Good weather for our autumn club rides continues and so 24 members congregated at Chevin Cycles for the off. The cooler temperatures haven’t put off some who are still sporting shorts and summer jerseys. However 3/4 bibs and winter jerseys are beginning to put in an appearance now with leg, knee and arm warmers completing the variety. The blustery NW winds later in the day favoured those opting for apparel in keeping with the season.
The routes were not quite accurately named this week: the 30 miler was 36 in length, the 50 miler was 48 long! The faster group set off consisting of 9 led by Jonathan W and joined by Kevan at the Duck Pond. The 30 milers set off joined by a guest rider in Skipton for the Yarndale event making a small group of 4. The main bunch was 11 strong. The route took us up to Linton. Riding sensibly along this stretch is always a judgment call and we stopped in Cracoe to let the traffic that had built up behind us pass. A small group of 10 riding 2 breast is safer then a long string of 10 single file riders I think.
Catch ups in Linton and Burnsall kept the group together as much as is possible on these narrow lanes. The Red Lion provided a “convenience” stop too.
The ascent of New Road gives wide open views across to Simon’s Seat and down into Troller’s Ghyll and despite its gradients seems to be so popular that most didn’t want to stop for a breather preferring to motor on to the T junction on the Pateley Bridge Road. Is this a case of Strava segment-its? The 30 milers went west at the top of New Road towards Grassington and then down through Hetton to Garagrave and back home.
With the wind behind us we moved up past Stump Cross caverns onto Greenhow and then in a tidy bunch, at pace, down to Fewston Farm shop. The benefits of riding in a group with close cooperation between all was clear to the majority as the wind whipped across the open terrain above Thruscross and Stonetrough. Some shelter in the group to the right and in front made for an ecomonic use of energy before the welcome cafe stop at midday.
We met up with the faster group at the cafe who were about 20 mins ahead. We were served in reasonably quick time given the numbers. It wasn’t just the usual eggs, beans and bacon that were consumed as some were tempted by the cakes on sale to replenish their carbo reserves after the previous miles of effort in the hills and cross winds.
Off again and across the reservoir dam at Fewston to climb up to Timble crossroads.
A pause before the fast descent to the village of Askwith gave fantastic views of big skies across the area as far as Emily Moor TV mast to the South and over to Pendle Hill in the West.
The closed section of road at the Devonshire Arms was negotiated with a short walk and then we headed up the Gated Road for what was probably the most difficult bit of the whole day. Clearly a wedding at the Tithe Barn was bringing a substantial number of cars down that way. But most annoyingly of all was a car towing a caravan oblivious to the problems that he was causing. Many of these car drivers were happy to pull aside to let us through and give space to pass safely but a few seemed intent on making life as difficult for us as possible. Caran was forceful in pointing out the errors of their ways and gave them plenty of advise in doing so!
Eventually we made it back to Skipton with many recording their slowest ever Strava times for the Gated Road segments! A post ride debrief at the Clubhouse helped to restore some perspective and get back to “normal traffic” in Skipton a Saturday afternoon.
Pictures courtesy of Paula S and her new iPhone!