourselves for the short sharp Swincliffe hill followed by the rewarding swoop down into Hampsthwaite for a pause-café at Sophie’s, where she apologised for the teacups without saucers – what is the world coming to ?! Lots of comings & goings of cyclists there today, so off we set again up Clint Bank – and congratulations to Paul Dean for climbing it for the first time without stopping – then along Hollybank and the Greenway back home. Thanks to Tim 2 for back-marking. Well done everyone for the positive effort and cheery company over about 27 miles and close to 1,900 ft. Yvonne D.