Written by Jo Biott:
Seven members (Edward, John, Jonathan, Rick, Simon, Steve and I) arrived at Chevin for the not quite 50-miler Saturday Social Ride to Kettlewell. There were no takers for the 30-miler this week. Caran had just come to pick up her bike, so wasn’t riding. But it was nice to see her and we hope to see her out riding again soon!
There were a couple of firsts. It was my first time as ride leader and Steve’s first time with his new lenses, so things could have gone awry. But thankfully there were no mishaps and we all had a good time! The weather was as forecast, but that hadn’t put the seven of us off.
It was cold as we set off down the High Street in light rain; rain that kept us company throughout the ride. That said, we couldn’t complain of lack of variety. We had vertical freezing rain, blustery sideways eye-stinging rain, misty soaks-you-through and gets into your socks rain and the ‘hey look, the sun’s come out’ rain.
We rode an anti-clockwise loop, taking in Carleton, Gargrave, Flasby, Hetton, Cracoe, Linton, Grassington and Conistone, before arriving at Kettlewell two hours after setting off. Although the roads had been very wet until that point, luckily we’d not encountered ice. But as we cycled along the back road into Kettlewell, the road was spread with sleet and hidden ice dangers. A few of our back wheels skidded a time or two and we felt very lucky to have arrived at Zarinas with no accidents!
We slotted our bikes into the stands outside and enthusiastically headed into Zarinas for our staple club-ride diet of eggs and/ or beans on toast, with tea or coffee. Zarina had kindly reserved the big solid wooden table near the toasty fire for us from half-eleven. We sat down in good humour, ordered and engaged in some friendly banter about future club cycle events and riding in warmer weather. A few of us hung our wet gloves on the fire surround to dry. Given how cold and wet we were, it didn’t take long before we’d completely steamed up Zarina’s windows and nobody could see out!
Although torturously cold putting wet outer garments back on and coming out of a cosy, fire-warmed cafe on a winter’s day, there were no complaints. We pulled out of Kettlewell and headed towards the iconic Kilnsey Crag in good spirits. We didn’t see any climbers out on the Crag today, but admittedly we did pass half-blind from the sideways-stinging rain.
We took a left at Threshfield and headed down into beautiful Burnsall, (where the toilets are threatened with closure if nobody pays, despite there being no obvious payment mechanism available). We then pedalled back over to the far side of the Wharfe, through Appletreewick in brightening sunshine and towards Bolton Abbey.
As the road passed close to the Bolton-Abbey/Barden Bridge footpath, a spritely young dog dived into the road in front of us. We narrowly avoided a collision, which was lucky. But instead of a simple sorry, we were shouted at by the dog-owner! Anyway, moving on.
We crossed the wooden bridge and cycled through the pavilion area amongst families and dog-walkers. We made our way up and over the gated road, past Billy-Bobs and into Embsay, where we took a count of the Bean-Loved goers. We said goodbye to two and five had coffee at Bean-Loved. Simon got £1.90 cake to share between the five. But it was so tiny, that he ate it all himself