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.
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.
Good turn out for the ride this morning under less than summery skies. A baker’s dozen met up in Horton in Ribblesdale and headed off over the gravelly, redressed road to Ribblehead. Up to Newby Head well before the fast motorcycles and then turned off for the lovely descent down to Cowgill and along the back road to Dent.
Not having clocked up enough miles to justify lunch we then took an extra loop towards Sedbergh and back to stop at a different cafe than planned, which turned out to have a rather unique approach to customer service.
I guess 13 hungry cyclists arriving took them off guard. We overheard another diner who had been left waiting by our arrival, who had to abandon the food they had cooked for him being told “Don’t come back!”.
After a slightly oddly served lunch (baked beans in bowls anyone?), we headed out to the real climb of the ride, the tough ascent of Deepdale.
Two gates to negotiate, plus the road having a liberal covering of cow poo, resulted in one of us spinning a wheel and taking a tumble! Rudimentary first aid given, we prepared ourselves for the cracking rollercoaster of a descent down Kingsdale, a great four mile blast to Thornton in Lonsdale and on to Ingleton.
I’d kind of forgotten the plotted route after that, but a combination of Garmin and an old school map guided us a meandering route to Clapham, Austwick and on to Helwith Bridge and back to Horton. Great ride, stunning scenery even under the clouds, very social, yet challenging
The fine weather continues to enhance the weekly club rides and today there were approximately 20 members out for the 3 rides set up by Cath. All went out to Laneshawbridge through Cowling and then the 50 milers set off to climb past Widdop to Heptonstall and then onto Hebden Bridge. The shorter route doubled back to Skipton. There were half a dozen in the faster group led by Jo and 7 in the other group led by Cath.
Cath always makes an effort to create routes that are out of the ordinary and today’s was no exception! The sharp climb out of Coldwell was a real leg stretcher and left us all reaching for lower gears immediately! From the summit it was a fast and breezy descent to Hardcastle Crags and on to Heptonstall’s cafe stop. A few hundred yards of cobbles shook us up to enjoy the delights of lunch. French Toast, bacon and maple syrup was delicious!
The slow crawl through Hebden Bridges gave some unusual sightings of several steam punkers in outrageous costumes ( but they are all aren’t they?)
Cock Lane to Oxenhope was hard work on such a warm day but the panoramic views from the top are worth the effort (I think).
The route continued uncertainly with more climbing up to Oakworth and then we made a decision to get back and go through Keighley to Crosshills and then over to Kildwick and Bradley.
Despite the many climbs and effort there was an amazing number of cups gained by those who use Strava to record their rides. 302 in all on the 50 miler
A fine and sunny day for a return visit to this route from Ripon out to Bedale then to Jervaulx Abbey with a stately finish through Studley Royal deer park! Given its previous popularity it was surprising that only 6 club members turned up. The A59 closure, Grassington Festival and other distractions may have put off the regulars.
Those that did take part had a wonderful day out on quiet lanes much less busy than our home patch and with a cooling breeze from the NE, it was not too hot! There were some unwelcome stretches of recently “dressed” road surfaces through Thirn and Thornton Steward which caused some problems for Di has her wheels clogged with the combination of hot tar and chippings.
The planned cafe stop at Jervaulx Abbey Tea Rooms was a mixed experience depending on your views on value for money, the definition of a crumpet and the time of day! We didn’t really need a second cafe stop but the “not to be missed” Sun Parlour Cafe in Ripon Park was too tempting on such a warm day.
So all agreed that the extra effort of coming out this way was well worth it and gave us a cycling experience quite different from our usual routes of hills and dales.
Given the bulk of riders had opted to go on the Away-Day Event, just 10 of us opted to do a lumpy-bumpy hybrid 42 mile route in place of the usual 30 and 50 milers. We were joined on the day by Rob, returning to riding with the club after a layoff, and Richard, doing his first Saturday Social Ride.
Heading out to Embsay, we then set out to climb Black Park (a good warm-up indeed) before hurtling down the other side to Barden. After crossing Barden Bridge, we embarked on the second climbing challenge past Appletreewick and Skyreholme and on up to the Grassington-Pateley Bridge road. At this point Steve (who had a prior engagement) and Rob (still building up his fitness) opted to head back to Skipton via Grassington. The rest of us cycled on to Greenhow Hill and turned down to Fewston on Redlish Road. Good style was adopted on the long, fast seven-mile descent to Fewston – a compact group of eight riders two-abreast. And Di and Wendy kept us royally entertained with their constant chatter although I’m not sure either of them drew breath!
Copious quantities of beans, eggs, toast and teacakes were consumed at the Fewston Farm Shop café stop before embarking on the second half of the ride taking in Fewston Reservoir en-route to Askwith. Striking out for Ilkley from Askwith, we enjoyed a rare treat – the road was closed to traffic while workmen repaired the surface for the Tour de Yorkshire but were allowing cyclists through. Cue several members racing a couple on a tandem! From Ilkley we headed towards Bolton Abbey via Nesfield at a spirited pace and then turned up Gated Road to return to Embsay and then Skipton. Interestingly Wendy and Di stopped talking as we reached the top of Gated Road and launched themselves off the front of the group at a pace that would have impressed Marcel Kittel. They proceeded to jointly record the women’s second fastest time this year on the one-mile Strava segment from the quarry to Embsay bend – motivated by the thought of cake at Bean Loved perhaps?
Overall it was a very enjoyable ride; the weather was decent (certainly by the standards of this spring) we had climbing challenges and fast sections and the enthusiasm of those taking part made it an enjoyable day.