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.
My first go at ride leader on a Saturday went without a hitch (thankfully). Andy Solloway stood in again and led the 30 miler’s for which there seemed a good number of riders, which left me with the 50 miler to have a go at! With a route from Caran to follow we set of on time with 13 and decent weather, including some new faces to the 50 mile crew (Liz, Peter, Wendy and Carl).
A decent pace to Bolton Abbey then we were joined fashionably late by Mike at Barden to make a good group of 14 on the climb to Blubberhouses, where we regrouped. Cath and Martyn did a fantastic job of leading a well behaved pack at a sprightly pace all the way to the cafe at Fewston Farm shop. Refuelled and onto Askwith moor, battling a crosswind good progress was made by all. Down into Askwith and onto Ilkley in two tidy packs sheltered from the wind, good progress was made.
Quick pit stop for Edward and we were off to the infamous Cocking Lane. After a chance to catch our breath at the top we then made for Skipton via the old road from Silsden to Bradley. Back into Skipton before 3! So thank you all for making my job so easy and enjoyable!
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As I cycled down to Skipton in the pouring rain I wondered how many others would be as dedicated to the cycling cause. I arrived soaked to the skin with water sloshing inside my shoes. I’m not sure if it was my route choice to Stainforth & Halton Gill, or the rubbish forecast that had put the usual Saturday crowd off today, but there were only 6 hardy cyclists gathered inside the doorway of Chevin Cycles this morning. 3 for the 50 miler & 3 for the 30 miles.
As soon as we set off the rain stopped and the sun came out – well almost… that’s how it felt, our spirits lifted. The 6 of us rode together until the routes divided at Hellifield, then Mike, Steve & I headed on to Settle via Wigglesworth & Rathmell, cracking on at a decent pace in the increasing sunshine. … keep on reading!
Another “glorious summer day” (not) for this ride was reflected in the throng of members who turned out = 12! The forecast was wrong again as it started grey, drizzly and breezy and stayed like that all day. Not a good omen for the evening club BBQ at Bolton Abbey. We set off with numbers split equally between the longer and shorter rides. It was good to see Simon T joining us again on these Saturday rides as he regains his fitness and enthusiasm for cycling. … keep on reading!
Craig Scott writes:We met at Daves at 8:30 with the sun shining and a clear blue sky. Nick Shore was back after his crash in the WRC and Chris Gibbons is now back on his bike after 5 weeks off. With Nick Gillies and Stu Cowperthwaite the turn out was not bad.
My bike has had to go back to Trek so I was riding a friend’s spare bike. After a few miles it was clearly evident that something was not quite right – rattles from the front and rear of the bike and a dropped chain right in the middle of Cross Hills roundabout – this wasn’t going to be an easy day! Stuart on the other hand was riding a fixie (crazy man) and his legs were going ten to the dozen when speeds reached in excess of 24 mph much to the amusement of us. … keep on reading!
Unusually there was sunshine for a foray into Lancashire. Around twenty left Skipton in two groups with shouts of encouragement to the picketing train guards. It all went swimmingly with the 30 milers joining us until the end of Brogden Lane. Then to Rimmington – however yours truly misread her directions and lead one group on the wrong road. After a little consternation we ploughed on (after waiting for fast moving farm machinery to pass safely) only to be met by the other group not far from the turn to Chatburn. Through Clitheroe to Whalley where we carpet bombed three cafes being too large a group to fit in one or two, fortunately beans were available in two of the three (albeit in ramekin dishes). … keep on reading!
11 of us had an excellent day on the 50+ miler, following the precise route I posted up earlier in the week. Tail wind going out with splendid quiet roads up from Bolton by Bowland, Holden, Lane Ends and down to Easington, carefully avoiding the quarry size potholes which could easily swallow a man or woman.
And then Waddington Fell!!! After cutting snow steps and bracing 150 mph winds, we finally made the summit. In fact it was fine. We regrouped at the top ready for the 2.5mile descent into Waddington, well worth waiting for the 40+ mph sections. … keep on reading!
This 55 mile ride was well attended with 12 taking part. 12 set off from Chevin quite promptly. The group was “very keen to tackle the climb up Black Park” as quickly as possible. On second thoughts perhaps I mistook the moans of apprehension for expressions of ecstasy that often accompany the ascent of hills on Social rides!! But there was more climbing to consider as the planned route was to climb Cote de Kidstones!
The ride up the Dale was into a headwind the whole way and it was a relief to get shelter from it as we travelled through the woods and beside stone walls. Jacqui and Martyn took the lead and kept the pace steady along to Consiton. The back road from Coniston to Kettlewell was a wise choice. There was some serious discussion at our next catch up in the village. … keep on reading!
Over the winter we all tend to ease up and bit, hide on the turbo and avoid windy hillsides. To get some intensity back in last year I ran a series of lumpy rides on a Wednesday night. They are based on around 30 minutes of climbing and an hour or so of steady riding. You’ll find that similar to many Sufferfest workouts, and quite frankly, you won’t wany any more than 30 minutes of upper threshold work of an evening.
So idea is, we all ride together, nice and steady to the bottom of the climb, then go at your own pace to the top and regroup. We then ride altogether again to the bottom of the next hill. There are 2 main hills on each route.
This year I’ve dropped it to just 2 routes to give you a chance to hit the same hills week on week. Both routes start with Black Park. On both routes the 2nd climb can be cut out if you’re not feeling it.
Hartlington Raikes goes up from by Hebden, rather than turning left, you just head straight up the hill to the B6265. It’s a long climb with a steep start levelling off half way up. Hit the start hard as you’ll get some rest shortly after. Return via Linton, chain-gang down Grassington road if you’re feeling up for it.
We can take a maximum of 16 riders (minimum age being 9). Younger riders should be confident cyclists, ideally with some competitive experience or previous experience on the velodrome.
Cost is £35 per rider for a 2 hour session with a qualified coach. Bike hire is included. The bikes use Look Keo compatible pedals, so if you’ve got Look Keo cleats on your shoes, you can use them, otherwise shoe hire is an additional £4.
Every Wednesday night, starting from the 4th May, we’re going to be doing the Skipton Chain Gang. It’s the same route every week (Skipton to Buckden and back), total of 36 miles. Meet at 6:30PM outside Dave Ferguson Cycles. Pace will be about 20mph, so we should be back for 8:30.
We’ll aim stay together on the way out, but pace will be high, so you’ll need to be able to hold a high speed (think 18mph on a solo ride). The way back will be a chain gang from Buckden all the way back.
A few rules:
Ease up the climbs: 3 main climbs on the way back, Kettlewell, Long Ashes and Threshfield Bank. If you kill it on the climbs, we’ll split up and all be doing a time trial home, which is not the point.
Ease up when you go past: Don’t go past the group like a steam train, you’ll split the group up. Ease up a tiny bit as you pass, but don’t brake and don’t stop pedalling or everyone will crash into you.
Keep it tight: We’ll be riding 2 abreast, so cars can get past we need to ride tight together. There should be no more than half a foot between you and the rider beside you or in front.
Don’t overlap wheels: If the guy in front moves out unexpectedly and your front wheel is overlapping their rear, they will take you out and everyone else behind you.
Don’t line out:: If we’re 10+ riders, lining out just makes for an impassable long line of riders. There are only a couple of narrow sections on this route, cars are safer to wait until it opens up than squeeze past.
This is a dropping ride. Don’t worry if you get dropped. Some of it is fitness, some of it is practice holding a wheel and some of it is getting used to that horrible feeling of going into the red zone for just a few seconds. All will improve the more you do it.
Youth riders welcome. You will need your parents consent, and if you are under 16, you will need to be accompanied by a nominated adult club member to be responsible for you for the duration of the ride. See Youth Membership for more details.