EGs A team
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
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
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.
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!!
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