Poddlers’ Ride

Six glorious goddesses… (note well…one or two Old Gits who thought otherwise on Sunday) risked a half thought out plan to get to the Farm Shop Cafe at Pool bridge. Using main roads, you can get from Hornbeam via Burnbridge, Kirby Overblow, the A61, Harewood bridge, left to Pool via Arthington, over Pool bridge to the farm shop and back home by a virtually flat or down hill route the whole way. Jean braved this new venture, luckily new Jane knew the quiet route via Weeton and Barbara, Rachel and Yvonne (who I later discovered I’ve heard so much about) chose that scenic route. We met Jen there for a coffee and chat, had lots of lovely scones and a very disappointing scotch egg. We returned to Harrogate by an uphill route and a flat route. Thank you, Jane, for guiding the group home over the hills. My road route was superb…. but sadly, the foot path on the Leeds Road Pool road gives up at the Square and Compass turn off so not too good for groups of cyclists who fear for their lives…. About 24 miles of flattish cycling for some. CG

Wednesday Wanderers’ Ride

Yep. Another lovely ride. It was billed as hilly and 32 miles. It turned out to be 34.8 miles with 1068 metres of climbing. We cycled in Nidderdale and Wharfedale and saw some stunning views with almost everything in bloom.  We started with 15 and picked three up along the way. Several had not cycled much with the club before so didn’t know some of the back roads that make cycling with the club so much pleasure.

The route along Holly Bank Lane was lined with bluebells. Then we went through Birstwith and Darley with the first climb of the day up Day Lane to the listening station and an early coffee/ lunch at Fewston Farm Shop. We were rewarded with the downhill to Swinsty, quickly followed by the delights of Jack Hill Lane and up over the gated road to Lindley and Leathley. It’s always worth the climb up to Almscliff Crag for the views from there. Then back via Brackenthwaite Lane. Glorious.  Steve W

The Lone Wanderer!
My intention was to go on the EG’s 90mile ride to Richmond, however something cropped up unforeseen and I had to be back no later than 3.30pm. So, I set off from home at 8.00am out to Ripley, Fountains, Ripon, Grewelthorpe and Masham, turned left over the bridge then right further on to Thornton Watlass and Bedale. Both towns were getting ready with their road side displays for the Tour de Yorkshire. Then on to Exalby and towards Wath meeting up with the EG’s on their way to Bedale and Richmond, giving a quick explanation to Liz and Mike why I was not with them. Then cut across to Melmerby, Baldersby St James, Rainton towards Marrow Flatts, Marton Le Moor, Boroughbridge and back to Harrogate. 65 miles with a moving avg. speed of 14mph and back home for 1.10pm, a good training ride for my Liverpool 100miler in July. Chris R.


Wednesday Ride

Three set off from Hornbeam, Tim, Sarah R and myself and after briefly listening to a woodpecker on the Greenway, collected Martin, John, Sue and Paul at Ripley and headed up to the Drovers with Colin and Alan who left us there for the delights of the moors to Masham. We headed towards Sawley and then up Rabbit Lane to Brimham, shedding clothing on the way as the weather proved better and certainly more temperate than anticipated. The drop-down Stripe Lane was a sheer delight as roadworks elsewhere on Brimham Rocks Road meant it was traffic free! Having briefed Kevin who was wisely sticking to medical advice and keeping off his bike, we met with him at Birchfield Farm Cafe and enjoyed the usual wide-ranging discussion over coffee/tea and a miscellany of cakes and toasted teacakes, all served by the very pleasant and efficient staff. Some other cafe patrons kindly obliged with the photoshoot, but unfortunately the piggies behind the group are not visible and the photo doesn’t have a sound track. John and Tim then headed home via the Toll Bridge whilst the remainder added a loop round Dacre, Darley and Birstwith. Martins hunger then drove him, with Paul not far behind up the hill out of Birstwith to Sophie’s, which left Sue, Sarah and I to wend out way home through Holly Bank Woods where the blue bells are at their best as per the photo. It was very nice doing familiar routes the “other” way round and thanks to all for your company.   James G.




Just one of the many attractions at Birchfield Ice Cream Farm …. besides the good coffee and cakes. Tall Tim

Another Wednesday Ride

Just Colin and Alan for a longer ride to-day, “over the tops” to Masham, back to Ripley about 3 o’clock (via Himalayan Gardens). Following on from the conversation at Ripley this morning, we heard a woodpecker and a cuckoo; but we didn’t see either of them. We didn’t get any long-distance views either, but also, we didn’t get any rain. Colin T

Wednesday Long Ride

Today six riders opted for the Long Ride with an initial destination of How Stean. The Long Ride left Harrogate via a devious route ending up at Harlow Moor Road and then on to Penny Pot Lane. What a difference a pothole free road surface makes. After safely crossing the A59 we continued along Menwith Hill Road and down Day Lane. As a change to the normal route we opted for the Dacre/Heyshaw route to Pateley Bridge. Following a brief discussion about return routes, the Glasshouses/Brimham Rocks/Ripon was the chosen route. Just as we were leaving Lofthouse Richard L came to grief on his bike. After a quick assessment it was decided to call an ambulance, which arrived quite promptly. Andy A sorted out the storing of Richard’s bike for collection later on. The enthusiasm for continuing the ride by this time had drained away and a steady ride back to Harrogate was considered to be the best option. PCJ

EGs’ Ride

We had six riders at Low Bridge at 10-00 am, The “A” team would have been well on their way by now.  Destination Boroughbridge via Arkendale, Grafton Grange, Grafton and Glebelands Farm.  Team players were Bill, Dave P1, Dave W1, Norman, Rob and Theo (i.e. six of the best ??).

After caffeine and calories having been under threat from Norman, describing gruesome scenes from Vet programmes on the telly, and Dave P1 spilling his coffee we headed for Ripon via Marton-le-Moor and Sharow.  Norman asked a silly question of us, did we want a coffee stop at Spa Gardens, for the EG`s it was a foregone conclusion.  Unfortunately, Dave W1 had to return home.

After Spa Gardens cafe it was home via Bishop Monkton, Burton Leonard, the ford and part of the Ripon Rowel, we knew this was a goer ref Joe`s ride on Sunday, on to Nidd then in to Ripley for a rest and a snack and of course a comfort break.  Then home via the Greenway (always a pleasure) and Theo had 42 miles in his wheels door to door.  A nice steady ride and the rain? held off.  Dave P

York Rally Sportive

EG’s will know that Graham has been disappearing off regularly in to the Howardian Hills for climbing practice in readiness for the York Rally Sportive fundraising ride.  Here is a brief report.

There was a decidedly chilly start at 8:45 at Wiggington, wind blowing roughly from the north, exactly where the ‘outbound’ route went towards.  Graham and brother-in-law Nigel stayed together via Sheriff Hutton, Terrington Bank, Hovingham, and Caukleys Bank.  Nigel was doing the full 83 mile route so rode ahead from here and quickly out of sight.  Graham continued north behind him in to the Moors National Park at Gillamoor, and on to Low Mill, before happily going about for the shorter ‘inbound’ route, now with wind assist.  Farndale looking good as the sky started to brighten, up and down through Hutton-le-Hole.  Enjoyable WI serviced lunch at Marton Parish Hall.

Graham waited for Nigel to join from his extra 20 miles via Danby and notably the Rosedale Chimney.  Yes he did turn up and speedier progress was made on the return back over the Howardian Hills past Castle Howard, then Foston and Strenshall back to Wiggington for more refreshments.  A great day out and easily recommended.  Graham’s shorter route: 63 miles, 3,754 feet ascent, highest point Harland Moor, Farndale at 695 feet, average 13mph.  Graham W, Whixley Wheelers

EG’s Long Ride

Geoff had put his hand up for the May longer ride and had decided on Richmond, 90 miles from Low Bridge and back to Hornbeam Park. I was worried that I might not be back in time to fulfil my commitments to Harrogate Nova TT league but more of that later. It didn’t start well, I realised I was going to be late so headed for Farnham. The trouble with that is that I wouldn’t know if I was ahead or behind the group, but help was at hand, Terry had arranged to meet the group at Piccadilly Motors (other car dealerships are available) so problem solved once I had let Geoff know to make sure he wasn’t waiting for me as I had told him I would be at Low Bridge, I was sure that rule #87 would be applied. Eric was able to update the group on Phil’s progress, he is out and about, neck brace off and optimistic and frustrated keep up the progress Phil looking forward to seeing you back on your bike.

The group appeared and eight continued towards Ripon by the usual route. Geoff (leader), Liz (‘wait for me on the hills’), Mike (duffel bagged), Dave P2 (mostly recovered from his spill on the inaugural long ride), Colin (as strong as ever), Eric (you all know Eric!), Terry and me. The wind was generally unhelpful and cool as we headed northish but there was some disrobing as we warmed up and the sun broke through from time to time. The group settled and adjusted the pace and in doing so stayed together for most of the ride. On a long ride like this I believe that staying as a group makes such a difference, it means the slower riders are carried along in the group and there is no starting and stopping when a lot of time can be lost over a full day. After all it is not a race but a club run, the aim is to arrive together, at the best pace for the slowest rider.

As we approached Bedale there was much evidence of the Tour de Yorkshire, bunting and cut out cyclists. The road surface was not super smooth, it had been patched but considering Bedale is a finishing town might be interesting what the pros think of it. We were cheered on as we entered the town, the locals obviously getting into the mood in anticipation although the question ‘Are you late for last year?’ was a little unkind. We stopped in Bedale to top up bottles and one of those conversations developed, not sure how but yours truly may have been responsible. The outcome of the resulting poll was that those not wearing anything under shorts 5, those wearing an extra layer 3. I was sure that there was a rule to cover this but there isn’t! I can understand why cheap cycling shorts may require extra padding/protection but why spend a few quid on carefully designed shorts and then…. steps off and puts soap box away. Anyway the conversation passed the time and amused I hope!

We were soon in Richmond and had a choice of the Station or swimming pool café. We chose the swimming pool café where the service was slow and the portions seemed to be variable, some luckier than others. When this was pointed out the staff said some serving of beans had more sauce than others. We might try across the road next time although Geoff says they don’t do beans on toast!

Geoff’s description of the route after lunch didn’t do the climb up and out of Richmond justice we were soon breathing hard and getting warmed up nicely! Once we regrouped we set off at a healthy pace with flat terrain and the breeze now helping. Until that is there was a loud pop, not unlike a gunshot and everyone was looking round and down checking tyres, Colin was victim of a blow out and the group rallied round. There was no shortage of advice, assistance, offering of pumps and spares and of course comparisons with previous punctures as well as scratching of heads wondering how such a quick deflation had happened. I think Eric said it was 15 minutes before we were off and running again. I had an eye on the clock but wanted to complete the ride as planned. Time was getting on and it was approaching café shutting O’clock as we approached Thirsk. I decided to push on and have a stop nearer Boroughbridge as I had agreed to help with the time keeping at the evening time trial run by Nova CC. I said my farewells and safe journeys while the remaining seven headed for Tesco (there is no Morrisons in Thirsk). I continued my way and made good progress, all the cafes were closed in Boroughbridge but Morrisons was open and I had some hot food and drink before timing my exit to minimise time spent standing at the roadside in the cold. As I left guess who turned up? Seven cyclists arrived so I got a chance to do the great day, thanks for the good company, safe journey all over again. As far as I know everyone arrived home safely having done about 90 miles at about 14 mph. So it was third time lucky for the EG long ride.

I did my first race at 16 after visiting a local clubs track meet with the CTC. Since then I spent too much time with my backside in the air and a number on my back. I love racing its culture, history, everything about it and I think we can learn a lot from the pros and how they ride. I think there is a right and wrong way to cycle but I try to bite my lip. But it all boils down to days like this, the challenge of pushing a bit further or faster with a group of diverse people who all share a love of cycling in their veins. Thanks Geoff and thanks everyone!

Velominati rules: the sacred text wherein lies the simple truths of cycling etiquette.
#87 The ride starts on time Chris B