Intro Ride

A record 9 riders joined today’s Intro ride as the sun shone on the Showground. What could possibly go wrong? Well, being summertime in the UK, the answer was, obviously, the weather 🌦️☹️.
Gia welcomed the newcomers, 6 of whom were on the Intro – Sally, Andy, Roger on his second club ride, and the trio of Emily, Moira and Rosanna training for a cycling holiday in Cambodia and Vietnam later in the year. Also in the group were Paul D, Martin, very kindly offering to backmark, and me.
The ride to Wetherby went smoothly, except for the Harland Way which is anything but smooth. At least it was dry and therefore passable today, even if it did, as one of riders said, jiggle your innards. BAE was packed so 4 of us warmed up in Caffè Nero while 5 hardier types stayed outside with the bikes.
The rain started as soon as we left. By the time we got to Sicklinghall we were all wet and getting cold. The trio were understandably keen to get home and went on ahead. A couple of others were struggling with the distance and I was very thankful that Martin was there to support them. Finally, 4 of us went on to Kirkby Overblow, down Walton Head Lane to Burn Bridge and Harrogate. The main thing was, one way or another, we all got home in one piece. 20 miles. I hope the newcomers enjoyed it and will come again, preferably on a sunnier day.
The Intro ride in August (date TBC) will be back to Plan A, along the Greenway to Ripley with a possible extension to Hampsthwaite. Malcolm

Short Ride

After completing the 100 mile challenge ride last weekend it made a welcome change to lead the short group today.
Having sorted out the short group riders from the Intro group riders who were doing a variation of our route to Wetherby we set off. In the group were Diane, Justine, Geraldine, Joe, two David’s and Denis. We stopped for an early group photo outside Rudding Park and at this point were joined by Malcolm’s Intro group – see large group photo.
The two groups separated at this point and we made our way via Follifoot, where Denis left us to return home only to be replaced by Paul. We stopped off in the Millennium Gardens in Spofforth for another Group photo before cycling to Wetherby via Little Ribston. Plenty of room in North Street Deli for our refreshments stop. Interesting and varied conversations ranging from longest names to the disadvantages of electric ark furnaces in steel manufacturing to the realisation that 2 members of Wheeleasy speak Swahili!!
Whilst we were in the cafe it poured down- we waited until it had more or less stopped and decided that we would return to Harrogate via North Deighton and Spofforth as opposed to the slightly longer published route via Kirkby Overblow.
I recorded 23 miles – an enjoyable ride and not too wet!  Tim R

 

Medium Ride – Steady

Dramatic cloud fest day for the Medium Steady ride up to Dallow Gill with storms beckoning causing us to question that we really were riding out in early July and not November ! We were all in shorts so it’s summer – QED.   So off we set from Hollybank to Clint, up to Burnt Yates and the long trawl up to Brimham Rocks Road; once over the Rocks, a sub-group opted to turn down Warsill Road and a pause-café in Hampsthwaite.  The rest of us were soon donning rain jackets and heading into a stinging hailstorm down Blazefield Bank ; this adverse turn in the weather turned 3 members back up the main road directly to a much longed-for pause-café at Risplith.  Five of us (including great newbie Paul) valiantly continued up Fell Beck for the dramatic views and birdlife, then tickled the Devil’s Elbow to climb and wonder at the emerging colourful glory that is Dallow Gill Moor !  James had successfully tried out an off-road short-cut to challenge his new bike and intercepted us on the route perfectly.  As we turned towards High Skelding a lovely lady motorist stopped and kindly offered to take out group photo !  Then the wonderful whoosh down Drift Lane to High Grantley and a few short hills up to G & T’s for a well-earned break where we all over-ordered rather !  I especially recommend the new date & apricot loaf.  Once we’d relocated our teenage visitor from Poland, trying to dry his clothes, I took the team photo, but noticing a drop in the temperature as well as another shower, we upped the pace to Sawley taking Low Gate Lane to How Hill dropping back down once again to Ripley and the Greenway.  Thanks to all for good company and not moaning about the weather because you can’t do owt about it but reflect on its astonishing changes ! Approx 40 miles and 2,600 ft.  Yvonne D.

       

Medium Plus Ride – Brisk

Leaving Harrogate via Burn Bridge & North Rigton the chances of good weather seemed rather low. Around Weston Lane in Otley it started to rain but had stopped by the time Helen, Rachel & Janet dropped “the boys” off at Carters Lane before proceeding to Ilkley (no doubt for scones & jam). Andy, Richard & Young Tim ascended Langbar, plummeted down to Bolton Abbey & took a rest at Tea On The Green. Discussion about where to go resulted in an unusual option – that of climbing up the A59 and down Kex Gill. 5 minutes later & we were battling up the long 5½ mile climb. Home via St. Andrews at Blubberhouses, Timble, Fewston & Little Almscliffe. Rain came in again riding alongside the Stray but not nearly as bad as the weather forecast [as usual – Ed]. Little to no sign of any sunshine. 47 miles – Young Tim