Short/Gentle

An excellent sunny day for a ride of a route which took in the best of the views from many viewing points. The ride leader felt fairly smug going along the forest path through Stainburn Woods until alerted to a motor rally using OUR gated road! Not just any rally but foul smelling old cars that at one time many of us drove. Anyway the forest track was good and we safely cycled along the gated road to our next destination which was Almscliff Crag. We passed the enthusiasts flying their model airplanes and those flying down the Crag! Dennis, Margaret and Colin left us to go home via Burn Bridge. Judith, Steve, Justine, Paul, Geraldine, Joe, Postman Paul and James came along to Horticap where we had rung ahead to announce our arrival. An excellent cafe stop and a lovely ride in good company as always. 23 miles. Gia


Medium

Seven set off from the Showground taking the scenic route to Bramham and back. We were soon joined by Sally who caught up with us just beyond Burn Bridge, and then Paul who was waiting outside the shoulder of Mutton. We continued over the tops towards Linton in perfect November weather enjoying fine views and a little sunshine. The group slowed slightly as we ascended Jewitt Lane before making good progress to Thorpe Arch for some refreshment. Sadly provisions had been significantly depleted by punters from the Sunday Car Boot Sale beating us to it – not even a toasted teacake could be found. So it was home via Wetherby and Little Ribston with an equal Knaresborough/Harrogate split. A fine ride enjoyed by all. Thanks to Chris for vigilant back marking. Mike P.


Medium Plus

It made a nice change to wake up to no rain, no wind and no gloom. In fact it was the most perfect Autumn day you could wish for with sunshine, light winds and glorious colours with a strange blue sky full of lenticular clouds. There were some people in shorts!

The large group separated seamlessly and wordlessly into two, both moving at a respectable speed to Knaresborough and the Staveley/Minskip route to Boroughbridge then on to Ripon via Langthorpe and Skelton on Ure. Yvonne D seemed to be at the front of the first group with Tim S leading the rest of us. All was going swimmingly until we passed Yvonne & Co in Galphay, dealing with Yvonne’s puncture. There were two knotty problems, (a) getting the tyre off and (b) getting the tyre back on again. It required the judicious use of five pairs of hands to achieve this. Meanwhile, the slower cohort had pressed on to Risplith for lunch at G&T’s. I was a little behind them and heading up a hill when my chain snapped. It wasn’t immediately obvious that this was the case but the pedals certainly were not turning. With nobody in sight I was feeling somewhat, er, incompetent to deal with the situation when a charming young man passed on his bike and offered assistance. I had a magic link and he had a chain splitter (on a very snazzy Topeak multi tool) and he proceeded to fix it, so by the time Yvonne’s group caught me up, it was all but done. It is really heartwarming to be the recipient of the kindness of strangers and I felt slightly guilty that the aforementioned charming young man (called Mark, from Bedale) seemed to have really oily black hands!

Fortunately by the time we got to G&T’s the hardest two thirds of the ride had been done so we enjoyed a very relaxing break and I have to say Tim made a really good decision in ordering the apple and treacle tart. It looked like an efficient and fast way to get maximum calories into the system!

The last lap, whilst still quite hilly, was a very pleasant and uneventful end to the day. There is no kind way to say this, I was the slowest! Therefore, my particular thanks to our leader Tim S, Peter J and Richard L for patiently shepherding me home. We need more days like this. Helen T


Medium Plus Brisk – Alternative Route up the A59 (or not perhaps)

I thought it was a good idea to repeat the ride which I had reconnoitered the previous Friday to enjoy the almost traffic free A59.  I expect due to late notification few saw this ride as being available so there were only 5 takers.

HOWEVER.   Emerging onto the A59 near the Fewston Farm shop, the road was pleasantly quiet.  We headed down to the junction at Blubberhouses chapel where I indicated right to head up Hall Lane as I had on the previous Friday .  The Council chap posted there was furious and explosive in his denying us access.  We refrained from expletives in replying  – he didn’t !  Conscious that we were wearing club shirts we turned around despite the motorist who proceeded up the lane kindly confirming to us that it was indeed open.

All to the good –  it meant that Tim L experienced Hardisty Hill for the first time.  At Stone Trough Inn, 2 turned right towards Harrogate and 3 asked more Council workers whether we could ride left towards Thruscross Dam.  THESE workers were politeness personified and in effect waved us through.  We sped down to the Dam and paused to view the overspill after so much rain. Right and Left brought us back on course heading towards the A59 summit.  After empty roads we espied another WE – none other than Peter Bradley who had the same idea as us and had blagged through Council objections as riding it ‘at his own risk’ .    With Peter in tow we used the old Roman Road (now a bridleway) to emerge onto the downhill A59 towards Bolton Bridge.   The next Council worker scuppered any ideas of returning that way and indeed his road sign explicitly excluded cyclists.   Anyway, cruising down the empty A59 was the pleasure we had expected. 

To add to Tim’s ‘new roads’ we turned right off the A59 to pass through Hazlewood (a couple of farms really) on some of the best tarmac in Yorkshire.  However it is a 25 % drop and covered in wet leaves so we were glad when it was over and turned right to the cafe at Back of the HIll Farm.   Unfortunately there had been a cyclist knocked off by a car – luckily he seemed relatively ok  . However, this caused chaos to the service with seeming no record of who had ordered what and where they were sitting, such that one after another staff wandered up with drinks and food asking whether we had ordered them !   Eventually we all got what we had ordered and left.

I had enough of hills so turned back through Ilkley and Otley and home.  The A59 closure has affected the traffic there too so the Beamsley – Ilkley – Denton road was the busiest that I can remember.  Tim and Vince had Skyreholme in mind so I hope they enjoyed it.

I have checked the North Yorkshire website and from the information which I could find I believe Hall Lane should be open to cyclists but not ‘traffic’ whereas the bridleway crossing Hall Lane is explicitly closed to traffic AND cyclists.  I have asked NYC for confirmation and chapter and verse. Peter Lawley