Eight headed out from Hornbeam in the usual slightly uncertain weather conditions towards Knaresborough to collect Lesley and Richard from Piccadilly Motors and head by the direct route to Ripon, missing out the loop through Littlethorpe today. Skirting round Ripon’s centre via Williamson’s former paintworks, we had the heart-warming sight of Martin greeting his mother who was on her bike heading towards the centre of the town (via pollution alley, incidentally). Any invitation to join us must, I think, have been politely declined. Cutting through the western edges of Ripon took us along Bishopton Lane and through some other older parts of the town, not seen before (by me at any rate). Here the long drag up to Grewelthorpe began. Choosing to support the community cafe today, we settled down outside in good sunshine for elevenses at the appointed hour (so good progress for the first 20 miles). Full tribute is due to the one volunteer, initially, who served us very efficiently and in some very nice crockery. Coffee downed, it was time for the hilly bit of the course, which began too soon because the ride leader got it wrong by bringing the group up a very steep gradient past the school in the village – apologies to all who followed me. Pausing while a farmer blocked the road with his tractor, for the very good reason that he was moving cows from one field to another, ups and downs followed in succession for the next hour or so (c 9 miles), as we skirted round the western edge of Masham to Healey and up to Ellingstring and grand views across Wensleydale and east to the N York Moors. A welcome 9-mile descent to Bedale and lunch at North End Cafe followed. As we were the only customers (I think) service was prompt and the food tasty, definitely a cafe to come back to. Returning home using the A1 corridor to Ripon, the heat of the day was much in evidence as was the sun cream. Mercifully, this really was the flat bit of the route. Through Ripon to Bishop M the first parting of the ways took place as Lesley and Richard headed for home and, later, the races in Otley. The Drovers climbs soon sorted the hares (Andy, Darcy and Graham) from the remaining 3 who shall be nameless (except me of course), as we made our various ways back to HG. It turned out to be hillier than billed, with almost half of the ascent in the middle 20 miles, longer than billed, with final mileages in the high 60s, and hotter than billed – a real taste of summer at last. But, as the farmer’s roadblock served to remind us, we were at leisure – others are not so lucky on a hot day. Terry
The EG monthly long ride report AKA: the Waters boys day out in the sun!
First Wednesday of the month! The cunning plan is that some EGs go out earlier than usual (9am on this occasion, to be precise), and cycle a bit further than usual (101 miles on this occasion, to be equally precise). Today’s ride leader was Geoff (Waters), and he was joined on the ride by Eric (Waters). So, yes, it was a Waters family outing! But where was everybody else? Answers please! In fairness, we did start with one more EG, our esteemed leader Dave Preston, but Dave announced at the outset that he wouldn’t be tacking the full ride but hoped to ride as far as Selby. We made good progress to the Boston Spa motorway roundabout, where DP announced he would have to leave us and tootle at his own pace – as far and as fast as his painful knee, Ibuprofen and Voltarol would allow. DP reported back later he had made it slowly to Thorpe Arch, York and Beningbrough – excellent result in the circumstances. Meanwhile, the Waters family outing was proceeding south, but before reaching Bramham, mechanical number 1 occurred: my rear gear cable snapped! With some fettling of the limiter screw I shifted the chain from top gear to the next one, and with 3 chainrings at the front, I could ride with 3 gears. We stopped for coffee in Selby, and soon after we had mechanical number 2: Geoff collected a 35mm screw fully embedded in his tyre, requiring a screwdriver to remove it. So after another short delay replacing the inner tube, we continued to Howden for lunch, and a final drink stop at the self-serve honesty cafe at Neyburn Station on the York-Selby cycle path. We arrived back in Knaresborough having completed 92 miles, averaging 15mph, and then this Harlow Hillbilly continued on to – err – Harlow Hill, to complete 101 miles. Wonderful day, wonderful weather, shame more riders didn’t enjoy such a great ride. Eric
Wanderers’ Ride 2
The Wednesday Wanderers gathered in large numbers at Hornbeam. The choice of Alison and ‘less hills’ took the majority, whilst Liz ‘more hills’ had nine chicks following her. Mike ‘Electric’ showing off his new bike was raring to go and test iton the hills. Thanks to Keith who became back marker, Charlie also joined us. Phil and Bev plus Yvonne was warned about Liz and hills but were up to the challenge. Johnathon, Peter and Colin knew what a treat they were in for despite a munity last time Liz attempted this ride. Due to the munity on ‘too many hills’ last time I took out some of the hills at the start and it was a flattish ride down the Greenway, through Hollybank Wood down to Birstwith and then Darley. Stopping at Darley Post Office, Keith and Charlie decided to carry on and this left eight chicks for refreshments. Good strategy to fuel them up for the hills were about to start. Just a gentle pull up Walker Lane, down Crake Lane and across the road on to Thornthwaite. Mike must have pressed the ‘booster’ button on his flash electric bike he shot up the hill like a rat out of a drain pipe. Mike said he had turned it down low, did we believe him!! Quite a tough pull up along the beautiful lane, stunning views, then the turn up to the Stonehouse Pub. This is where the munity was last time, but as it was warm and sunny my chicks decided to carry on the planned hilly route. A swoop down to Thurscross Reservoir over the dam then down to the A59 at Blubberhouses. Mike turned on his booster rockets, we all crawled up after him, then swooped down to Fewston Reservoir. Over the dam and on to Fewston Farm shop for refreshments. Colin bravely followed Liz back via Kettlesing, Hampsthwaite, Clint Bank then along the Greenway home. Peter took the other chicks back via Almscliff. A glorious sunny day with stunning views and a few hills. 35 miles up hill and down dale. LizP