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.
The weather forecast was generally good for the day so it was a bit surprising that the turn out was on the low side but it did make the 3 groups very easy to organise and manage during the day. Thanks to Steve Wilkinson for helping me get the routes up on Strava, I feel I’m get nearer by the day to being able to post the routes myself, quite a challenge when a couple of years ago I thought “Strava” was the name of a distant galaxy.
The faster group of 5 then 6 set of with fine gusto not to be seen again until we met up at Fewston Farm Shop Cafe where we all sheltered from an unexpected downpour which certainly put the dampers on things, literally. At least we had time for another tea and an nth visit to the toilet. Quite an issue for the over sixties.
The hail stones were an interesting addition especially considering that most of us were tending towards summer cycling kit.
9 of us in the main group departed from the back of Chevin Cycles, 4 completing the 30 miler through Grassington and the 5 of us continuing to Fewston Cafe, amazingly good food prices and loads of seating. Our ride near Appletreewick was livened up by a local farmer in his “golf buggy” who seemed to think the local roads were his and that we were affecting his rapid pace of life. Interesting that he managed to find time to “have a go at us”. Mind you there were scores of cyclists about taking part in “Fat lads at the Back sportif”. However, when it came to cyclists insurance, which he assumed we didn’t have, I did put him straight. Anyhow, the scenery was fab as May is such a brill time of the year with all the new growth and wild bird activity.
On the return leg of the ride, the five of us stayed together well and got into some neat group riding. We finished up at Kane’s pad (the Clubhouse Cafe), had an excellent coffee or two and probably put the world to right.
A drizzly start to today’s ride didn’t put many off the border crossing to the Red Side: no passports required. A small advanced party of 5 set off into the distance, followed by 3 groups totalling another 18 riders. Not content with that, we collected another 2 on route to Gargrave. A usual out-route took us through West Marton towards Baa’lick. The 30 milers left us as we headed for Blacko. I’m hoping they found the route from Foulridge, although they’d already rebelled and decided they weren’t going to do the little climb out of Earby I’d set on the route . The rest of us descended into Witch Country. Passing my old primary school in Roughlee, I recalled tales of years gone by and the massive injustice of being told off by my old headteacher. The climb now ramped up to Newchurch with more than one of our group hufflepuffing and cursing the short but steep climb. At the top, Andy began reflecting on the Strava title for his ride whilst looking over to Pendle Hill. Onward and down to lunch at ‘The Cabin’ in Barley.
Thanks to Paula at the Cabin for sorting lunch, the usual beans on toast for most of us, although, Jayne’s beef stew and dumplings was being enviously looked upon by more than one of the group. It was pointed out to me that Edward might have got a bit grumpy as the tea didn’t come in a pot! I’ll let them know the next time we call in. I did have to put ‘our Paula’s’ mind at ease on more than one occasion that we didn’t have to go up the hill we’d come down after we’d finished lunch; we just had another one instead. Climbing post lunch out of Barley to the foot of Pendle, we had a short photo stop before descending to Downham and a downpour, no doubt bestowed upon us for heading back to White Rose Country – hopefully not cursed by the witches. The long steady climb back towards Hellifield left one member of the group feeling deflated, well, his back tyre in any case. Matt even blew a valve trying to pump it up. Limping on to Otterburn, where Tara jumped to the rescue with a track pump having already been home for some time. Steady away …. we all returned to Skipton, where a small group had a coffee before returning home. Big thanks to everyone for an enjoyable – if a bit of a hilly – ride today. Gary
Another Beautiful spring weather day – perhaps half-term kept the numbers down to 10 – where were the rest of you? It was a beautiful day to get up to Greenhow Hill and get long distant views! 10 riders set off from Chevin – nice to see Will back after a long lay-off with a rugby injury! Up to Embsay past the bad tempered motorist and up Black Park. The views were getting better as the sun burned off the mist. A fast descent to Barden Bridge and then on to the T-junction at Skyreholme where the lone 30 miler carried on to Grassington. The 9 carried on up the New Road climb to the Grassington – Pateley Bridge road. It’s a spectacular climb as you try to escape the steep sides of Wharfedale! Up past Stump Cross Caverns to Greenhow Hill at a good pace and then suddenly into the wind as we turned south along Redlish Road to Fewston. The wind was surprisingly cold but few noticed as the tight group zipped along seeing the golf balls of Menwith Hill emerge and grow in definition, as the early morning mist cleared. Good service and low prices at Fewston Farm shop and then down to cross the dam wall of Fewston Reservoir on the Washburn. A scenic detour was taken via Timble village – Mark wanted to know if the pub was worth visiting!
Phil enjoyed the short sharp climb to the top of Askwith Moor and then a fast decent to Ilkley via Askwith, where we gathered at the stone footbridge over the Wharfe. The group decided that they’d had enough climbing and that the roadworks to the Cringles were best avoided. This meant a steady ride back to Bolton Bridge via Nesfield and then the Gated Road to Embsay. Back to the Clubhouse café at a very respectable 3pm. Very few traffic incidents “luckily”, apart from the near miss at Bolton Abbey. One of our number was cut-up by a 4×4 driver with poor distance judgement. No harm done or nerves shredded.
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.
19 riders assembled behind Chevin Cycles this week, maybe some had been put off by the 1433m of climbing over the 50 mile ride, although it could have been the grey, murky morning too! However, the murkiness didn’t last long and it ‘turned out nice again’ once we were up and over Sidegate Lane in Lothersdale. ‘Where?’ I hear you cry, well I’d never heard of it either and I planned the route! It wasn’t the hill I’d intended but a pleasant error, of sorts!
A watery blue sky could be seen and everyone was feeling much warmer by the time we got to a heavenly stretch of new black stuff on the tops at Black Lane Ends. A smooth and sleek descent towards Colne, where we said Bon Voyage to Mark and new rider Matthew – who were off to Café Cargo in Foulridge for a brew. Alas, they failed to find it so goodness knows where they stopped or if they did, they did get home though and Matthew said he may even join us on the 50 miler next time.
The remaining 8 riders continued along Red Lane, a lovely country road that is great to ride on but often plagued by the ‘rat-run’ drivers. On this occasion though it was pretty empty and all was well.
Riding down into Barrowford, we were all trying to remember which right turn to take, luckily we took the right one and another climb (then descent) into Roughlee. Then onwards to Barley, climbing the fabulous road alongside Pendle Hill (famous for being on Doctor Who), which looked splendid in the sunshine. We stopped at the crossroads for a photo and chatted to a few chaps that had climbed up the road that we were (rather sensibly) riding down.
There’s always a bonus or two to climbing a hill, the view from the top and the joy of the descent, we are so lucky to have such varied terrain on our doorstep.
Off we went, following the twists and turns to Downham village – apparently the toilets there are something to behold, next time you’re there pop in! We arrived at Greendale View Café earlier than expected, the faster group had arrived and had the comfort of their own dining room! I apologised to them for the ‘mistake’ hill but they’d enjoyed it anyway and can’t wait to do it again!
After a lovely brunch with lashings of tea, we left the comfort of the log-burner and ventured outside again, brr! It was still sunny outside but you could feel a slight chill in the air so we headed quickly off through Chatburn, Grindleton and Sawley to keep warm. We needn’t have worried though, as there was another climb out of Bolton-by-Bowland towards Wigglesworth, we do like a hill or three! With a right turn towards Settle Lane and Halton West, with no traffic for a change, we joined the main road to Hellifield.
Along familiar, well ridden roads we headed to Airton and the lovely ‘kick’ to Calton, Phil’s fave! Shortly afterwards, Cath got a puncture and several riders wrestled with her tyre to free the busted tube, they managed eventually. Christine headed off alone as the dogs would be cross-legged!
Meanwhile, just down the road, a few of us watched in surprise as a herd of hairy cattle walked up the road towards us! Nobody was leading them, they just appeared but they were scared of us and started running down the hill – towards our puncture people! Cows were going rump over udder all over the place on the slippery road surface, then the farmer arrived on his quad bike but he didn’t seem that bothered when we told him. Apparently he was walking them to Malham!
We reassembled at the wonky Winterburn Bridge, all safe, fully inflated and cow injury free for the home run. We formed a tight group on Grassington Road and stuck together rather impressively, avoiding all those bath tub sized holes and arriving back in town with smiles on our faces. ‘That was such good fun!’ was the first comment and I think it just about summed up the whole ride! Perfect! Strava link
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.
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.