Karl W writes:
Skipton CC descends on the Old Vicarage Tearooms, Tosside … en masse!
A phenomenal turnout for Saturday’s social ride saw 29 members (including a couple of welcome new faces) gather outside Chevin Cycles for the Saturday Social Ride. Given the large numbers, we opted to split into three groups with Jonathan W. keeping an eye on the speed merchants and Caran S. watching over the first of the ‘normal pace’ groups; yours truly bringing up the rear with the third bunch of riders. Setting out from Skipton, we headed over to Gargrave via Carleton, a short section of the A59 and Broughton Road. Kevan and Maurice joined us in Gargrave bringing the total to 31 (did people think this was the Christmas ride?).
From Gargrave, we took the road through Bank Newton onto Nappa then a quick stint on the A682 to the Halton West turnoff. At this point we waved goodbye to two riders who were doing the 30 miler due to time pressures while the rest of us hurtled over to Bolton by Bowland before climbing (at a much steadier pace) up the long, long hill (four miles no less!) on Holden Lane before joining the road to Tosside and the Old Vicarage Tearooms for lunch.
The third group of riders arrived at The Old Vicarage around the time the speedy group was just finishing, which no doubt helped the hard-pressed staff at the tearooms who were coping well with our excessive numbers (double what was expected). However, once ensconced in the warm fug, the ladies table began to lower the tone with conversations about ‘sausages’ and ‘respective girths’ accompanied by loud, raucous laughter!
Sated after plates of beans on toast, fried eggs and fish finger butties, we headed back out in to the cool air and continued on through Wigglesworth, up Flatt Lane to Hellifield and on to Otterburn where, with a challenge thrown down, the ladies decided to go for a Strava time on the ‘Otterburn to Bell Busk’ and ‘Bell Busk Sprint’ sectors. Heading off like they were breaking from the peloton on a Grand Tour, the ladies barrelled along, aiming for record times but had a string of ready excuses at the end (headwind, my tyres were a bit low, wasn’t at my best!) but despite this, several clocked up PBs.
The rest of the route was pretty steady, picking up the Malham – Gargrave road to Eshton, then up to Hetton, on to Rylstone and back down Grassington Road to Skipton for an end of ride coffee stop at Bean Loved. Unfortunately in the fast group, Rick had had a major back wheel mechanical near Eshton which ended his ride, but well done Paul N for taxiing Rick and his bike home.