Short Ride

A very manageable group of four wriggled its way through Harrogate to the Spruisty Bridge then around the back of Killinghall to Ripley. Thence to the (ex) Drovers, through Markington to the stop at the garden centre on Ripon Rd. Heading past Bishop Monkton for Knaresborough, the leader made a last minute decision to divert through Mountgarret, hoping that Robert Beck would not be too far up. It was up alright, but a meaty bloke from Cleckheaton (where else?), helped lift the bikes over the stile. This was particularly handy for Sarah‘s 10-tonne leccy bike.
As a bonus towards the end we bumped into Mrs Graham plus crony on the Greenway.
About 25 miles (the maximum short ride distance per WE Standing Orders).  Paul B

Medium Ride – Steady

I had thought last night that I’d be riding alone today like Steve Bungay a few weeks ago, as the temperatures edged close to freezing overnight, but fortunately it didn’t get to freezing overnight and we met in the car park to a scorching 2 degrees!  The first Sunday ride of 2024 saw a healthy number of eight people turn up for the medium steady ride today, mostly regular tough die-hards and Roger who I’ve had the pleasure of accompanying on 4-5 rides since he joined the club and is always good company. We had 4 electric and 4 person powered riders, as well as 4 ladies and 4 gentlemen, so a perfect combination of riders and their steeds for our adventure today!  We split into 2 groups of 4 to get free of traffic climbing up to Ashville on an unorthodox route past the doggy roundabout and up the Cyclepath to our first highpoint, so far so good, I’ve still got 8 people, thank to Mike leading the second group and Colin’s ever reliable back marking!

We headed out past the squinting Cat towards Beckwithshaw, with banter flowing freely, we also had Liz who I rode with regularly on Wednesday’s when I first joined Wheel easy many years ago, we also had the pink twins, Allison and Margret, always good company and last but not least Helen who to her delight turned out to be the baby of the group.  Despite the low temperature, the long climb up to Little Arms Cliff seemed to warm us all up except for Margret’s fingers, she was instructed to do fast windmill’s to pump the blood back into her fingers, this seemed to do the trick and the call to the Air Ambulance was put on hold.  We stopped at little Alms Cliff for an early photo (before I lost anybody!). We enjoyed the fast descent down to Fewston reservoir and re-grouped before the slower climb up towards our planned lunch stop of Fewston Farm shop. Sadly the gate was locked, despite the web site, which still insisted that it was open! So, plan B, was put into action, we were going to blow all our old age pension money and eat at Sophie’s in Hampsthwaite!

We negotiated the small section of the A59 without any loss of life, climbed up and across the secret MOD short cut (that isn’t so secret), and made our way past the road closed sign to find out that, the road was actually closed even to very slim bikes, happily we weren’t the only cyclists going past the road closed sign! The group didn’t complain about the slight detour, as now they got to experience a fast descent down to Sheepcote Lane and the fast descent into Darley.  At the junction in Darley, it was suggested that we could possibly go to the post office instead for our coffee, but, it was immediately pointed out (by the ladies) that it was too small and too cold, (so we immediately understood the message) and we pushed on with our original plan B plan to Hampsthwaite.  Roger led the final charge downhill to Hampsthwaite and to a thankfully not too full Sophie’s, I rushed in and quickly got a table and collected 8 chairs to be confronted by Sophie telling me it was reserved but then kindly putting two tables together for us. Sadly Allison and Margret had to head back and left us at this point, I like to think they needed to get back early or it was Sophie’s prices rather than my leading?

So the 6 settled down to eat and drink, a brave Roger attempted a double chocolate challenge of hot chocolate and chocolate coated chocolate tiffin, with Mike continuing the research for his Brownies of North Yorkshire upcoming book and podcast, with the rest of us having wholesome hot food.  A random discussion developed about a Netflix film ”Society of the snow” where survivor’s finish up eating the dead, somehow it got around to Helen voting that it would be me that she’d eat first, with me being the largest of the group I could see her logic but I struggled with the scenario where a group of 8 wheel easy riders cycling in Nidderdale would ever be that situation?  With that subject and other more light-hearted ones resolved we pushed on up Clint Bank towards Ripley and onto the Greenway, where we were pasted by the medium plus brisk, showing us what the brisk in their title really means!  

At the Bilton Junction we said goodbye to Roger who won’t cycle with us until March, after his down under adventure is over, Mike and Colin headed towards Knaresborough, Helen Liz and I headed towards the Stray where Liz departed and Helen and I returned to the car park at 27.7 miles ridden and 1913 feet climbed.  We had a most enjoyable dry circuitous ride, with good company on this cold January day.  Mike W (the 4th)   

Medium Ride – Brisk

Three people selected the 25-mile Medium Brisk ride south to Leathley and Castley on Sunday, 7 January. Mark, Clive, and Navah (whose bike was sporting Moose Mitts for the first time this winter) headed out from the showground in cold sprinkles which soon disappeared. Mark and Clive spent the entire ride gabbing while Navah pushed out ahead in an effort to warm up everything except her hands, which were quite toasty: Moose Mitts for the win! The sprinkles came back near Almscliffe, and a rainbow appeared. Navah stopped to get a group photo with the rainbow, but it was gone by the time the chatty duo showed up, so the background is sheep instead. Without a cafe stop (the ride was too short and the day too cold), the cyclists were back in Harrogate by 1135, with Clive and Navah very cold (except for Navah’s hands (have I mentioned the Moose Mitts?)) and Mark pleased with his choice of four layers.- Navah L.

Medium Plus Ride – Steady

On a cold damp overcast morning eight cheery riders lined up at the showground for Route 133 to Brimham, Galphay and Ripon. I was joined by Gia, James, Kevin, Debbie, Gordon, Steve and Yvonne. We became the perfect nine when we picked Paul up along Grainbeck Lane. This is a hilly ride and the conditions weren’t making it any easier, but despite this we made strong progress up to Brimham and along the B6265 before turning off just before G & Ts for the Galphay loop. Gia and Kevin decided to continue on the main road direct to Tate’s cafe and then I inadvertently split the group by deviating from the official route. Some how we rode into Tate’s together in need of warmth and sustenance which was provided by the busy but efficient staff. Reality set in when we emerged from the cafe into the cold and damp again. Gia, Debbie, Paul and Kevin decided to head back to Harrogate via the Deer Park with the rest taking the route home via Littlethorpe, Bishop Monkton and Knaresborough without incident. Thank you to my fellow Wheel Easy riders for their good company and support. 46 miles and 3200 ft of climbing for me. Tim2

 Medium Plus Ride – Brisk 

Was it the weather forecast? Only two riders turned out for the Medium Plus Brisk route 133 – Tim no.1 & Vince G. Not to mind, it was actually quite decent out with the odd bit of sunshine; although the feet did start to ice up towards the end. Before then, you know what it is like when you get a leaf caught between the mudguard & the wheel, stays there & it manages to annoy? Thus it was that the riders bumped into a 3rd rider who then stuck with them throughout the day despite the rather high turns of speed at times. A brief stop in Tates & a discussion with the next group of Wheel Easy riders followed before carving a way home via Markington. All this after a rather wonderful & uplifting experience of having a barn owl fly alongside for some distance as we cycled up to Brimham Rocks – fabulous. 41 miles. Young Tim.