Sometimes the usual 50 mile distance of the routine Saturday social ride just isn’t enough to satisfy the appetites of members who want to take advantage of the long summer days and get further afield. This route is a comparatively easy one that gets you out of the familiar zone and gives an opportunity for putting some distance in at a decent pace. A good cafe stop at half way point helps and then a run down to the Benthams gives great views of Ingleborough and Whernside from unfamiliar angles.
We had a slightly demanding schedule to meet as the cafe suggested that we get there before 1 as a large group of cyclist from Blackburn had booked in too. So we made a prompt start from Chevin Cycles at 9.30. 16 set off. 3 for the 30 mile and the rest for the long one. These numbers swelled as we picked up Kevan and Maurice en route and then Roy caught us leaving Swinden Hall. By this stage we had already had a delay for one puncture at the canal bridge outside Gargrave as Mike suffered a flat rear tyre for the second week running.
The 30 milers left us at Hellifield and we pressed on to Wigglesworth down Flat Lane and got a good pace going along to the A65 near Settle.From this point we were following the Way of the Roses in reverse all the way to Wray. We were riding into a strong breeze most of the time which didn’t help us make our timescales for the cafe stop. We were delayed again by a rear flat tyre just 4 miles from Wray. This time it was me with the problem. But many hands make light work (or whatever the equivalent Chinese idiom should be for bike related tasks:). Embarrassingly the spare tube I was carried was unfit for purpose and wouldn’t inflate! Others are more diligent in their tool kits and a brand new tube was proffered by Christine and in no time we were charging off to join the others who had gone ahead to bag our places at the Cafe.
We were very speedily dealt with and the food appeared within minutes of ordering. They served excellent Illy coffee which went down well with the caffeine lovers. The cake stall proved too tempting for many with scones and flapjacks bought to sustain the return trip. We had ridden through several heavy rain showers despite the more optimistic forecast and soon after setting off again we got another wetting near Clapham. However the breeze was behind us now and pushed us along the return route through Clapham, Austwick, Lawkland and then back down to Hellifield and Bell Busk with short cut back via Gargrave and Broughton from the planned route. The sun shone more on the way home and gave the impression of summer!
Thanks to all those who came out today
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