After extracting ourselves from the Wanderers and the Medium Plus groups we split naturally into two smaller groups heading for Bramhope up Weardley Bank. We merged briefly at the New Inn to collect Sarah, but otherwise the faster boys and girls disappeared and were fortunate enough to secure a table at Crag House Farm for coffee which was very busy and had no spare tables when we arrived. So it was Plan B for us and back to Bramhope and down Old Pool Bank to Leathley Farm shop (See photo) which was as good and efficient as ever. The majority then headed back to Harrogate over Almscliffe Crag whilst Sarah and I headed to Dunkeswick where she turned right for home and I turned left. Despite the route change we had a good morning out in relatively dry and mild conditions although the wind did start to put in appearance as forecast. Mileage was variable according to which group you were with and which way home you went but it was the usual good company and thanks to all for coming. James G
So the day started with a thorn in my winter bike front tyre, so Plan A, the only one, involved a quick prep of the summer bike minus mudguards in the full knowledge that overnight rain meant there would be lots of hosing down to do later… James had planned a challenging route so Group 1 (Colette, Charlie, Sarah D, John C, Tim 2 & I) set off into the dreich weather interweaving with various other groups to Kirkby Blownover – did I mention it was a tad blustery too?! We attached the crampons to climb Weardly Bank where we had a brief rendez-vous with James’ Group 2 then off we sped to Eccup and the new to us discovery of Crag House Farm with its amazing barn beams. Fortified by hot food and drinks all round we continued on to pretty Bramhope and along the Chevin Ridge by the Roman road before descending to Otley. A jolly welcome tail wind blew us effortlessly into Castley where we optimistically ignored (rightly in fact) the Road closed due to floods sign, and headed up Gravelly Hill, up N. Rigton and up the never-ending High Moor Road just so we could swoosh down Brackenthwaite to Burnbridge where John swiped left and the rest of us right into town. Summer bike and I completely filthy by then! Interesting route, good perseverance with good humour by the tight group to reach just over 40 miles and just over 3,000 ft. Yvonne D.
It was a modest turnout on a damp, blustery day at the Showground, which was perhaps a good thing given there was a show on and lots of traffic – the Potato Industry Show apparently. Who knew? We split into our respective rides and Monica, Bob, David and I set off for Wetherby in the wake of the Wanderers. David disappeared up the road at the first junction never to be seen again – presumably having latched onto another group – so three of us made our way out of town, glad to be past the traffic onto quiet roads. The weather held to forecast and we were soon in Wetherby at Kofi, a first for me and very good. The return was a little more blustery, but all was fine and we returned to the potato growers carpark in good time. just under 23 miles and 580m climb.
No official route or leader this morning but Mike W stepped into the breach. A brief overview and we were off. Splitting into 2 groups it soon became apparent Mike wanted to take us through some of the most expensive housing areas of the district. Into Pannal then up Walton Park and Kirby Overblow. A quick wave to the short ride then on to Sicklinghall and through a ‘lakedistrict’ suburb of Wetherby. Nicci departed home and we pushed on up the Harland Way to Thorp Arch for refreshments. Alison N and Margaret left us as the rest of us replaced the lost calories. The return leg continued Mike’s theme Newton Kyme, Bramham, Collingham and Linton. Not satisfied we had another look at Sicklinghall and Kirby Overblow before returning to the showground. Wind had got up a bit over the last few few miles but overall a very pleasant November ride. Well done to Alison (Derek’s daughter) who had been persuaded to come along who coped well. Though Derek may have got his ears ‘chewed off’ at home. Thanks to all and Mike W for the route. Just over 40 miles for me home to home. Colin B