Short Ride

A record ( for me) of 12 riders rolled out today on the Short and Gentle ride.  Were we the biggest group out that day?  With such numbers, it was vital to have a back marker and John C stepped up, for which, many thanks. Our route took us along well-trodden paths to Walshford and then along the super-smooth tarmac to the gated crossing of the railway en route to Whixley.

With 12 bikes to negotiate two kissing gates, there was plenty of scope for discussion of the best way to tackle them: back wheel first vs front wheel; ebike vs manual; horizontal vs vertical.  My personal conclusion is to put the back wheel in first, as the front wheel is usually lighter to lift – especially true for e-bikes.  Has anyone tried it with a tandem? After a longish wait to cross A59 we were soon through Whixley and at the Aldwark Bridge anglers picnic spot.  As our photo shows, Phase 2 is underway, with Ph1 finished – that’s the bit furthest from camera.  Still Ph3 to come, up to the near abutment.  The scaffolding is a wonder to behold, with the creation of a lower working deck to allow access to the underside of the bridge.  It takes 2 weeks to move the scaffolding between the phases.  The site team were very helpful in answering our questions:  as it’s a Grade 1 Listed Structure the wooden decking has to be replaced with the same, which we learned is Ironwood (aka Ekki wood) – the hardest wood known, apparently.  I commented that the bridge works had become an attraction and the site team agreed and felt that there should be a pop-up pub/coffee shop to add extra attraction.  The irony of this remark came home to the ride leader when we rolled into the Courtyard Café at Rabbit Hill to learn that it was closed for a holiday this week –  could  this be the end of my career as a leader?

Fortunately, the Blue Bell at Arkendale was amenable to our needs for coffee but had nothing in the way of cakes/ bakes. Some had a light lunch, I went for the Tiramisu Affogata which I can recommend.  Just on the point of leaving, two Daves from the EGs came into view and we exchanged greetings before heading for Knaresborough’s Co-op where farewells were said and a variety of routes home were taken.  Many thanks to all who came to join me on an admittedly “stretched” 25 miles and for being so forbearing about the Courtyard. Terry S



Wanderers’ Ride

No official route or leader today but Mike W came prepared with a suggestion. Naturally this was adopted and eight of us set off across the showground. Up to Rudding and safely negotiating the by-pass we made light work of Follifoot and Spofforth. Taking the cycle path to Wetherby we got concerned that Karen had got too far ahead. A phone call from Margaret soon sorted that. We continued off road to Thorp Arch where John and Stuart left us to take a different loop.

On to Healaugh and a lovely ride into Askham Richard and refreshments. The cafe their really is exceptional value and quality. Sat outside hilarious banter ensued and a bit of a moan about solicitors taking too long to do stuff. Back on our bikes and Bilbrough. Up and over the A64 and a little confusion around Colton and Bolton Percy. It added a few extra miles but we eventually got back on track. Into Oxton then Taddy. Turning before Wighill back to Thorp Arch and picking up the cycle track to Wetherby. I left the group for Knaresborough and the rest retraced their ride back to the showground. Great choice of ride. Thanks Mike. Thank you all for your company and chatter. 46 miles for me. Colin B


Wednesday Ride

Ten set off from the showground. Immediately we were down to nine as Kevin had an unfortunate puncture. Myself,  Tim,  Collette, Yvonne, David,  Mark,  Derek,  Charlie and James made our way to the Greenway and onto Ripley.

The hills started and James’ assisted cycle made the front. Once recovered,  from the climb, we headed out toward Brimham Rocks and then Fountains. The sun was now out and we were all able to fully appreciate Colette’s matching jacket, socks and hat! “Big Cog”!

Refueled we remounted, but now said goodbye to four riders. Time has caught up with them and they needed to get back. Ten had become nine and now became five.

Down through the deer park, through Ripon and Boroughbridge. This section of the route seemed to favour the non assisted cycles, as the pace picked up. We said goodbye to James at Kboro, before the last four troopers made the accent of Harrogate Hill, catching the back of the short ride. 42 miles on my clock and nearly 2000ft of climbing.  Average 13mph. Rich A