Richard Emptage writes:
A recce of the route was undertaken on the preceding Wednesday. Snow was evident on the surrounding hill tops, and snow and hail were encountered on the climb up to Tosside. With driving rain being the norm for the day.
What a pleasant surprise to awake to a sunny, albeit cool, Saturday morning. Donning plenty of layers of cycling apparel to keep warm; the sun stayed out for the entire ride, the temperature rising to 14°C; with everyone discarding layers as the ride progressed.
26 cyclists set out from Skipton, with an additional 2 joining in Gargrave. Riders were split into 3 groups. A ‘faster’ group of 8, followed by 2 groups of 9. Everyone had elected to cycle the 50-mile route! With the bikes almost in ‘auto-pilot’ mode, we navigated the ever-popular route out of Skipton via; Carleton, Gargrave, Bank Newton, Nappa, Halton West, and Bolton by Bowland.
For me, the Holden Lane section was ‘unexplored territory’. A 20-min (Cat-3) climb from Holden to our Café stop at The Old Vicarage Tea Room in Tosside. It was challenging, but doable! When we arrived at the Tea Room, the first group were sat outside in the glorious sunshine, and already tucking in their well-earned refreshments.
Now suitably refreshed, it was all ‘down-hill’ back home to Skipton … well apart from one or two ‘undulations’ to negotiate. Certainly, it was down hill to Wigglesworth. Flat Lane is definitely NOT flat! Arriving in Helifield, it was back into ‘auto-pilot’ mode as we basked in the sun and plotted our course back to Skipton via; Otterburn, Bell Busk, Eshton, Gargrave, Broughton, Carleton … and for some, a coffee and cake in the Club House Café.
No crashes / injuries