Medium Steady Ride

On an overcast morning 12 set off to ride to Ribston, dodging the tractors! A few showers on way to Wetherby where 3 people left us, now a group consisting of Steve, Eric, Mark, James, Monica, Liz P, Liz F, Mike W and me. Onto cafe at Thorpe Arch, James decided to go to Boston spa cafe and continued on his own, so down to 8. Coffee and sandwiches, in depth chat about hearts and heart rates. Back on bikes to Bramham and Compton. Photo session then on to Collingham, Linton and Kirkby Overblow, Mike made his own way home from there. Sun came out on the way, through Burn Bridge to Leadhall Lane. Eric left us there. People made their own way home. Good, enjoyable ride with good company. 38 miles and 631 metres of climbing. Mike Wills

Medium Plus Steady Ride

There were various reasons I didn’t fancy playing out today, starting with “It’s raining” and “I cleaned my bike yesterday”!  However, I was greeted by three happy little faces, keen to give it a go.  You can see them all in our first selfie in the gloom at little Almscliffe, namely Bridget, Yvonne D, Tim R and grumpy old Me. 

The really heavy rain didn’t get going until Little Almscliffe and I was beginning to harbour dark thoughts of heading for home from Askwith but as we paused to gaze up the Wharfe Valley, the skies cleared and the valley below was bathed in sunshine which immediately lifted morale and there was no question of baling out.  We also passed fields of lambs, hosts of daffodils and were almost deafened by the joyous birdsong! Doesn’t take much to lift the spirits. 

Our spirits were further lifted by entering the Stazione Café in Ilkley where we enjoyed a delicious early lunch with the usual friendly efficient service, always mindful of what we had to do next – climb up to the Cow and Calf, so no second helpings or pudding for us! By now it was really warm, sunny and springlike as we descended through Burley Wood Head, Menston and Otley then the familiar and delightful route home via Castley, Dunkeswick, Kirkby Overblow and Harrogate. 

After a bit of a grizzlie start, we had a wonderful day and were glad to have persevered.  Thank you all for your navigational assistance, cheerful company and patience while I perfected my “leading from the back” skills. We did approximately 45 miles and some way in excess of 3,700 ft of climb. Helen T 

Medium Plus Brisk Ride

Route 113 would take us up past Timble, down to Askwith & along to Ilkley before hitting the Cow & Calf (not literally of course) and winding our way home. Richard, T1, T3 & T4, Mark & Rachel went up past Little Almscliffe and into a little mizzle. Some put on rain jackets then, others waited until passing the reservoirs as it was clear that the mizzle was turning to rain. Visibility was low around Little Snowden; the abundance of lights on our bikes a comfort & most riders had wet feet, hands & legs by the time we started the descent into Askwith. From there on it was a much brighter setting. A team discussion at the Wharfe bridge in Ilkley lead to the climb being taken before a stop. Thereafter finding a café proved to be tricky and we ended up in the garden centre outside Otley. Back via the usual route & a puncture for T1 – a thorn the size of a roman javelin (a pilum) was easily located & dealt with in the sunshine. Riders were roasting for the final section home. Has spring arrived? 44 miles.

Short Ride

Route 33 – 19 miles is quite short for a SHORT ride these days at WE, but this was quite a tough one with plenty of hills.  Three Daves, Diane, me and, newcomer to WE, Mel formed a nice little group.   I had chosen this route to head away from anywhere affected by Tractor-fest – I had not bargained for increasing amounts of precipitation ending in proper rain by Almscliffe Crag.  The first half of the ride and the last quarter are hill after hill with only the part between Weeton and Kirby Overblow describable as flat-ish.   Anyway, the pace must have been Ok as conversations carried on for most of the time – even as Mel successfully conquered Rigton Hill in the wrong chain -ring.  Well done.

The rain eventually eased and there was sunshine as we reached the showground again.  The Leader added a few diversions to the publicised route (out  via Church Lane to Burn Bridge and back via Spring Lane in Pannal)  but the total was still just 19 miles.   A very nice, pleasant ride in the end  and welcome to WE Mel – you did just fine ! Peter L,