Wednesday Wanderers Ride

My theme how many hills can I find on a Yorkshire cycle ride deterred a few, Brian took the weeds and I took the wildflowers. Three Liz’s, two Peter’s, Margaret, Mike, Alison, Bridget, David and Colin. Warm and dry as we set off from the showground, down the Greenway to Ripley, up Sacrah Bank, looking for the sweet donkeys in the field at the top and with clear instructions do not turn right down Watergate Lane. No one made a dash to escape right, straight on all cycled and then first left up Warren Lane.  Lovely autumnal tones, stunning views as we climbed up to Brimham. Altitude sickness was not showing though a few gasped for oxygen at the top. As I was the only one knowing where I was going caused some to question my sanity, but those who knew me know I did not have any to start with.  Ha, I turned left that foxed them, through Brimham Rocks to the crossroads, now there was a choice of three ways to go. No one dared take the road back to Harrogate and all turned right to Wilsill, a stunning lane with steep downhills and uphills. Stopped at Llama viewpoint to admire the sunlit moors and llamas in the field. Who muttered ‘is there anymore hills’ what a treat they were in for!! Turning left onto the busy road in threes we cycled to Low Laithe and Summerbridge then turned right over the bridge. Gathering my wilting flowers, at the bottom of Dacre Bank, Margaret said ‘are we going up that hill’, oh joy!! I was glad that everyone was happy as we ascended Dacre Bank, at the top, we stopped to admire the view. David decided that he needed to return and went straight on to Darley and home. A steep lane took us up to Dike Lane then on to Woodmanwray Lane more stunning views and it was getting warmer. All those hills, people were getting hungry and munity might have broken out and threats were mooted of putting me in the stocks when we reached Darley, but a good leader takes it all in her stride. A swoop down to Padside, cross the road to Thornthwaite Lane, at the top I said we could see the White Horse. Liz who lived in Darley said that she never knew that, all the time she ran and cycled round there. Sure, enough as it had just been painted bright white, we could see it. Now instructions were left and first left, then right to Darley PO. It was like herding cats, Mike, and two Peters, shot past, only one Peter got away. Then at the bottom I shouted turn right and Mike indicated left, then Margaret shot past the turning for the PO and I was hoarse shouting at them. At the welcome stop for lunch the altitude must have made them all high as the banter was noisy and I laughed so much my ribs hurt. Then Peter turned up muttering that he thought the PO was somewhere else, but that was six years ago and had closed down and he was left wandering around Darley looking for us. After calming him down, talks about battles and who was Irish, then nostalgia took over as we started to talk about Bill and Ben, Andy Pandy and hilarious actions of ‘wibbly wobbly’ and singing theme tunes from a few showed that we were all of a similar age.  Soon it was time to get back on the bikes and head for home. Along to Birstwith, Peter from Burton Leonard turned up the Toll Road and Stripe Lane home. At Birstwith Peter 2 went straight on as the rest turned left and up Clint Bank. Down to Ripley, Greenway and home. A good few hills, stunning views and scenery, great laughs fantastic ride of 40 miles. Liz F.



A Flatter Wander
Six of us hillophobes waved off Liz and headed down to Low Bridge just in time to see the EGs forming up.  Chris & Chris, Mike, Karen, Diane and I sped down through Little Ribston , over to Cowthorpe and then to Tockwith where we stopped at the bomber memorial. Then the mandatory photo opportunity at the Battle of Marston Moor obelisk and more empty flat roads to Askham Richard.  The cafe was quiet and sunny, and full of cake !  Speaking for myself,  I struggled (but only a little)  to polish off my huge and delicious slice of coffee and walnut… had a chat with the staff and confirmed that all the cakes are fresh baked daily.  Refreshed and refuelled we turned into the fresh breeze for our return leg.  Following the flat theme of the ride, we cut over to Wighill and up Rudgate to Cowthorpe again. Unfortunately,  it’s just not possible to get back to Harrogate without some hills, so after a debate we decided to shun Follifoot and opted instead for the short sharp shock of Abbey Road and Bland’s Hill.  We parted at Forrest Moor after a grand (and flat !)  day out.  40 miles on my clock, but not much ascent.          Brian
Wednesday Ride

Even with an improving forecast the decision was to stay with the advertise route and so a handy group of 9 left for a meander towards Pool. The usual route to Kirby Overblow and towards Sicklinghall, but then down to Kearby and Netherby and even Kearby with Netherby where we broke for a photoshoot intended to capture the great view up the Wharfe valley. Having safely negotiated the A 61 we took a right turn in Weeton and into Huby in a slightly unusual direction that took us up and down Gravely Hill Lane and through Castley to Leathley Farm shop where we all managed to squeeze round one table. Returning through Leathley, Braythorn and Briscoerigg  we enjoyed to lovely swoop down Brackenthwaite Lane back into Harrogate. Not far off the advertise distance of 30 miles or so and a lovely morning out with a great group. Thanks to all who came.  James G.