We were blessed today with some of the best weather so far this year and it was reflected in the turnout of members at Chevin, all fit and raring to go! The featured ride was another extended distance with a route of 70 miles over the Cross of Greet from Slaidburn. It needs to be attempted on a decent day and today it was.
18 opted for this route and a further half dozen did the shorter one as far as Halton West. This group, led by Di, was joined by guest riders, Fiona and Paul. So keen was John, that he flew back from India just to get out on his bike in the sunshine and enjoy some good, fresh, northern air!
The faster group, numbering 10, set off ahead picking up Kevan waiting at Gargrave. Making their way to the Riverbank Tearooms at Slaidburn, they arrived about 1130. Advance booking proved to be a wise call as the place was vey busy. The women in this group had apparently set a lively pace to this point!
The other group of 8 riders arrived about 30 mins later and had to join a queue out of the door to order their food. Strangely, just has Steve parked up his bike, the front wheel punctured with a loud hiss. With Rick’s help this was speedily repaired in time his consume eggs on toast! Service at the tearooms was good today despite the large numbers arriving for lunch.
The climb of Cross of Greet is in “100 Greatest Climbs” page 79,
So it has a bit of a reputation that means it must be tackled at some point in a cyclist’s life or there has to be a good reason why it hasn’t!
It”s like the climb over Buttertubs from the Hawes side with some sharp bits but generally not too demanding. [See this link for more info about the climb and some background : Cycling uphill
Edward was “Cross” when he reached the top!
Although the view of the 3 Peaks and the Lakeland hills from the summit was obscured by haziness, there was a real sense of altitude gained and wide open space. After a catch up and a photo call we descended to Mewith Lane and the way back to Giggleswick Station and the A65. The descent from the top is fast and thankfully the tarmac isn’t too bad, adding to the fun!
With the temptation of a second cafe stop at Hazy Days in mind, we pressed onto Hellifield via Rathmell and Wigglesworth in good order. Water bottles and energy needed topping up, so we were more than a little disappointed to find that the cafe had shut at 3! However Karl came to the rescue with an invite to his place on the route back.
Coffee, tea and Haribos were on the menu and were gratefully consumed fuelling the last few miles back home.
So a memorable day out with a sense of achievement and more than a few very happy cyclists.