Short & Gentle

A fairly large turnout at the Showground today on a slightly hazy morning, but with some sunshine promised later. About 10 opted for the short ride to Wood Hall, including Caroline and Monica S, who don’t often grace us with their presence, and Rachel, who was only on her second ride with Wheel Easy! Brian kindly agreed to back-mark. Paul Tindle and a couple of hangers-on said they would tail us to the point where we turn off the Kirby Overblow to Sicklinghall road towards Wood Hall, and Gordon on his trike wisely opted to carry straight on at that point and meet us in Wetherby, hopefully at  Kofi & Co. As it turned out, the bridle path wasn’t too muddy, and we proceded into Linton and then Wetherby, where there was a very large funeral being conducted, with the police holding up the traffic. Dennis left us at that juncture, and Caroline and the others had bagged some seats outside for us and we had refreshments in the sunshine. Brian suggested returning along the cycle path beside the A1, and we then went via Little Ribston, Spofforth, Follifoot and Rudding. The group members on non-electric bikes did remarkably well in keeping up with us electrically-assisted riders. About 25 miles. Joe Smith


An interesting ride” was how Margret kindly put it, as she left me in Kirby Overblow! I left the show-ground with 17 seasoned regulars and returned with 2!  In my defence there were as the French would say, “force majeure”, (unforeseeable circumstances)!

17 of us set off from the show ground in 2 groups with Colin kindly leading the second group. The only people with this new route downloaded onto sat-nav’s was myself and Leslie who was also in my group, so we needed to keep Colin’s group within a long site distance and keep re-grouping. 

We progressed down to Low Bridge and re-grouped without any loss at this point, out along Abbey Road and along through Little Ribston to Kirk Deighton before re-grouping again as we hit Wetherby. Roger and Howard had dropped off the back, so Derek kindly went back up the road to see what had happened, Colin’s group arrived and reported Roger with a mechanical, Derek called to update us that Roger’s mechanical was serious and he’d headed slowly for home and Derek and Howard rapidly joined us! (So now 16)!

We cycled through Wetherby and along the cycle path down the side of the A1 to Bramham enjoying the sunshine and group banter. We re-grouped on Bramham bridge before heading for Thorner and turning right down towards our new lunch stop cafe, “The Milk Churn”, we quickly all ordered and all sat together around a collection of tables outside in the sunshine! 

Our food and drinks came out as fast as possible for our large group, with the exception of Diane’s which they had forgotten which put Diane under fast eating pressure to finish! 

Despite the new rubber flooring around the climbing frame and slides, nobody took advantage and we made our way back through the village of Shadwell, we then had to quickly negotiate two junctions in different directions with a temporary traffic light system in-between, I hung back from the leading group to let Colin’s group see which way to go, Liz F was in-between the two groups and I shouted for her to follow the first group through the road works, I think in trying concentrate the busy road works, traffic etc and getting through the contra flow system set up, Liz missed the group turning left and went straight on! I was focusing behind me, on getting the second group around a footpath to avoid the temporary traffic lights and catch up closer to the front group. (Well that’s the story I’ll be sticking to at the disciplinary.) 

We turned onto the cycle track across the golf course and around the track at the rear of GSAL and across onto the private road down to Eccup reservoir were we re-grouped and first realised we’d lost Liz F! Panic, and phone calls took place, messages were left and a plan was put in place where Mike Wills would retrace her route direction and report back, meanwhile I would continue with the remaining 14 of us and just worry, that Liz was ok? 

We didn’t stop for a group photo as we passed the reservoir dam wall (too stressed), we continued up the private road up towards the New inn and enjoyed the fast downhill (on new tarmac) down through Weardley, past the woodyard and crossed the busy main road without any further loss!

The front group went ahead up to Kirby O, ( I said to go on if they had commitments etc) I waited for Colin’s group and rode up with them, the majority of the group went left down Walton head back home and just Colin and I climbed out of Kirby O back to Rudding Lane, where we found Mike Wills on the corner in case Liz had come back from Wetherby that way, after further phone calls and plans to find Liz involving my car and some backtracking, finally Liz’s husband rang to say she was  safely back in Harrogate, so we returned to the show-ground very relieved ………….. just 3 of the original 17!

So not the best day leading, or for my leadership CV, but on the plus side it was a great bunch of seasoned wanderers, there was very little wind, the sun was shinning, we’d had a great new lunch stop cafe, we’d all laughed and smiled right up to the point that we realised we’d lost Liz! 

I had 37.4miles 2123ft, on my Garmin, although I suspect Mike W probably had 5 miles more than that on his! Oops, massive thanks to him, to Colin for leading the second group, to Derek for going back for Roger’s mechanical, to everyone for there great company on a lovely ride in the sunshine, and last but never least, for Liz F for surviving and getting back home safe, and saving me the trouble of spending the next 24 hours putting up missing posters! 

Once more, in Margaret’s words, “it’s been an interesting ride”!

Wednesday Ride

Seven set off for Thorpe Perrow but the call of coffee proved insurmountable for Mark & Charlie who bailed out after Bishop Monkton. Such a lovely sunny day for cycling on what proved to be a ride of two halves : first half fairly benign up through Ripon, Wath, Snape and pause-café at Thorpe Perrow; second half proved a tad hilly with a climb into Masham, a climb out of Masham past beautiful banks of cowslips & bluebells to Grewelthorpe & Kirky Malzeard where Geoff diverted home to Wetherby, on through wild garlic woods in Winksley, past Aldfield, up How Hill & Watergate, swooshing down Hebden Bank into Ripley and the quiet Greenway. We were lucky to tally orange-tip butterflies, the first skylark ascending full fortissimo, curlew, oystercatcher and the biggest Zwartbles sheep I’ve ever seen ! Thanks also to Peter, John, & Phil who completed the route. Approx 58 miles, 2,800 ft. Yvonne D.