Wednesday 23rd. October

EG’s Ride

EGs A team

What a difference from last week into double figures at Low Bridge, we started with 11 and numbers swelled as we headed to Boroughbridge. Two groups formed after a somewhat chaotic start, the plan was to see if Plenty in Boroughbridge could cope with a dozen or so and if not we could revert to Morrisons. One group took a longer route through Marton-Cum-Grafton while the other went more direct. This had the effect of reducing the group sizes and making it more manageable.  It was a glorious morning with blue skies and more promised. The routes were only 2 or 3 miles different but it meant we arrived close on the wheels of the B Team who had found space and assurances that 12 was fine and indeed it was.
I am not sure if it was the coffee, the sun or the good company but I was in excellent spirits and enjoyed the chat and banter. Can’t remember much about what was said apart from agreeing to do the write up and avoiding route finding which John volunteered for; oh and comparing origins, I explained I am on missionary work in the norf. We decided to do the ride we nearly did the previous week, aiming for Masham. The so called A team was now officially formed comprising Jill, Marvin, Dan, Colin, John, Dave W2 and me Chris, Dave W had opted for the B team so the route was more direct. We went through Skelton, avoided Ripon then through Hutton Conyers and along the B6267 where we passed a bad accident being attended to. I didn’t look, I didn’t want to see anything I couldn’t get out of my head at a later date and said out loud as we were directed past to no one in particular ‘thanks’ and ‘I wouldn’t want your job’.
We swooped down the hill and over the bridge into Masham, there was a table for seven at the Bordar so we opted for that and enjoyed our lunch, all the better for having ‘earned it’. There was some discussion about the merits of 2 abreast or single, if it isn’t safe to overtake two is it safe to overtake one? Should the group stay close together making one obstacle or split? I guess it all depends on road conditions, group size and any number of other variables.
Dan opted for an extension to his route, he wanted to explore Colsterdale before heading on to Lofthouse and home. Tempting as it was I had a washing machine to plumb in when I got home so we headed home by the usual route ignoring the road closed signs. Unfortunately, according to the friendly guy in the hi viz jacket, the road was closed to cycles. So a detour was made through the narrow roads via Swinton where we had to compete with the diverted cars, not pleasant. We joined our usual route, then in Grewelthorpe John and Jill said their farewells taking a more direct route to Knaresborough via Ripon leaving the four of us to head towards Ripley via Grantley and Sawley. We had the choice to turn right and go down then up Hebden Bank or turn left, descend and climb How Hill. Colin explained that Hebden was not a hill he liked so we allegedly reluctantly agreed to give it a miss. Colin was clearly spurred on by the comments (leg pulling) about his choice and flew up How Hill, the gap to the rest of us increased not helped by not being in a climbing gear before the corner and climb.
We arrived in Ripley where we split up for a final time. What a great day in lovely sun and good company. Being accepted as a part of a group which is more than the sum of its parts while doing something you love is a great way to spend a day and improve your mental health! – Chris
EGs Other A Team
We had a good bakers dozen at Low Bridge, mixed abilities and mixed masculine/feminine thanks to Jill for joining us (big welcome Jill).
Squad captain Chris B had us aim for the top cafe in Boroughbridge, the “B” team” taking the direct route, the “A” team a less direct route but we all arrived at roughly the same time, with plenty of room in the cafe for us to take over all of the front room. (love it when a plan comes together).
The “A” team then headed for Masham ? and the “B” team, consist of Bill, Dave P, Dave Watson, Norman and Theo for Tancred Farm shop cafe, for a very leisurely laid back lunch, then home in the fantastic Autumn Day.
Dave P
Wednesday Ride

What a lovely day of cycling we had after all the recent bad weather!  Numbers varied between seven and two riders at various stages on the  which in the longest version was 51 miles.  From Hornbeam we went along the Greenway to Ripley and Clint Bank, before dropping down to Birstwith, then over the toll bridge and up Stripe Lane to Brimham Rocks.  The cloud formations in the blue sky were fascinating with giant platelets of white cloud dotted about.  At Brimham we briefly spotted Malcolm and family off for a scramble on the Rocks. Then it was the lovely swoop down to the Cafe in Studley Park by the lake for a leisurely lunch.  Afterwards we dispersed in smaller groups with many heading straight back to Harrogate, but two of us succumbed to the temptations of sunshine, warmth and dry roads and did a tour of Skelton-on-Ure and Boroughbridge, then it was homeward via Markington, Ripley and the Greenway to complete just over 50 sunny miles. Martin W.

Fast Wanderers Ride

 

Wanderers Ride

What a glorious day for a ride in our rather variable weather. A large group of Wanderers congregated at Hornbeam. A fast contingent got off immediately whilst the rest of us organised ourselves into two groups. Meeting at Low Bridge then again just outside Farnham. Arkendale and Marton-cum-Grafton soon passed and onto Great Ouseburn, where we were treated to nine turbo-prop planes practising formation flying. Cafe stop was at Tancred where we bumped into the fast group just leaving. Our table had a discussion on bike insurance, as Phil and Bev had had their bikes stolen and weren’t able to claim on either of their insurance policies which had bike cover. This then morphed into a general discussion on the insurance industry. After suitable refreshments in which carrot cake seemed the most popular followed by bacon/sausage butties, the grouping got mixed up with the majority of the second group leaving first. Mike (Wills) got into discussion with a couple of octogenarian cyclist who came in after us. The lady had taken part in a one hundred mile time trail at the age of 83. Something to aim for! We returned via Whixley, the gated level crossing, Washford, Little Ribston, Spofforth, Follifoot and the Showground. A nice ride where we could appreciate the autumnal colours in good weather and great company. Thanks to Mike (Wills) for leading the second group to Tancred and whoever took over to get back to Harrogate and Nigel and Joe for back marking. Although I’d billed the ride as undulating we managed 1500 feet of ascent descent and a total of 34 miles. Michael Smith

                           

 

Poddlers Ride

The Poddler had a glorious golden ride up to Little Almscliff, down to Lindley and Pool into the Pool Farm shop, spending a long time chatting with a getting better Jen, along the main road towards Leeds Road and Burnbridge and home..22 miles of autumnal perfection.   CG.

Away Day Ride 1

It was a very nice fine autumn morning for the Awayday ride after it was rescheduled due to a bad forecast the week before. An hour’s drive from Harrogate over the border into Lancashire, the small village of Downham was the start and 21 riders were split into 2 groups ready to set off. We cycled through Chatburn towards Waddington looking at the nice views of the Ribble Valley in its autumn colours. On the narrow road we had a cement mixer behind us, he seemed a little impatient as he tried to pass, only to meet a car coming the other way on a bend who then had to brake very hard! From Waddington, Longridge Fell and Pendle Hill came into full view before dropping down to cross the River Hodder stopping to look at the Devil’s bridge or is it Brandywine Bridge? Based on the bridge and written in The Lord of The Rings book by J R R Tolkien. However, Oliver Cromwell did cross it in 1648 on his way to Preston with his army. Colin and Peter went for a closer look, maybe to walk in the footprints of Cromwell’s army or the dwarves. After crossing the bridge, we then turned right towards Stonyhurst College, an independent co-educational Catholic boarding and day school, the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of Lancashire’s Ribble Valley. Cycling towards Longridge and looking down the valley Blackpool Tower could be seen in the far distance. We then turned to Ribchester stopping at the Potters Barn for coffee and something to eat, this is a very nice café with a good menu, there is also a large garden to sit outside in warmer weather. From Ribchester we cycled past Brockhall Village through Whalley towards Pendleton again getting good views of the surrounding countryside, sadly no sign of any witches over Pendle Hill! Then on to Worston and back to Downham. It was now time for a visit to the Downham ice cream shop sitting outside in the warm autumn sun. 32miles.

Chris R.

Away Day Ride 2

Kevin and Chris definitely made the right decision to postpone last weeks away day due to inclement weather until today which was one of those perfect autumnal days – clear with blue skies although at 8C it was very cool when the Group of 10 of us set off. We waited in Downham for Group A to get ahead of us and spent some of the time taking photos of ourselves and the attractive bridge in the village. The first few miles were definitely chilly and those with fingerless gloves were suffering. The ride took in some wonderful Lancashire countryside as we skirted Clitheroe and headed west past Stonyhusrt College, catching up with and eventuallly overtaking the A Group who set off before us. We reached our furthest westerly point on the outskirts of Longridge before turning back towards the pretty, old village of Ribchester where at Potters Barn lunch was taken. Another photo outside the ivy clad Potters Barn of the Group now without Mike and his daughter, Anna, who had decided to return with the other Group.

We made good progress in what was my old stomping ground when I was a teenager, past the Old Mental Institution at Brockhall where I once worked as a clearer in the summer of 1972 and which is now the training ground of Blackburn Rovers! Eric peeled off at Whalley to wait for Pete in the Group behind – they were going to extend the ride by going round the rear of the Pendle Hill.

Our Group, now consisting of 7 stopped in Worston to have a photo taken next to the concrete sheep. We got back to the car park in Downham after 32.5 miles and 1900 ft of ascent – great company and a lovely ride. Thanks for devising the route Chris!!

Tim R

Awayday Ride 3

On the return leg of the ride, Peter B (from the A group) and myself (from the A group) joined forces at Whalley to become the 2-man C Group. Instead of taking the 6 miles back to Downham, we turned right to take a 14-mile loop around Pendle Hill. We can’t give a long list of the villages we passed through, as there were only 2 towards the end: Newchurch-in-Pendleton and Barley. However what it lacked in the way of civilisation it made up for in scenery and gradients. Its a long time since I was on a ride crossing so many chevrons, but thankfully the up and down chevrons were fairly evenly distributed. We were blessed with some great long distance views over Clitheroe and Pendle Hill on our left, and Accrington, Burnley, Nelson and Colne on our right.

It was a diversion well worth taking and can be strongly recommended as an option should the ride be repeated. It was the icing on the cake of what had been a very good ride. Many thanks to Chris R for devising the route, taking us into a delightful area we’ve not cycled before.

39 miles and 3,600′ climbing.   Eric

EG’s Ride
We had a good bakers dozen at Low Bridge, mixed abilities and mixed masculine/feminine thanks to Jill for joining us (big welcome Jill).
Squad captain Chris B had us aim for the top cafe in Boroughbridge, the “B” team” taking the direct route, the “A” team a less direct route but we all arrived at roughly the same time, with plenty of room in the cafe for us to take over all of the front room. (love it when a plan comes together).
The “A” team then headed for Masham ? and the “B” team, consist of Bill, Dave P, Dave Watson, Norman and Theo for Tancred Farm shop cafe, for a very leisurely laid back lunch, then home in the fantastic Autumn Day.
Dave P