Wanderers’ Ride

There were around 25 takers for the Wanderers’ ride to Tadcaster on this sunny, slightly windy day, which is obviously too big for one group. Michael Postman agreed to lead a faster group, and around eight of them disappeared off down Leadhall Lane, never to be seen again (at least, not today). Alison N agreed to take a second group, but asked to meet up with the third group (led by Geraldine and me) at the bridge over the A1 at Bramham, as she was not quite sure of the route from there. Burn Bridge and Walton Head Lane to Wetherby, where Tall John and Dennis left us.

On along the A1 cycle path towards Boston Spa, not crossing under the A1 but continuing along the road on the east of the A1 to the aforementioned bridge over it. But there was no Alison waiting for us. How had we managed to overtake her group? We hadn’t seen them on route, so I guess they got mixed up going through/round Wetherby. Anyway, she and her group arrived shortly after we did (she had taken ‘the Wetherby bypass’, whatever that is…), and we proceeded in one group to Tadcaster. Brief discussion about stopping at the café there, but it was rapidly agreed that we would be too many for them, so we continued to Thorp Arch. Service a bit slower than usual, as the boss wasn’t there. Back into Wetherby and then the Harland Way (a bit muddy, resulting in one bunged-up rear mudguard) and then back through Follifoot and the delights of the Showground hill. About 39 miles. Joe S


On a lovely sunny day, a good turn-out of people – quite a number chose to ride with Joe & Geraldine. Too large a group for one person so Geraldine asked me if I could take a group of faster riders. I was happy to help out.

I had a nice group of ten – one girl and nine lads, set off at a good pace, soon reaching Bramham. Next decision – which Coffee Shop? Colette won, it would be The Lemon Tree at Tadcaster. Had teas/coffees, cakes/scones, very nice. Had a good laugh! Pay-time Tony asked for extra water, told lady he had not got it, she apologised, checked on the table – it was there!! Tony was taking lock off his bike, we told him he owed lady an apology! He went straight back to apologise – well done Tony!!!
On the road again to Walton cycle track to Wetherby, then cycle track to Cowthorpe Bridge, on to Little Ribston, Spofforth, Follifoot, then Hornbeam.

Very warm but enjoyable ride. Thanks Mike C for ‘pacing’ to Spofforth on electric bike! That was good until he lost his handkerchief! Well done to all – Colette, Keith, David, Tony, Tim and Tim, Chris, Mike C, Glyn. Mike W


Wednesday Ride

The Wednesday Ride was a story of numbers and the strength of the breeze, euphemistically called “fresh” by the Weather Forecasters!

Six of us left Hornbeam, collected one more on the Greenway and a further five at Ripley to increase our original total by 100%. The plan was to head to Fountains, Grantley and over Dallow Moor to Pateley, but unfortunately none of us had paid any attention to the wind direction or strength – being more concerned with the absence or otherwise of sunshine and showers.

We shed Martin W and John Russell at Fountains who wanted less climbing and in John’s case to see how fast he could go on his “Fast” bike. We also lost Dave R at some stage when I wasn’t looking and temporarily mislaid Gia and Paul who took the short cut in Grantley. However order was restored at the top of Dallow Moor in readiness for a hard few miles against a strong head wind, but eventually we dropped off the moor down towards Wath and some stunning view up and down the dale.

Coffee and food was eventually taken at Wildings and we returned down the dale and over the Toll Bridge, saying goodbye to Paul and Jenny at Birstwith. If my maths is right the remaining five of us returned through Holly Bank and Ripley, dispersing along the Greenway in various directions home. Despite the wind it was a good day out and thanks to all for their excellent company. James G


Wednesday Long Ride

Six riders departed Hornbeam on today’s proposed lumpy 70+ miler to Ampleforth, collecting three more in Knaresborough to give a comfortable pair of groups out to the first stop at Miss Daisy’s at Sutton Park.

With a detectably helpful tailwind and a flat route,  progress to Sutton on the Forest was brisk, arriving at the tearoom at 11.20.  Scones, teacakes, straight cakes and GF cakes were soon put away, while ride leader for the day tried to break it gently that the next leg to Ampleforth wouldn’t be so easy.  Miss Daisy’s seems to have more regular hours than in the past, so it’s well worth a stop.

Richard L left us at this point to return to dog-sitting duties, leaving eight to tackle the Howardian climbs and lunch at the Abbey.  Although only one chevron climb was scaled, there were several others that made the legs burn a bit, but with very little traffic and reasonable surfaces they were soon behind us as we dropped down towards Gilling and the back road into Ampleforth College, using the road across the playing fields.  As we passed the cricket grounds, a perfect summer scene was set before us.  Cricket matches in progress (although it must have been between innings, as the field was empty and there was a score on the scoreboard – pretty good as I recall), audience basking in deck chairs, lovely warm sun – a great English scene.  Incidentally, for those who follow the game, the sightscreens were black mesh indicating that it was a white or yellow ball game, confirmed by the players wearing team colours rather than whites.

And so to lunch at the tearoom in the re-configured Abbey.  Unfortunately we caught them at a time when only one staff member was on, which meant a long wait to order and a further wait for delivery, compounded by a lost order.  Not their best service by a long way, extending our lunch stop to over an hour – plenty of time for cafe legs to set in.  Meanwhile Richard L had sent a text to us saying that the headwind on the way back would require some tight peloton riding.  This was obviously better achieved in our front group, which gradually disappeared over the horizon once we had crossed Aldwark Bridge.  The rearguard group stayed as tight as we could, but it was strange how the wind played tricks – for much of the return we seemed to enjoy shelter from somewhere, even though our direction was clearly into the wind. Good fortune turned against us from Gt Ouseburn, however, as we made what seemed like very slow progress into the wind from Marton to Knaresborough, where our peel-offs began, with Starbeck and journey’s end coming well after 5.30 pm.

The day held many of the good things about a bike ride – fine weather, a challenging but not impossible headwind, some flat roads, some hilly ones, congenial company, some great views, harvested fields and a summer scene at the Abbey.  Wonderful. Terry S


EGs’ Ride  B Team

It is so special to wake up and discover that Wednesday has come round again. “What’s so special about that?” I can hear you ask. Well, I’ll tell you.

It’s the day I get to go out with the EGs. Now that is not to say that the other days I go out with Wheel Easy have anything wrong with them; it’s just that riding with the EGs is extra special. A bunch of like minded nice guys, out for an innocent day of unbridled enjoyment. And today was no exception.

Seven or eight seemed a pretty modest turnout until we remembered that there was an alternative option of Park Rash (lower your voice when you mention it) and so inevitably we considered ourselves to be the B-team. But that did not diminish from the enjoyment in any way. Incidentally, as I type this on Wednesday evening, I wonder if the Rash boys have got back yet(!!).

Morrison’s of Boroughbridge was favoured with our coffee stop, where we said a welcoming “Hello” to Graham, having recovered from his Achilles issues, and also offered a cheerio to Bill who had other roads in mind.

Off to Thirsk it was with a fairly hefty tailwind, and the usual lunch at the excellent Arabica in the Market Place; now back under the care of the original owners after the new lot couldn’t come up with the full purchase price. Five Beans rating of course.

A bit of confusion at the off after lunch but eventually sorted saw us in a tight peleton back through Dalton, helping each other to cope with the (now) headwind. The pace caused a few legs to creak a bit, but we all made it back to Knaresborough where we split for our various destinations. New member Johnny had already left for Bishop Monkton, (we enjoyed your company Johnny and hope to see you again).

Thanks also to DaveP, DaveW, Geoff and Nick for a splendid ride of around 50M. DaveS













A Painful Rash or the EG’s Longer Ride

I was a late comer to Peter’s ride, wasn’t sure from the website description if it was the longer EG ride but assured by Eric that it was, so it must be.

I arrived at Pennypot by 8:30 as Peter pulled up, the weather forecast wasn’t great and one of the localised showers had persuaded me to don waterproof coat. Eric arrived soon after and explained his later than planned arrival was due to changes in bike and dress as the weather went from dry to wet and back to dry. Although no one else had expressed an interest we waited to make sure but three it was, leader Peter, Eric and me (Chris).

We set off and straight away I knew all was not well as my rear rim clattered on the tarmac, inspection revealed a thorn and the tube was repaired and replaced. Second attempt and we set off again into a stiff breeze. Unfortunately there had been a delay between the patch being ready to apply and being applied. Result my rear tyre went all squishy before we reached the end of Pennypot Lane; this time a new tube was inserted and off we went, noting if we were quick we could catch the EG’s at Low Bridge such was the delay.

Peter wanted to stop at Stumps Cross, which we did, as the weather deteriorated. We reminisced over a hot drink and sustenance recounting cycling customs from years gone by and the role of leaders on CTC club runs. My memories are of races to meal stops signalled by the lowering of a white handkerchief by the ride leader, while Peter recounted stories of the total authority of the ride leader who should not be passed on the road under any circumstances. The merits of a close group or spread out were compared. I am an advocate of riding together helping the slower or less strong riders gain advantage from their club mates but this was not shared by Peter.

The showers did not materialise and we headed west barely managing 25 mph down the steep drop from Stumps Cross due to the wind. We passed Grassington and made our way along the minor road towards Kettlewell. We made steady progress but like the response to my punctures and the delay, all were relaxed enjoying the views and the change from head wind to side wind. Peter and Eric popped into the shop at Kettlewell before we headed east and onto the preliminary slopes that would become Park Rash. I was trying to remember if I had been up it before; it seems I would probably remember if I had. Peter was determined to walk up the steep bends as a gesture of, it is OK to walk up a hill if you want and arrangements were made to photograph the event.

Our climb up the hors d’oeuvres was interrupted by a car but they apologised and we continued. The climb is beautiful, the shape of the hills and the views of it and from it, the challenge is undeniable but as Peter proved does not have to be all consuming. I hate walking up hills unless I have boots and a rucksack but that is just me, I enjoy the feedback I get from legs and lungs. However, in my opinion if you ride a bike whether it be to shop or work (especially work and shops actually) or do marathon expeditions and competitions and at the same time respect others then that is good enough for me and I wave to each and every one. On my way up the Rash I met a couple who were new to cycle touring and were doing their first expedition ever and on electric bikes. As they arrived at the top one of them replied to my well done with “I was in bottom gear and full power” to which I answered “so was I”. Any doubts I had about e bikes were destroyed as they cycled up Park Rash and after we chatted and compared notes they set off to their accommodation further down the road. Their e bikes gave them access to a special experience that would be unobtainable without. When Peter arrived at the top, Eric having captured his walking moment, he summed up the feeling as he looked about him and exclaimed how wonderful it was. He was right of course and it was more than just the view but having earnt it by bike, e bike or with a bit of walking made it more special in a way that I do not have the words for. I understood what Peter meant about us (Wheel Easy) getting out into the Dales more and that some who doubt their ability to do so would be pleasantly surprised if they tried it. Especially if lead by someone who is such an enthusiast and who warns you about the windy bits by taking his hat off!

We were still unhurried so we recorded the moment at the top before setting off downhill with Peter advising us to go steady to admire the views. He then flew downhill and I was pleased I could blame the ‘don’t pass the leader rule’ if my excessive use of the brakes was questioned. Then more downhill with the wind behind us, we had earnt the glorious ride to the Leyburn/Ripon road and on to Masham for our second stop of the day. The doubtful early weather had given way to warm sun and we chose to eat inside in the cool.

The return was via Grewelthorpe and Fountains where Peter gave us permission to go ahead but we politely refused, it was that sort of day. We finally parted company at Ripley where Peter went his way and then at the Greenway/Beryl Burton junction Eric said our farewells.

I got home after six having completed between 75 and 80 miles. Thanks Peter for a great day and to you both for good company, banter and support. Oh, the rash! Well as a cyclist you have to take the rough with the smooth but a suggestion to post a picture on the Wheel Easy fb page and ask for advice wasn’t greeted with enthusiasm. Quote of the day ‘Climbing hills is like good sex, it’s best slow and steady’ Chris B