Ride Report 21st April 2018

We were blessed today with some of the best weather so far this year and it was reflected in the turnout of members at Chevin, all fit and raring to go! The featured ride was another extended distance with a route of 70 miles over the Cross of Greet from Slaidburn. It needs to be attempted on a decent day and today it was.

18 opted for this route and a further half dozen did the shorter one as far as Halton West. This group, led by Di, was joined by guest riders, Fiona and Paul. So keen was John, that he flew back from India just to get out on his bike in the sunshine and enjoy some good, fresh, northern air!

Chris setting the pace

The faster group, numbering 10, set off ahead picking up Kevan waiting at Gargrave. Making their way to the Riverbank Tearooms at Slaidburn, they arrived about 1130. Advance booking proved to be a wise call as the place was vey busy. The women in this group had apparently set a lively pace to this point!

The other group of 8 riders arrived about 30 mins later and had to join a queue out of the door to order their food. Strangely, just has Steve parked up his bike, the front wheel punctured with a loud hiss. With Rick’s help this was speedily repaired in time his consume eggs on toast! Service at the tearooms was good today despite the large numbers arriving for lunch.

The climb of Cross of Greet is in “100 Greatest Climbs” page 79,

So it has a bit of a reputation that means it must be tackled at some point in a cyclist’s life or there has to be a good reason why it hasn’t!

It”s like the climb over Buttertubs from the Hawes side with some sharp bits but generally not too demanding. [See this link for more info about the climb and some background : Cycling uphill 

Smiles of satisfaction

Edward was  “Cross” when he reached the top!

No fear of flying!

 

Although the view of the 3 Peaks and the Lakeland hills from the summit was obscured by haziness, there was a real sense of altitude gained and wide open space. After a catch up and a photo call we descended to Mewith Lane and the way back to Giggleswick Station and the A65. The descent from the top is fast and thankfully the tarmac isn’t too bad, adding to the fun!

With the temptation of a second cafe stop at Hazy Days in mind, we pressed onto Hellifield via Rathmell and Wigglesworth in good order. Water bottles and energy needed topping up, so we were more than a little disappointed to find that the cafe had shut at 3! However Karl came to the rescue with an invite to his place on the route back.

@ Karl and Wendy’s “cafe”

Coffee, tea and Haribos were on the menu and were gratefully consumed  fuelling the last few miles back home.

So a memorable day out with a sense of achievement and more than a few very happy cyclists.

Strava link

Ride Report 7th April

The 50 miler this week was a 70 miler! Taking advantage of the longer days and the spring weather (we thought!). Today’s was a “special” to Wetherby.  This route has the bonus of the extra distance without too much more effort than our usual 50 would involve. The numbers who turned up this morning were surprisingly low and only 7 set off on the longer route with a similar number undertaking the shorter distance route to Weston.

One of the challenges of a club ride to Wetherby is to find a cafe that will accommodate us all.  However Caran, who was leading the ride, persisted and just when it looked as though we were going to have sit outside, she swooped on 3 newly vacated tables inside. I think the sight of us lycra clad and mud spattered individuals may have distracted the “ladies lunching” there.

A recurring feature of recent club rides has been mechanical breakdowns and today was no exception with Simon suffering a rear tyre puncture at Farnley and Mike, for the second week in succession, limping back to Skipton with only one gear working after a cable snapped. The toll that winter takes out on our bikes!

Around the Lowe Wharfe valley there are frequent sightings of the red kites that live in Harwood estate and today we were treated to several close ups. As they only consume carrion we were safe from these impressive predators as long as we kept moving!

We returned at some pace along the back road with Christine taking the front wheel and giving us a helpful tow into a staff breeze.

 

Strava link

 

50+ mile Ride Report for 31st March 2018

Another challenging route for those who like to go up and do it in Lancashire. Actually for once the weather was better there than in Skipton with dry roads and some brightness. The poor weather saw a drop in expected numbers with only 7 undertaking the longer route and about the same on the shorter one. We were joined by a guest rider who was no slouch on her Canyon and who we hope will be applying for membership.

Today’s leader Rick nearly always goes West for the quieter roads and today was no exception. We followed a familiar line up to Hellifield through Eshton and Bell Busk and then from Wigglesworth down to near Bolton by Bowland. From there the roads began to slant up and soon we were ascending Waddington Fell from the north side. Then our mechanical issues started with both Mike and Rick suffering form dysfunctional free hubs within 50 yards of each other. What chance of it happening like that? Thankfully both managed to get to the top of the climb without any further problems but not for long.  Our Cafe stop at the Country Kitchen in Waddington was amazingly quick as we were the only customers and so we were served within minutes of our arrival!

Setting off from Waddington and heading for Clitheroe in an increasing headwind was a bit of a surprise because we hadnt noticed it pushing us along on the outward run. Isn’t that always the case though?

Rick and MIke’s problems worsened and on the outskirts of Clitheroe, Mike had to abandon, hoping he could be rescued by his family. (He subsequently reported he was safe and sound at home).

After the ups and downs of Twiston Lane from Downham, we topped out on Brogden Lane with its long distance views to Penyghent and Ingleborough and the welcome descent to Barnoldswick. It was here that Rick’s freehub finally gave in and with some assistance and scooting reached “Barlick” and made a rescue calls home. He too was safely at home within the hour,

So from a start list of 7 only 3  made the return to Skipton ( one turned off home near Broughton). A real Agatha Christie Script?

Strava Route

30 mile Ride Report 24th March 2018

 

The 30 milers get motivated to climb up Gordale Lane

The promising weather forecast for today tempted out a large number of members for today’s rides which Caran had created to make sure that we made the most of the opportunity! The 30 milers had the climb out of Malham up Goredale Lane to look forward to. The 50 milers had this and then up and over to Halton Gill from Stainforth having descended into Ribblesdale down Langcliffe Brow! There was particular joy for Simon T who claimed the climb out of Malham as his biggest since getting back on his bike! A cafe stop at the Old Barn Cafe was justified reward for our efforts. We then finished off with the rolling route to Winterburn and a tidy return along the Grassington Road.

Strava Route

 

50 miler Ride Report Feb 17th 2018

It makes a change to be able to record a ride that was done in weather that at times was positively spring like. Clearly sufficient club members thought the effort worthwhile as a total of 22 turned up at Chevin  for the 2 rides. 8 opted for the 30 miler that was led by Phil and 13 undertook the 50 miler led by Steve. A new rider Rob introduced himself and went on the short route. Caran joined at Elslack riding on her expensively repaired bike and Rick caught up with us at the Swan in Carleton. Both rides were following the same route as far as the Hellifield Road junction above Paythorne. I’m told that the 30 milers had a cafe stop at Hazy Days and again at the end of the ride at Bean Loved!

This junction seemed to be club ride central as the 20 odd of us were joined by a dozen or more cyclists from another club. We parted company with the 30 milers and rode onto Bolton by Bowland for the traditional toilet stop there.

We had already had our fair share of potholed roads up to this point but the climb of Holden Lane to the Slaidburn Road was further evidence of the crumbling infrastructure and dangerous conditions on Lancashire’s roads. Can they be worse that NYCC? Today’s evidence suggests Yes!

 

This long climb split the group in to two and at the catch up the faster lads and lass set off to get to the cafe stop at Slaidburn. We had booked ahead but this didn’t seem to have much effect on the speed of service which was both slow and confusing. Drinks were served first followed by food, eventually. The sausage sandwiches were the slowest even though ordered first  and were not of very good quality. It was a surprise when Mark reported that he could pay with his Apple Pay app!

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Time lapse photograph?
no comment!

Those who hadn’t visited  Slaidburn before were somewhat fazed that the extra miles to the cafe from the top of the hill had to be ridden back up hill  to do the second half of the ride back to Tosside and Wigglesworth, The effort of climbing up the hills all the way back to Tosside took its toll of those who had opted for sausage sandwiches as the group was straddled across about half a mile when we had a catch up. There are obviously some lessons to be learnt from this. Reconsider sausage sandwiches for lunch before riding up  a hill or let non-sausage eaters have their head and forget about catch ups!

up Flat Lane?
From Bell Busk to Eshton in good order!

The exhilarating descent from Tosside down to Wigglesworth and the River Ribble beyond is one of the writers favourite stretches of road as speed is built up and sustained for about 2 or 3 miles. 

From Hellifield we cut across to Otterburn, Bell Busk and over to  Eshton before the final  ever “popular” hill to Broughton and the A59 along to Heslaker and then a coffee in Bean Loved. to finish off.

54 miles and over 4000′ of climbing but a great day out!

More of these please .

strava route

Ride report for 28th January 2018

About 10 club members met at Chevin this morning: a reflection on the forecasted weather which turned out to be worse as constant rain fell accompanied by an increasingly strong  wind! The numbers split fairly evenly into the 50 and 30 miles ride distances.  All set off together up the Grassington road and then via Hetton and on to Winterburn and Hellifield via Bell Busk and Otterburn. The roads are in a pretty poor state now requiring constant vigilance and frequent call-outs of ‘Hole or Gravel, or water.”  The numerous water filled holes make cycling on the country lanes a bit of a gamble and following a middle of the road line is the smartest move in these conditions. Both groups regrouped at Hazy Days and here the 30 milers took a break to enjoy the low fires warmth and free hot drinks (with food orders) that Hazy Days offers cyclists. The 50 milers took off to make their ways to Tosside to their cafe stop where they had to arrive before 1.00 as a Hen Party was booked in! Hopefully the arrival of men ( and 2 women) in wet lycra didn’t detract from their celebrations! Hopefully we will get a first hand account of the 50-ers experience. ( Thats a hint!). We  set off again into the rain and strengthening wind heading for Nappa and that ever “popular” ascent over the railway bridge to Swinden Hall and eventually on to Gargrave. Typically the rain stopped for the last few miles of the day with a strong tailwind propelling us along the A59 and down Heslaker to Carleton. On  refection, finishing a ride like this is much more rewarding than setting out.  No-one  opted for a Bean Love debrief.  Roll on the improving weather!

route details

 

 

Xmas club ride 23rd Dec 2017

Caran Stephenson writes:

A massive turn out for this year’s festive ride, with about 40 riders arriving at Chevin Cycles. There were Santa hats, Christmas jumpers, a few elves, a fairy and a Christmas pudding too! The ‘Big Elf’ turned up with a few extra supplies for those who thought they’d escape the dressing up!

Everyone was in a great mood and the weather was especially kind, considering the previous week’s weather, so off we went!

Splitting into several smaller groups, we made our way up Grassington Road towards Linton, lots of friendly waves and horn tooting on our way too. From Linton to Grassington and following the Grass Woods Road to Conistone and Kettlewell.

Zarina was well prepared for us, even though the café was overflowing! The ‘emergency chairs’ made an appearance and it was a pretty tight squeeze, some of the early arrivals had to give up their seats after their food so that the later ones could sit down. A couple of late arrivals, Roy and just as we were leaving, Simon T, pushed the numbers up even further. Zarina and her team did a great job feeding us all whilst shimmying between the crowded tables and emergency chairs

After that, we set off along the back road again to Conistone then diverted to the Tennants Arms at Kilnsey for a refreshments and a warm by the log fire, then off we went again.

Our next stop was in Threshfield, the Old Hall, where we practically took over the pub, then we set off again to our final call at the Devonshire Arms at Cracoe, for a nice cup of tea or something.

Throughout the day there was banter and good cheer, for some riders it was their first Christmas ride, I think they really enjoyed it as much as all the regulars!

It’s always good to see members turning out for this ride, not sure we’d find a café for that number each Saturday but you never know!

Ride Report 13th January 2018

Despite the cold, dull and overcast weather there was a good turnout for the club rides today. 20 on the 50 miler and 4 on the shorter route. The longer route took us over the high ground from Airton to Settle via Scotsthrop Lane with the usual trepidation in passing the Highland cattle that seem to thrive up there. The fast descent of High Hill Lane delivered us to the Market Sq. in Settle where we regrouped before setting of for the cafe stop at the Knight’s Table in Stainforth. This is always a popular stop for us and plates full of beans , bacon and eggs were devoured before embarking on the return leg. The large group had split into 2 during the ride over the tops to minimise waiting time at regroups on the cold hilltop for those who’d managed to get there more speedily than the others. So we set off again in the same way.: 2 groups of riders.  As the second group travelled down Long Bank Lane near Halton West we had one of those incidents that spoils the enjoyment of cycling around these parts. A 4 x 4 driver sped towards us at an alarming speed on a very narrow stretch of road giving no space to manoeuvre except onto the verge. In fact, so close was the pass that he dragged one of the group along by the handlebars a short distance. A heated confrontation followed with the furious man, who clearly was incensed at being brought to a halt by us. After a few minutes of further “exchanges” he drove off and a decision was made to call the Police as we regarded this as a road traffic accident because of the collision and damage to a bike. Happily no injuries were caused but the Police dealt with the matter very sympathetically and the PC disclosed that he was a member of Pendle Forest CC. We await the outcome of his enquiries. On our return to Skipton and the usual post ride coffee in Bean Loved we learned that the other half of the group had also had a near miss with another vehicle near Swinden Hall.

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Ride report Saturday Club Ride to Keasden Knotts

Jonathan White writes:

A longer Saturday social ride this week with a tough climb which everyone did with smiles and banter (once at the top 😀). All enjoyed the long downhill to the great cafe stop at The Old Reading Rooms, Clapham. It was difficult to tear ourselves away from the open fire there. We were accompanied by blue skies and a gentle breeze all the way back. Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Kevan at Settle due to an injury picked up from last week’s very windy ride. The rest of us all stayed together and got back before it got too dark. Thank you all for making it an enjoyable ride.

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Ride Report 14th October 50 miler.

It might not seem too attractive to the reader to learn that today’s ride had to confront a real mixed bag of weather conditions that caused a diversion from the planned route, obliterated any views on high ground, had us cycling through flood water with water up to the axles of our wheels and over the tops of our shoes but which finished in autumn sunshine and near summer temperatures. In fact those who took part reported high levels of enjoyment.  The 11  who set off to do the longer route were met by Kevan near Winterburn who had cycled down from Kirby Malham with tales of flooded roads on the planned route to Airton. So we changed course and headed for Eshton and up the Malham road. The R, Aire was in full spate near Newlands Hall and just beyond we met the first of what was to be a series of flooded roads. During the course of the day we adopted various techniques to try to keep our feet out of the water but you can only do so much when forward movement is stalled by water 12± inches deep. The 30 milers left us at Airton heading for Hellifield as we climbed over Scotsthrop Lane to Attermire and that fast descent down High Hill Lane to Settle. The Highland cattle loomed out of the mist over the tops and  seem to be more threatening than they really are! Nevertheless slowing to snail’s pace to get past them seems the most sensible thing to do. The drizzle and mist obscured any chance of the wide view from the tops here. Our cafe stop at 3 Peaks Cycles was a first and we were welcomed by the owner. Beans on toast with or without eggs, Fish finger butties and toasties were consumed and off again to ride into clouds from Stainforth to Halton Gill. Christine P left us at Settle and Kevan did the same at Silverdale. Just beyond the Malham Road turn off we were confronted by a pack of Hounds coming down the road out of the mist. We wondered what they might be hunting up there on such a day. The fast road  to Halton Gill from Dalehead was spectacular for the gushing streams coming down from the high ground and  the valley opposite was intersected in every gully with ribbons of white water. The roaring R, Skirfare at H. Gill was barely contained in its banks and  in the next several miles down to Arncliffe we had to ride through these overflows and any pretext of keeping feet dry was quickly dispelled. There is something very rewarding though when you are able to see this powerful natural aspect of the Dales at close quarters without the  presence of cars which would struggle to get through.  Joining Wharfedale at Kilnsey we continued down to Bolton Abbey and then over the gated road back to Skipton as the sun broke the clouds and raised the temperature to the mid teens which dried us out for our ride debrief in Bean Loved.

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