The uncertainty of the weather forecast today determined our first stop which was Fountains Visitor Centre and to help James ease back in to the rides after his recent hip op. We mingled with Terry’s long ride for a short while until they sped off towards Bagby.
After coffee and discussion about the Channel 5 programme about cyclists and the reassurance for our existence given by an excellent video by British Cycling and Chris Boardman we moved on briefly to the Hunt/Johnson debate. Ghastly!
James, Kevin, Mark and Stuart cycled back towards Knaresborough while Paul, Colin, Alan, Judith and I headed off to Aldfield, Dallowgill Moor and the Wath road before dropping down in to Pateley for our second cafe stop of the day at Wildings. This was all a first for Judith and another Wheel Easy adventure. Colin and Alan bravely went back via Smelthouses and Brimham whilst the remaining three did the fast run to the toll bridge and back via Hampsthwaite.
It turned out to be a fine day, great to be up on the moors with the heather out in places and Colin reeled off a whole loads of names of wild flowers which we all promptly forgot. But we agreed they were very pretty.
great day, 43 miles for the Harrogate starters and lots of climbing for us all. Gia
Show traffic today depleted the number of Long Ride starters from Hornbeam to just two, but a cunning pre-arranged RDV at Bilton Lane car park boosted the tally to six. This nice-sized group then Coxed and Boxed with other Hornbeam groups to Ripley and beyond before making the eastward turn at Drovers towards Roecliffe, where Richard L exchanged brief good wishes with Dave S through an open window at the Siswick residence. Out of Boroughbridge towards Dishforth airfield and eastwards again to Cundall, we made good progress in the strengthening sunshine to Asenby, where care was needed in cornering on the newly-spread chippings. Onwards to the new service road for Dalton Industrial Estate (due for big expansion and marketing, I understand, including a new production facility for I’Anson Feeds of Masham), we were soon “enjoying” the perfume from Cod Beck Blenders which today smelled something like blackberry and apple. The A19 was crossed with remarkable ease today, giving rapid access to our lunch stop at the Old Barn Coffee Shop, in Balk near Bagby. They had sent a promo to our website news about a month ago and I thought it would be worth a try. As our photo shows (courtesy of the cafe staff), lunch was taken in the sun on the terrace. I’m glad to say that the menu and the venue found favour with the group – always re-assuring for route planners. The only downside was the silly toast-rack bike parking. Sheffield stands are available in toast-rack form and one of these would be much preferred, I feel. After lunch the ride leader’s careless remark at Bilton which implied that this was a flat ride came back to bite him as the post-lunch section towards and beyond Coxwold and on to Crayke was distinctly hilly. Reaching Huby we got back on the flat again to take in a second stop at Miss Daisy’s tearoom at Sutton Park. Once more in the sun and sitting outside we could contemplate the good things that cycling can bring on a fine day. Not everyone saw things in that light however, as we came across Aldwark Bridge to meet a rather grumpy toll-keeper, who accused us of failing to stop when we had slowed to a crawl and stopped. It was a far cry from the jovial exchanges we usually get. Beyond Aldwark, there was the uncertainty of whether we could negotiate the road closure on the approach to Arkendale. Alternative routes were discussed but the final plan was to send a scout ahead to bring back news. Peter J duly donned the mantle of Noah’s Dove and returned with the good news that the road was open, despite being closed! We guessed that the locals had moved the barriers aside and proceeded as normal in the absence of any roadworks in progress nor, indeed, any kit parked up for the night. Sandy Bank and Knaresborough came next, where we wished Lesley and Richard bon voyage for their trip to France. Once beyond the Golf Club, the Show traffic began to assert itself but it was a small detraction from an otherwise very enjoyable 70 mile plus ride.
Wednesday Wanderers Ride
On a dull morning 7 cyclists left Hornbeam.100meters on, lots of traffic.New route Lancaster Road B Burton Way, Water Front, Abbey Road. Back on route to Farnham, stop to take a layer off, getting warm.Nice peaceful ride birdsong colourful flowers, on way to Fountains Abbey. Met Wednesday Ride Group. Nice break, coffee, tea, scones, good service.Back on bikes for home. David made his own way home. 6 left through Studley Park ,Ripon,Villages. Colin back marking . Thanks to all for good company and sensible safe cycling, good team work.Very enjoyable day .Mike .
Seven riders left on the Wanderers ride – 1 bemused leader and 6 recalcitrant and unruly riders (Collete, Marwood, Top Tim, Vince, Yvonne & Zoe) who had a kaleidoscope of views on which café to visit and the best route back to Harrogate avoiding the show traffic. However, the sun shone as we waltzed out via Burnbridge to Sicklinghall, fox trotted along past Thorp Arch and Tockwith (passing 2 groups of E.G.s) and disco danced past Walshford and into Wetherby and North Street Café where the staff were run off their feet and service was not as per their usual best and Marwood’s bright yellow top did an excellent job in attracting many flying insects. Still a good samba rhythm saw us along the Harland Way and a quick shimmy past Rudding Park put us back into Harrogate before any of the predicted rain. 37 flattish miles. Tall Tim.