Three met at Hornbeam at 8.30 for a long, hilly ride to Settle. A fourth was due to join after a mile or so, but didn’t appear, so we took a detour and rang his door bell. He was still in bed, but achieved an impressive feat of being ready to leave in nine minutes flat. Eric said he would catch us up having first sought divine inspiration.
Peter J left us appropriately for Jackson’s cafe at Cracoe before looping home via Skipton, and Eric caught us up at our cafe stop in Airton. At this point we concluded that Settle might be a bit much for our collective states of fitness and decided to take a short cut via Malham Tarn and over to Arncliffe.
Malham to Arncliffe is one of the best roads in the Dales, but does involve two sapping climbs. Further refuelling was required at Grassington, followed by a second short cut via Grimwith rather than Appletreewick (saving three miles but requiring the slog up past the reservoir).
Duck Street was welcome relief, but we were then forced into a long cut due to the closure of Penny Pot Lane. So back via Beckwithshaw, finishing pretty tired just after 6pm after circa 85 miles and 8000 feet of climbing. Still modest compared to’t Big Un next week. RL
Weather forecast good, with little wind. We were 15 in total for the medium ride, but only 13 of us set off initially, as Richard had a puncture, and Martin W was helping him to fix it, saying that they would catch us up. Geraldine was back-marking…The group included several faces unknown to me (or maybe it’s my memory that’s the problem). The route was not entirely familiar to me, either, and I was concerned that I may go awry at some stage in the ride. Usual pep-talk about road discipline and keeping a good gap for overtaking, which was, as usual, ignored during the ride… Ripley, Nidd and the Mountgarret estate, in what was for me the ‘wrong’ direction. I turned left into Burton Leonard, when I should have turned right towards Copgrove, at which point Martin W and Richard had caught us up to point out my mistake. We managed to keep to the prescribed route through Staveley, Arkendale, Marton-cum-Grafton and through the Ouseburns and Thorpe Undewood to Tancred Farm, where slow refreshments and photos were taken. I managed to get slightly lost again on the way back through Whixley, but Alun took pity on me and briefly took over leading and got us back on track at Walshford, having come through Cattal. Old A1 cycle path briefly before turning left to Little Ribston, where Alun left us (of course he did, because he lives there). Spofforth to Follifoot, and then across the bypass, which was incredibly busy. Showground (already full of vehicles and caravans etc. for the Yorkshire Show) and back to Hornbeam. About 40 miles. CPS
Medium Plus Ride
A simply fabulous ride taking in some excellent climbs (and stunning views) along the way. The weather was better than forecast with sunshine all the way to Otley, up Langbar and onto The Abbey Tea Rooms at Bolton with good food and service. Up past Embsay and then more climbing with a sharp incline out of Eastby, up Barden Moor and then Skyrholme before the long slog past Stump Cross Caverns before sliding down Duck Lane and Penny Pot Lane into Harrogate. An excellent day all round. Around 60 miles with over 4,600 ft of climbing at 12.9 mph. Tall Tim
Medium Plus Faster Ride
Medium Plus Ride
Seven joined the ride and we set off not on the original route but out to Little Almscliff, Fewston up to Timble, beautiful orchids pointed out by Colin in the verges. Meeting up with Peter and Dave Preston on the way, who were just having a meander about, aiming for Stumps Cross. Dave said on our return journey as that would be our homeward stop, could we check if he had been fossilised there and throw him over the handlebars and bring him back. A steep climb up Askwith Bank and then down to Askwith back on to the orginal route. At Ilkley a discussion about the download map had put in Langbar, whereas the WE route went straight on past Ilkley Golf Club and Neston, as lots of climbing to do later on the group decided on the WE route. The back lane was full of flowers and a little overgrown, apart from some suicidal quad bikes and motorbikes off roaders roaring past us it was peaceful and quiet. Reaching Abbey tea rooms Group 1 was already there and had picked up Electric Mike. After a good lunch, something about soft hands from Helen, causing mirth and giving Colin a fit of the giggles. The group set off and Mike joined us, serenely cycling up the hills, a few thought of electric bikes and maybe they are a good idea! Embsay and, Eastby soon passed, at Barden Tower lots of beautiful foxgloves filled a field it was quite a sight. A long climb, fantastic views, Appletreewick and up to Stumps Cross for a welcome refreshments. The size of the chocolate cake was unbelievable, Mike soon polished it off, though Colin struggled with his. No sign of a fossilised DP we reckoned he was down in the cave or at Morrison’s. On the way back Colin left and went via Darrowgill, Mike to home via Blubberhouses, Helen, Kevin, Margaret, Debbie and Bob home via Penny Pot, Liz via Hampsthwaite , Clint Bank, Ripley and Greenway home. A grand day out, a few hills about 58 miles. Liz F