Richard E writes:
With inclement (wet and cold) weather in the preceding weeks and days, the forecast for the ride was ‘wall to wall’ sunshine, whoop, whoop, and we were not disappointed! This definitely reflected in the number of riders who turned up at the back of Chevin Cycles for the ride.
A ‘not too extreme hilly’ 50 mile route was selected with Simon T in
mind, as he gets back ‘into the swing’ after illness; and because this was
his last club ride before getting married the Saturday following. Finding a
‘not too hilly route’ is pretty difficult to find in the Dales.
Regardless, a ‘good old favourite’ club run was selected that would
take us through; Embsay, Bolton Abbey, past the Cavendish Pavilion, Barden, Appletreewick, Hebden, Grassington, the back road to Kettlewell, Kilnsey, Linton, Cracoe, Hetton, Winterburn, Airton, Otterburn, Flasby,
Gargrave, Carlton in Craven and back to Skipton. The 30 mile route option
would be decided ‘on the fly’ with either a loop back to Skipton, via
Grassington or via Kettlewell (legs dependent).
24 cyclists set out from Skipton. Riders were split into 3 groups. A
‘faster’ group of 9, followed by a group of 15 ‘social riders’ whom
notionally split into two equal-ish groups, (sometimes more equal than
others!). Everyone was enjoying the sunshine and decided on the longer loop with refreshments at The Cottage Tea Room in Kettlewell. It was a very pleasant change to sit outside of the tearoom and bask in the sun, whilst having our refreshments served.
With everyone suitably refreshed, just before everyone set off for the
second half of the ride, Simon said a few words about his upcoming wedding, and in effect as this was his ‘Stag ride’ and therefore we should stop at the pub on the way home. With the Mason’s Arms in Gargrave, chosen as the selected ‘watering hole’ it was very difficult to coax many to finish the 50-mile ride, with just 5 of us doing this, and even then in our haste we missed the Airton turning! The remaining riders took the shortest route to the pub, achieving I am sure, PBs on every segment on the way. A drink in the sun-drenched beer garden, just ‘hit the spot, as we raised a glass to Simon and Jude his ‘bride-to-be’.
No crashes / injuries