Skipton’s club for all road cyclists, whether just getting into cycling as a sport, experienced racer or anything in between! Here you will find news updates on club events and activities as well as an introduction to riding with the club.
This was the last Saturday ride of 2018 and despite forecast of strong and even gale force winds 12 turned up prepared to face whatever the weather could throw at them. And it did! We were joined by Geoff as a guest rider who will probably be joining the club.
If ever there was a compelling case to be made for riding in a compact group this was it. Whatever shelter could be found from the winds was worth seeking out. The first few miles out to Nappa were hard work with our North Westerly route in direct line with where the weather was coming from! You become very aware of the hedgerows and walls and the sudden sideways swipes when passing gates and other gaps.
Occasional bursts of rain were quickly swept away though and from Hellifield onwards we made better progress and arrived at Elaines T room at precisely 1200 as planned. What a great cafe stop this is with plenty of room, speedy service and the ever popular cheesy-chips (to Edwards delight!). Nick succumbed to a huge slice of coffee cake and regretted it all the way back!
The sun shone on us and we set off with the prospect of a tailwind all the way back to Skipton! If the way out was hard work the return trip was more pleasurable as we rolled along at speed to Wigglesworth and down to the river and “up” Flat Lane before crossing the A65 to Otterburn and onto Bell Busk. Christine was determined to bag herself a PB on the segment and even rode back a few hundred yards to start it accurately. Phil had joined us for the last leg on this stretch of the route as he had been unable to set off earlier.
And so we finished off with a Clubhouse coffee and congratulated ourselves on sticking to the plan and enjoying yet another memorable Saturday club ride, the last one of the year!
The weather forecast for our first December ride was not looking promising so wasn’t sure how many would turn up to brave the elements, so I was surprised to see 12 people.
I made an executive decision to alter the planned route and go via the gated road to Bolton Abbey then onto Addingham instead of going over Bradley moor and Cringles, the faster group opted to stick with the original route. In Bolton Abbey we had to carry out major emergency repairs to Mark’s mudguards!
The rain varied throughout the first part of the ride with some heavy showers and plenty of that fine stuff that wets you through – as Peter Kay would say.
After Addingham we went to Ilkley, crossed the river and along the back road to Bolton Bridge and back up into Bolton Abbey. At Barden the faster group caught us up as we had got ahead of them due to a puncture early in the ride at Bradley.
Stunning view up the Wharfe valley.
From Barden to Appletreewick and Burnsall into the Wharfeside Café, a café that we rarely use on club rides. It’s under new ownership and has been refurbished and we received a very warm welcome, a god menu with good prices, with free Flapjacks. We will have to go back.
At Burnsall, Mark and Dave headed for home.
It’s never easy getting back on the bike in the rain after a good café stop, but we headed back over the river and up to to Hebden and into Grassington, rammed with tourists for the slightly damp Dickensian Christmas festival.
Grassington Christmas festival
We plodded on through to Grasswoods and Conistone, crossed the river, and back down to Threshfield, Linton and Cracoe. At Cracoe we were all getting a bit cold and wet and it didn’t take much of a discussion to go straight back down Grassington Road to town rather than the planned route back via Hetton, Gargrave etc.
Back in Town we descended into the Clubhouse Café for post-ride coffees. Sorry about the wet floor and soggy furniture Kane.
We were heading today for Karl and Wendy’s new place near Lawkland where we had been invited to assist in house-warming them in their new abode. There was a good turnout of 24 for today’s rides. A measure of the main attraction was reflected in only 2 opting for the shorter route.
It helped our hosts that the faster group of 6 set off 10 mins ahead of the main bunch. They were chased and eventually caught by a late starting Jo who gained yet more Strava Cups in doing so on her new bike! The catering facilities would have been a little overwhelmed if we had arrived en masse! However soon after the turn off at Halton West we caught the others up as an unfortunate meeting with a hedge cutter, strewing the road with thorns, had brought them to a halt with 3 punctures. They soon passed us at pace as we headed over the hill to Wigglesworth. Our route took us to Rathmell and then off up past the village school and on to the lanes to Wham. This road was a great way to get across to our destination without needing to use the busy A65 at Giggleswick which we saved for the way back! The wide views of the 3 Peaks were a little obscured by low cloud today.
We were warmly welcomed into the spacious barn conversion and met by a room full of the faster group tucking into beans on toast and Aga eggs prepared by Wendy
and served by Karl
When the main course was finished out came the cakes and if that wasn’t enough Wendy provided carry outs of the left overs!
A very enjoyable time was had by all and in appreciation a donation was made: £120 to the Alzheimer Society.
We dragged ourselves away from this comfortable “cafe stop” to resume our ride over to Buckhaw Brow and down to Giggleswick. But we had to get up this hill first!
The rain held off until we reached Carleton and we had clocked up 57 miles. Probably just enough to burn off the lunch that we enjoyed so much. Be warned Wendy and Karl this might become a habit!
A large group ignored the freezing weather and gathered for the ride this week. A faster group of 9 left first and were followed by 15 who battled into a northerly wind to get to Tosside Vicarage tearooms for lunch.
A fair bit of cheating (or a swift redirection) got us to the cafe on time. After a long, languid lunch the sun came out and a pleasant ride back to Skipton ensued stopping briefly to “let my armpits out” as the temperature reached a balmy 7 degrees.
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.
A large group assembled on Saturday morning behind Chevin Cycles for a wander up Wharfedale, my favourite ride. I could happily ride up there everyday. The weather forecast was favourable. Unusually there was no fast group and no takers for the 30 miler, so 19 of us set off towards Embsay and Bolton Abbey. I made a quick call to Zarina’s to update her with an accurate number for our lunch stop. We then headed to Barden, Appletreewick and Burnsall . Onwards to Kilnsey where we turned off up Littondale to Arncliffe. We doubled back down the dale and then onto Kettlewell. We arrived at Zarina’s in Kettlewell a little early and she was already quite full. Im glad that I’d booked us in advance as she quickly had us all seated and taking our orders.
After lunch we swiftly spun down the back road through Conistone and past Grass Woods to Grassington where we were taken back in time by people dressed in full 1940s costumes and paraphernalia: it was the annual 40’s weekend.
Onwards to Linton, Cracoe, Flasby, Gargrave and then finally over the hill to Broughton, Carleton and home. 14 of us then descended on the Clubhouse Cafe for coffee and brownies.
A great ride out, with weather and cafe to order.
Well, the weather proved to be much better than forecast and this, as well as the route, proved to be a big draw for those out today. 20 odd members were joined by 2 newby guests Delia and Steve. Both were experienced cyclists but new to us! It was nice to see Simon out again on a club ride after a long absence.
We managed to get nearly every one assembled for 9.30 so that we could make a prompt getaway but there are always one or two who have issues with time keeping! They know who they are.
Only 3 opted for the 30 miler. 10 set off at a faster pace and the rest followed. All were following the same route up to the turn off for Halton West. Kevan and Martyn joined the ride at Gargrave. Then between Bank Newton and Swinden the first mechanical of the day occured when Will suffered a rear wheel puncture.
The sun shone all the way to Tosside via Grunsagill and those that had chosen warmer gear were beginning to feel the heat.
A cafe stop had been booked at the Vicarage tearoom at Tosside and the faster group sped their way to arrive a full 30 minutes earlier than planned. They were just finishing when the rest arrived but by then the warmth of the sun enabled these later arrivals to sit outside and admire the extensive views to the south and west.
The route took us across the expanse of Rathmell and Giggleswick Commons to the wonderfully named Wham. Apart from the unlikely connections with the 80s rock group a little research informs disappointingly, that it’s “old English” for “the marshy valley or hollow’’.
This stretch of the route gives views great across to Penyghent , Ingelborough and all the lesser hills around Settle and Clapham.
It’s a real pleasure to travel these 4 or 5 miles to Giggelswick station on quiet lanes with little or no traffic to worry about before it dishes us up on the A65 for a short distance.
From here we followed the wide road to Rathmell and onto Wiggelsworth in good order with Caran and John setting the pace. Up Flat Lane (that isn’t), and onto Hellifield next. At Otterburn an excited discussion began amongst some of the women in the group focusing on the question of the Strava QOM for the stretch to Bell Busk. Without much delay off they went at pace leaving others trailing behind. Di and Caran respectively achieved 3rd and 6th fastest women times. So as a result so they will probably be trying their hand in next week’s faster paced group (or maybe not!)
After that the rest of the ride back to Skipton was done at a more normal speed. We finished off the afternoon’s activity in the Clubhouse with the excellent brownies that Kane imports from Leeds.
Only 4 of us did the shorter club ride today which was described as a 30 miler as opposed to the other ride today to Wetherby which was nearly 70 and on which the majority set off in 2 groups led by Caran.
We followed the same route through Embsay and Bolton Abbey and along the back road as far as Cockpit Farm near Otley. This back road is a veritable highway of cyclists heading up the dale: riders in club groups, in 2 or 3s or on their own. It was good to see so many youngsters out with these groups too.
Happily despite the notices about road dressing we didn’t have to contend with those evil grey chippings on still wet tar. That will be something to tackle in the near future no doubt. It seems recently that most of the roads and back lanes favoured by local cyclists have been “dressed”: what an inappropriate word that is to describe the ugliness that it is.
We said adieu to the 50 /70 milers and visited Cockpit Farm café for coffee and cake al fresco (too early for lunch). We decided to abandon the planned return route as we had arrived comparatively early and all had time to consider extending the way back. Kevan had to make his way back home up the dale whereas Andy, Jayne and me worked out a hillier option returning via West Chevin, Ilkley Moor and down Cow and Calf, through Addingham and over Cringles to Draughton and home to Skipton down Otley Road.
It was a ride of 2 halves with the rolling valley bottom to start with and then climbing up the other side. So we all felt that we had done a good ride and had extended the distance to nearly 40 which all goes to show that you can get in a decent ride locally without spending a lot of time doing it.
A good turnout for another fine day. 4 set off on the faster paced ride and were joined by Kevan in Gargrave. Another 10 (or was it 11?) set off on the 30/50 rides. It was a bit cool initially but we quickly warmed up, Martyn and Maurice joined us Gargrave, then 2 dropped off at Airton Farm shop to do the 30 miler. By this point I had totally lost count, Lol!
We opted for the climb on the right side of the Malham Cove (the Raikes Road). It was hard going in the heat and then as we turned west across Malham Moor we were met by a full-on head wind. We had a chance encounter with the Waddicors on the Silverdale Road. I think they were trying to put-off a family member from ever cycling again!
We descended to Knight Stainforth caravan site for the cafe stop and met up briefly with the fast group. The café was incredibly efficient and were delivering food to the tables before people got sat down from ordering – maybe they were trying to get rid of us?
A different way back: a bit “round the houses” to Rathmel, Wigglesworth then to Paythorne, Horton, Bracewell, Barlick, Thornton, Marton and Gargrave. Just when we thought we were on the home run, we turned back towards Eshton, Flasby, Hetton and Rylstone followed by good, well organised thrash back on the G-Road to Skipton. We were especially grateful to the lady car passenger who leant half way out of the car window and give us some coaching on the benefits of riding in single file – something like that anyway.
On returning to town we adjourned for a coffee to the new Cyclist café on Newmarket Street for a de-brief. A good time was had by all.