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.
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.
Spring was in the air today and the mild forecast attracted a big turnout of over 20 for the club rides. The choice of kit being worn reflected the level of confidence that individuals had in the Met Office! Most had opted for the safe choice of bib longs, gilets and winter weight tops on the basis of “never cast a clout until May’s out!’ However one brave soul, with an optimistic view of life, was in full summer apparel of short-sleeved club top and bib shorts! Brrr.
The route was an old favourite best done in good weather: over High Side from Airton, through Settle and down to Austwick, then past Wharfe and onto Elaine’s Tearoom at Feizor. Return route was through Hellifield and Bell Busk to Gargrave.
8 set off in the faster group led by Jonathan with 13 in the main group to start with. Mercifully, I suppose, the “optimist” opted for the shorter 30 miler as the milder temps predicted didn’t really materialise. We were joined by a guest couple, Karen and Graham, for their first club ride. Perhaps the first of many!
The familiar herd of Highland cattle were waiting at the road junction on the way up over the high moorland road but sensibly steered clear of us as we stormed through at high speed! A “catch up” at the Ebor Gate cattle grid before the descent into Settle down High Hill Lane was a good photo opportunity and a chance for Kevan to join us. He had missed us at Airton.
After a comfort stop at 3 Peaks Cycles in Settle, we pushed on up the road past Knights Stainforth to Helwith Bridge. The next few miles provide a delightful stretch of road that twists and turns on the way down to Austwick. Unfortunately along here Geoff suffered a mechanical being unable to change gear along here necessitating calling at 3 Peaks Cycles and missing out on the lunch stop at Elaine’s.
As usual we all enjoyed welcoming and speedy service and platefuls of “healthy” eating! We caught up with faster riders here who were into a second course of cake when we arrived.
We set off back to Skipton with the fast descent of Buckhaw Brow, through Giggleswick and then along the Ribble valley to Rathmell and Wigglesworth before ascending Flat Lane (really?) to Hellifield. At this point Geoff joined up with us having had a temporary fix on his mechanical which gave him a single mid range gear to get him home. The usual thrash along to Bell Busk followed for those having their Strava PBs in mind.
A post ride coffee and cake at the Clubhouse ended a good day out.
Where were you all missing the fine cycling weather (not really)?. With the ride start put back to 11.30am, 5 of us set off on the pre-planned 30ml route picking up Gary on the way through Embsay. Black Park climb never gets any easier even with a forceful tail wind. Blustery conditions to Appletreewick and Grassington where sausage sarnies were the most popular choice at the Eco Cafe. As the taxi home didn’t arrive (joke), we had to continue cycling to Conistone, Threshfield, Hetton, Gargrave, Broughton and back. Avoiding inches of surface water and staying upright during the sudden gusts of wind were the main points of interest. BUT, at least we got out and enjoyed coffee and cake at the clubhouse.
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
Chris G writes:
Moonlight and gritters this week!
Superb night to be out, 28 miler down to Ilkley then Cringles and Steeton.
Worked well as a group tonight, shared effort on front, a few attacks, no mechanicals.
Moderate pace of 17.5 average with no stopping.
Winter….bring it on!
Thanks to all 5 for turning out, great riding.
See you next week.
Dry roads, moonlight and a cheeky headwind. 5 riders set a fast pace up to Kettlewell, the back road from Conistone being a bit of a skills test with loose chipping’s a plenty still.
Hard efforts on the front of the group maintained a good pace into a head wind on return from Kettlewell.
We paid for early pace as one by one legs died and riders went ‘out the back’ of the group.
Very much a last man standing on final miles back to Skipton.
31 miles. 18.5 mph average this week with good effort contributions from everyone.
Thanks everyone for a cracking pace and some good speed training.
Didn’t quite stay together as a group but we’ll keep working on it. 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!