Another chilly start for our group of five to follow a lovely short route to Almscliffe Crag via Kirkby Overblow and Weeton. Highlights included a particularly impressive view across the valley, spring countryside at its very best and a high score in the Coffee & Scone League Table at Horticap cafe – practically perfect! Helen B
As there was quite a group of Wanderers today, we broke into two groups. Colin and Mike kindly shepherded a faster group while the rest of us followed on. We shivered as we made our way to Ripley via the Greenway. But then the hills started to warm us up. By the time we met with the fast group at the top of Cut Throat Lane, we were much warmer!
It was then a beautiful country ride along Watergate Lane to Sawley and then G&T’s. The faster group were already ensconced enjoying their coffee and snack. As usual, both food and service were good at G&T’s. The route home took us by Sawley Moor Lane, Brimham, a glide past Warren Mill farm and onto Ripley and the Greenway. All in all, a most enjoyable morning in lovely countryside and with lots of chat. Thanks to all. 33 miles with a hill or two. Alison N
The long ride went north via Fountains & Kirkby Malzeard to Masham. T1, T3 & Graham stopped for a cup of tea in the sunshine which was in contrast to the generally chilly day. The other group of six riders (Mark T., Mark O., Julie, Emma, T4 & Andy) pressed straight on westwards past Leighton Reservoir & plunged down to Lofthouse & a stop at How Stean Gorge where they were soon joined by the trailing group. Suitably refreshed it was time to push onto Pateley Bridge, up Nought Bank Road and through to Darley & Harrogate. The threat of rain never materialised during the 61 miles or so. Tall Tim
On an unseasonably cold and overcast, but still, late April morning, 16 of us ventured across the border into Lancashire assembling in the pretty village of Bolton-by-Bowland for a route which was to circumnavigate Pendle Hill. Many newcomers to this area were very impressed by the rolling countryside, narrow country lanes bordered by stone walls, and the lush green fields. The latter was attributed to it being a lot more rainy than back home, but we were lucky with the weather which proved to exceed even the most optimistic forecast.The first stage, of about 13 miles, took us on a very pleasant run down Ribblesdale and we could see the clouds breaking and feel the warmth of the sun as we arrived at Whalley Abbey for our first stop.
After visiting the courtyard café we had time to wander round the impressive Abbey ruins. Leaving Whalley we almost immediately hit our first climb, then continued on an upward trajectory before an even steeper climb after the village of Sabden (‘Padiham Push’, rated at 12.6%). Re-grouping at the top we took some time to get our breath back before a flattish 3 or 4 miles along the ridge with views of Pendle Hill on one side and down to Burnley on the other.
A sudden descent took us back down to a detour to the village of Roughlee to see the rather impressive statue of Alice Rutter commemorating the victims of the Pendle Witch Trials of 1612. Not sure how her particular case went, but you can probably guess.
From there it was a short ride to The Cabin at Barley Picnic Site for a well-earned lunch. We all managed to squeeze inside the cosy cabin as it had turned a bit overcast again. Sausage T-cakes and Victoria sponges were excellent to mention a few items at random.
With only 10 miles to go, the first mile or so took us up again for the last climb finishing close to the top of Pendle Hill. This was followed by a lovely long descent and then an undulating last 5 miles back to Bolton-by-Bowland.
Overall, a great day out, enjoyed by all, I think. In total we managed about 34 miles, recording around 3000ft of ascent. Many thanks to Mike for an excellent route and due diligence, and for the cultural and historical notes en-route.