As all the groups were going down the Greenway and we were meeting Alan and Jill at Ripley at 10 I was keen to get away from Hornbeam as quickly as possible so apologies to anyone I may have upset.
It was a lovely but cold morning as we headed to Ripley. We were joined this morning by George who is a good friend of Malcolm and Gia’s son Sam. The group of seven headed up Scarah Bank, Sawley Moor Lane, Brimham, Stripe Lane, Birstwith and onto Hampsthwaite. It’s a lovely route as there are quite a few hills. At Sophie’s we met up with James, Joe, Geraldine, Sue, Angela, Martin and John who had arrived at the cafe on various routes. After coffee we headed home, some along the Greenway via Clint Bank, some up Hollins Lane and Alan and James headed off to do some extra miles. Paul
Another good day for a bike ride. A quick burst of hills and home for lunch was the plan. Six people wanted this, plus one rider meeting at Killinghall, and as we gathered in the top car park three extra gentlemen asked if they could join us along the Green Way as they were making a break away to Brearton and Scotton. Gentle Wheel Easiers perhaps. They swiped right, we swiped left and did what was on my can…Ripley, up Scarrah Bank, along Watergate Lane, down to Markington, up to the Drovers’, down to Ripley, a very long coffee and chat, home along the Green Way. All done, at a variety of speeds and effort… Karen with dreams of her bath and bathroom, Electric Judy, Paul retutning to wheel easy and practising for a mamouth Easter adventure, Rachael determined to speed along, Monica who kindly showed some peoplw the way, Jane back again after a long break at Christmas running her guest house and me. Thank you…21miles of up and downs in perfect conditions….well i thought they were perfect. CG.
Wednesday Wanderers Ride
I was abit vague about where my ride today was going. I expected the weather to be blowing a gale, lashing rain or blizzard conditions as per usual when I am leading and it would be a short dash to the nearest café. The weather decided to be a glorious winter’s day, though very cold. I did say that it was going to be a mountaineering day up hills and a few mutterings of ‘Liz and hills’ but no real dissent as nobody really knew where I was going. The first group set off and apart from odd glimpses of their backsides along the Greenway and at Ripley we never saw them again. In my group three Mikes, two Liz’s, two Chris’s I think, David, Brian, Sue, were daft enough to follow me. Up through Hollybank Wood, dodging dogs and walkers, first hill up to Clint Bank and a swoop down to Hampstwaithe then up and down again to Birstwith Hall. Then left up Barse Beck Lane, not many had done this little hill climb before and ‘where are we’, ‘does she know where she is going?’ were heard. The group turned left and a swoop down Crag Lane then up and through Kettlesing. This is where my left, right and straight on got mixed up and the turn to Staupes Lane was blocked by Mike W because he was confused which way to go. Unfortunately as it was rather sharp and steep Chris, because of the confusion, pulled his calf muscle and no amount of rubbing or stretching helped. Chris turned left and limped home safely to recuperate as the group carried on up Cote Hill then on to Darley. The hills were now coming thick and fast and mutterings in the ranks about toppling the leader were heard. The odd spot of sleet drop on us and due to gaining height it was quite cold. Along Thornthwaite Lane up to Stone Cross where the group decided it was getting rather cold and too many hills. Everyone needed to warm up and have something to eat and it was decided to cycle down Greenhow Hill onto Meagill Lane then Fewston Farm Shop. Talk around the table about the next cycle ride would be to take in the areas where village stocks are located and anyone called Liz would be put in each one and pelted with eggs if anymore hills were involved. The flat route home involved the majority going home via Almscliff Crag back to Harrogate. Only Mike S and Liz went along Penny Pot, though Mike Poppings on his broomstick also joined us before realising he had to go with the others to get home in time for a spoonful of sugar and grandkids to go and see the MP film. Across the A59 safely, Mike carried on to Darley and Liz swooped down to Kettlesing, Birstwith up Clint Bank and back along the Greenway. 35 miles in good company and I am glad that you all had a fun day out and really did enjoyed climbing those Yorkshire Hills!! Liz.
EG’s Longer Ride
A good number gathered at Low Bridge anticipating a chilly but fine day. A and 1st teams formed and re formed as destinations were discussed. The A team decided on Malham via Galphay (more of that later), the 1st on Ripon via Boroughbridge. The two groups set off together the 1st team slightly hesitant as they had word Norman was on his way. Knaresborough traffic was negotiated after which the A team regrouped on the Farnham Road for a head count seven riders set off for Ripon. The promised wind from the North and West made for a hard ride on the front so the work load was shared and a steady pace established Colin in particular stepping into the breach. A road closed sign on the Littlethorpe Road was passed but as expected we got through the works with a squeeze and enjoyed the traffic free road. Dave had decided to go straight on and we didn’t see him again. James decided to turn off too near Littlethorpe which left 5 to complete the ride. In Ripon there was some confusion, I have to admit that I should have asked where Galphay was rather than rely on some non specific hand waving and guess work. We ended up in Ripon market square where after a brief discussion headed towards Wath and more riding into the stiff breeze and cold showers, not quite the bright day we had hoped for although the chill was as promised. Colin took control of the route and we headed from Wath to West Tanfield and north towards Well. The persistent showers and cold wind meant there were no objections to heading straight to Masham on the B road rather than the usually more picturesque route via Well.The cafe in the corner was busy but had room for 5 and a warm welcome. The beans on toast came in very ample portions. It would have been very easy to sit and chat for longer about the joy of being active and feeling the pedals go round. The day looked much brighter and indeed it was as we emerged into the chilly air but now in sunshine.We chose the direct route back with the now reduced wind helping us up the hills (allegedly), we headed in the general direction of Fountains Abbey finding most of the hills between. More importantly I spotted the sign for Galphay so now I know where it is. At Ripley the famous 5 split, Colin and Phil towards Scotton. Geoff, Eric and Chris (me) along the greenway. A picture was hastily arranged before we parted company choosing a rather dull lay by to pose in rather than some of the bright green hills we had traveled through.
With several of our regulars reporting sick or unavailable today, a biting morning saw four remnant long riders decide very quickly that York Marina Cafe at Naburn Lock was to be today’s destination. A brisk pace was set in order to combat the elements – so brisk that we arrived in Tadcaster via Cowthorpe and Rudgate in good time for coffee had we wished to stop. Shrugging off the odd wintry shower on the way, we soon reached the lanes around Acaster Malbis, only to make a daft navigational error, sending ourselves away downstream from Acaster M towards the other Acaster – Selby this time. Retracing our track along the muddy lanes the rest of the outward leg was error-free, including a quick up-and-over at the iron bridge on the Planets path. Making the Marina Cafe for noon just as party of motorcyclists left, we were all impressed by the smartness of the place, which looks as though it is a recent redevelopment, with very much a feeling of an up-market establishment. The sign at the door asking muddy boot wearers to please use the terrace was a clue to the standards they have set. Nevertheless we were welcomed, served promptly and with courtesy. Not the cheapest prices we’ve encountered but not outrageously dear and the quality was on a par with the character of the place. Outside there were some expensive-looking boats for sale (see picture) – “E-Motion” took our fancy. It looked a bit large for merely chugging along the Ouse/ Humber but we’re cyclists and what do we know! Back on the Planets path towards Askham Bar we came to a dead stop where the path is closed for improvement/ refurbishment work. Luckily a Sustrans chap was on hand in his van to give us directions, which took us past Bishopthorpe Palace, a fair exchange for an otherwise undistinguished route along the backs of houses. Facing a cold headwind on the return leg via Long Marston and Topcliffe, the pace was again set to brisk so that we arrived at Little Ribston just after 2.00 pm. Here the group split for Knaresborough or Spofforth and bade our farewells on a ride of 60+ miles, another bonus distance for the time of year. Many thanks to Andy, Peter and Graham for towing me along at the back. More next week, we hope. Terry Smith