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.
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.
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. … keep on reading!
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!
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!
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!
8 of us set off, just five minutes behind the 50 mile riders, headed up the Gated Rd and indulged in the new tarmac through the farm, ignoring the signs 😉 Headed on to Bolton Abbey then to Addingham on the main road, then Carter Lane. Caught up with the 50 milers at the bridge over the Wharfe in Ilkley, then let them get ahead. We then went on past the Lido, then turned left up past Westcliffe House School heading for Langbar, the gentler way. … keep on reading!
Route was down the Dale to Almscliffe Crag and then back through Stainburn to Farnley and after an alfresco café stop at Cockpit Farm, over the easy side of Langbar. Happily the new tarmac at Hesketh Farm gave us swift progress to Bolton Abbey. There are clearly more surface improvements to come along the Gated Road and how welcome that will be.
12 of us set off from Chevin Cycles with another 6 opting for the 30 mile route led by Andy Solloway. We didn’t realise how much the tailwind benefitted us until it was time to come back up the dale! … 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!