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

 

2016 Skipton Reliability Ride Report

What a brilliant day for it! Unlike the grey skies and gale force winds of 2015, we had sunshine. I had no idea how many people to expect so I was all ready with 2 sign-on sheets just in-case. Bumped into Dave at Dave’s getting ready and Sean bringing the SCC flags, soon we were ready for sign-on. A few riders had already gathered behind Chevin Cycles, it was great to see some old faces and new shiny summer bikes. Sign-on went smoothly, route cards handed out, rider briefing done and the 100km were away on time at 9:30 with the 50km following on shortly after.

A coffee, a walk in the woods and a pretzel from Marks & Sparks later and I was waiting in anticipation for the first riders back. 5 minutes after I’d arrived Diane, Neil and John rolled in and seemed to have enjoyed the 50, wasn’t long before all the 50s were back. Expecting to see Stuart rolling in first, I was surprised to see Martin arrive in good time and promptly collapse on the floor, not long followed by Bruce then a steady stream of the rest. Stuart tipped up with a group just missing the cut-off by 6 minutes having taken several wrong turns and back-tracking at least twice! Just as I was packing away Neil and Gareth turned up, bang on 2pm and just within the 4hrs 30. Time for Bean Loved, another coffee and some cake!

I know several people took wrong turns, back-tracked and got it wrong in places. The Skipton Reliability Ride is a much tougher than many others, partly due to the twisty, lumpy terrain and party due to the care required to navigate it. If you got round and got the route mostly right, you did well.

Particular thanks go to Stephen H for helping the SCC youth riders round and Sean M for setting up and hanging about with me much of the day.

50km finishers within 3hrs – not in order

John Tinker
Neil Smith
Diane Craven
Pete Dolan

50km finishers within 3hrs 30mins – not in order

Christine Buckley
Andy Hartley
Claire McKibben
Matilda McKibben
Paul Norman

100km finishers within 3hrs 45mins (2016 cut-off) – not in order

Gareth Frankland
Martin Humphris *
Bruce Dinsmore *

* route cut short due to wrong turn

100km finishers within 4hrs – not in order

Stuart Cowperthwaite
David Ferguson
Chris Gibbons

100km finishers within 4hrs 30mins (2015 cut-off) – not in order

Sam Potter
Stephen Hannigan
John Preston
Christine Preston
Nick Gillies
Lawrence Solloway
Jayne Butterworth
Adam Thompson
Matthew Lister
James Chew
James Sanderson
Gareth Evans
Neil Wilson

SCC Mud Flaps for sale

The Skipton Cycling Club mud flap is ready to order. The mud flap almost reaches the floor so provides excellent protection for those behind, along with looking great.

Comes with 2 push fit fixings, washers and full fitting instructions. Fixings are are pretty low profile, so shouldn’t rub on your tyre. You’ll need a drill and a 4.5mm drill bit (plus a set of mud guards to fit it to of course). It takes about 30 minutes to fit.

£8.50 posted to your door. Delivery within 4 days. Only 20 available!

SCC Mud Flap

Fitting the mud flap

Mine is all nicely fitted, so if you’re riding behind me you’ll no longer be splattered with cow poo. I took some picture in the process which might be useful when you’re fitting yours.

SCC 2015 Survey Results

Back in November 2015 a survey went out of SCC club members to see what they thought about the club. There was also a paper version available at the AGM. The survey was completely anonymous and asked 10 simple questions about the club with the opportunity to comment.

It’s taken me a while to compile the results (including manually entering the 30+ paper surveys), but it’s now complete and the results are up for all to see.

See the Survey Results

We had 72 responses from around 150 members, although only about 100 of those members are actively involved with the club. So a pretty good response rate of just under 50%. I’m not going to do an analysis of the responses, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but all in all I think we did pretty well in 2015.

Thanks to all who took the time to complete the survey.

Spring Wednesday Training

Spring is coming! You wouldn’t think it with the weather we’ve been having, but I’m confident we’ll have warm evenings and dry roads from March until May.

Come spring, you want to be getting some strength back in those legs. Now I’m not a fan of endless hill reps, but like a hilly ride as much as the next man. So I’ve devised 4 new routes to run from March 2nd until April 27th for our Wednesday training rides. Same meeting point (Dave’s) 6:30PM every Wednesday night.

All the routes are pretty lumpy so we’re not going to be able to keep it together all the way round. The aim is to build up strength and climbing ability, so go at your own pace on the major climbs but re-group as needed. I’ve included some suggested re-group points in the descriptions below.

Langbar – Week 1

A steady ride out via gated road takes us to the long classic Langbar climb. One of the toughest climbs in the area for sure, re-group at the top. Return route is via Cocking Lane (you’ve got to love that name), actually higher than Langbar at just over 900ft but far more gradual. Again, re-group at the crossroads at the top. A short up and down through Bradley brings us back to Skipton.

Nappa Winterburn – Week 2

A fairly simple variation on the classic Nappa-Hetton loop taking in Airton and Winterburn rather than the valley road to Bell Busk. There’s a proper climb out of Otterburn, so re-group at the top and it’s endless lumps between Airton and Hetton so there will be a re-group in Hetton. The rest of the way round, let’s try and keep it together.

Hartlington Raikes – Week 3

This route is all about Hartlington Raikes, a seldom used climb over by Appletreewick. One great thing about Hartlington Raikes is that it misses out Dibbles Bridge while still taking us right to the top of the moors. We go out via Black Park, but return via Grassington Road for a flattish route back. Feel free to go mad up Black Park and Hartlington Raikes, but you might be waiting a while at the top, they are both long climbs.

Cowling Hill – Week 4

Sort of like going Over t’Moss, but harder. Cowling Hill gives us a long steady climb to Skipton Old Road but with a nice lumpy warm up via Cononley rather than heading straight up from Carleton. Re-group once we hit Skipton Old Road at the top. Fast and flat back via Earby, but let’s try and keep it together there.

SCC Winter Kit Order

The kit order site is live for those who want kit, including a new Milltag pro stretch rain jacket at a very reasonable £66. There will be a stock kit order going in of £1500 also, mostly common sizes (L/XL), but some youth stock in there too. Milltag sizing is pretty spot on (similar to Castelli).

Milltag sizing is pretty spot on (similar to Castelli). I’m 6ft, 76kg and wear a large jersey and shorts which are a snug fit. If you need to exchange unused kit for a different size, we can swap with stock kit (depending on what we have available).

Youth Kit: SCC subsidises youth kit by 50%. Email simonl@skiptoncyclingclub.org.uk with what kit you need and we’ll get it added to the stock order.

Closing date is 13th September, delivery will take approx 5 weeks. Order direct from the Milltag SCC site, payment by PayPal.

Order your SCC kit today

SCC Summer Ball – 8th August!

There are 2 main social events every year in Skipton Cycling Club. The Christmas Do and the Summer Ball. Well, this year the Summer Ball is on the 8th August.

It’s a great chance to spend some time with your fellow cyclists while they are not in Lycra (warning! some may still be in Lycra). There’s a 3 course meal at the excellent Herriots Hotel in Skipton, and SCC has hired a DJ so you can burn off those vino calories on the dance floor.

Wear whatever you like, smart, glam or casual. It’s a bargainous £15 each plus a small booking fee. Your other half can come too!. It was excellent last year so please come again and let your hair down.

Book now on Event Brite!

New Saturday meeting point

Albion Place

Back on the 26th of March, I sent out a proposal for a change of meeting point. I’ve received quite a bit of feedback, here is a sample:

Would endorse change, as I think it,s only a matter of time before an accident occurs @ Dave,s, and I think we are seen as a bit of a nuisance to shoppers and general public. Not good for club image.

We have definitely outgrown the available space

We are causing a lot of congestion which can result in a bad image of the club

I think it is a great idea to change the meeting point to Albion Place- this looks like it was designed as a meeting place/amphitheater and since the powers that be have provided such a good spot it is a shame not to use it.

Albion place has cycle stands and is sheltered more than the place on Rope Walk

I’ve spoken to many other members, the only negative raised by a few people was:

We’ve always met there and I don’t see the need to change it

…which is totally valid. Wednesday nights, Sunday mornings even, no-one is about.

So, initially we’re going to change the Saturday meeting points only. All Saturday rides will now be advertised as meeting at Albion Place. Access Albion place via Jerry Croft (turn left before Cotswolds). There is vehicular access, so you do not need to dismount unless you wish to (although watch the dropped curb).

Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday evening and Sunday rides will continue to meet at Dave Ferguson Cycles.

Note: This consultation has been done via email to ensure all get an equal say, and to be as inclusive of the membership as possible. With such a fundamental decision, I (and the rest of the committee) thought the club meetings did not attract a wide enough audience.

Le Petit Depart – Kidstones

Come day of Le Grand Depart, Kidstones became the place people wanted to be. It’s the categorised climb on Stage 1 and situated in the most beautiful countryside in the Yorkshire Dales (plus there is a pub at the bottom). It also become a hub of fun and silliness. Richard from SCC captured some great pics of the day.

So what about the climb itself?

Kidstones isn’t the toughest climb in the area (I think that award goes to Park Rash), but it is (in my opinion) the best. Starting off relatively easy and ramping up to a harsh 17% for final corner) it’s a climb that needs a bit of strategy, but one you can really have a good go at. I generally go deliberately slow at the bottom then give it the beans as you get past the waterfall (which probably won’t be a waterfall if last year’s weather is anything to go by). I promptly regret giving it the beans when I realise I’ve got another 100 metres to go, but all is soon forgotten for the fast, smooth downhill getting ever closer to the grub spot.

Steep final corner

The stats

Stava has got it down as a Category 3 climb (Le Tour classed it as Category 4), but as UK climbs go, I’d say it’s a medium. 6,500 people have had a go a getting up Kidstones on their bike since Strava began, personally I’ve been up at least 20 times.

Professional riders can get up Kidstones (or Cote de Cray if you will) in under 8 minutes, my best is over 10, but anything between 10-15 minutes is excellent. In fact, if you can get up Kidstones without getting off and walking, thats a good achivement in my book. I’ve certainly thought of getting off more than once. The Skipton Cycling Club record is currently held by resident whippet, Stuart Cowperthwaite at 8:11.

Kidstones gradient

Distance: 2900m
Evelation gain: 185m
Average gradient: 6.3%

Enter Le Petit Depart Today!