On arrival, the morning rain had finally subsided to leave damp roads but clear skies and with a forecast of sun on the horizon it was shaping up to be a good day.
5 of us met at Daves and after waiting for a while we decided to set off. Just as we rounded the corner we were met by Chris Gibbons and Roy Moorhouse. The Sunday rides seem to picking up a bit of momentum now so it was great to see 7 people this week.
We set off at a relatively subdued pace towards Colne via Thornton and Foulridge keeping a nice tight group with each rider taking their turn on the front. I mentioned to Nick Gillies that the pace seemed a little steadier this week which thinking back probably wasn’t my best idea for the moment – a minute later I was on the front with Nick and the pace was increased all the way to the beginning of the climb over the Moss. The pace would have been fine but as we started to climb I was already burned out and my legs didn’t want to play. As I watched Roy, Adam, Chris, Nick and Jayne attack it with gusto all I could do was get my head down and grind away. With Nick Shore just ahead of me he was a good marker to drag myself up and over – job done and PR beat!
After regrouping it was the fast descent down to Cross Hills. Being heavier than the others, gravity took over and off I went straight past the group and back onto the front – another silly idea of mine. Chris joined me as we led the group to the Cringles climb. Pretty much a carbon copy of the first climb ensued with more PR’s being broken and some good climbing taking place from all involved.
By now the sun was shining, the roads were dry and the pace was picked right up. Still keeping a tight group we made our way through Addingham onto Ilkley, over the stone bridge and back along the old road to Bolton Abbey. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the ride with everyone swapping positions and systematically taking turns to chat to each person within the group.
This weeks café stop was at the Tea On The Green which was agreed by all that it needs to be one that’s put on the list. Very friendly staff, free flap jack all round and water bottles filled we were refreshed and ready for the second leg. The only issue we could find was the most unsociable seating area we have found so far. In the middle of the green sits a large tree with a continuous bench which circled around the tree. It wasn’t until we sat down it was clearly evident that this would not work – everybody was facing away from each other! To be fair to the café I can’t hold them responsible as it wasn’t their tree and we actually found it quite amusing.
Back on our bikes we set off up the newly surfaced gated road which as you all know was in dire need of repair. All I can say is I wish every road was like this. By now the guys who had been flying up the earlier climbs seemed to be tiring – this is my chance I thought, I’ll reach this climb in record time – stupid thought of the morning number 3!!. Striding past everyone I thought I was doing well until Nick G and Roy once again put me in my place. Oh well, I can only get better.
The group carried on to Embsay and joined Grassington road via Brackenley Lane. Making our way up to Rhylstone then to Hetton. Jayne then made a breakaway and took the Queen of the Mountain much to the amusement of the lads – good move Jayne. A good pace with a tight group then took us in Gargrave where Jayne went home and the rest of us went for the last little climb out of Gargrave to Broughton. Right I thought, this is definitely it and I am having this climb as mine. Overtaking Roy I got the pedals down and started spinning away. Approaching the summit my legs were screaming at me and just at the point I heard a voice, “keep going, no pain no gain”. Roy was right on my back wheel giving me words of encouragement. With some huffing and puffing over the summit I went – at last, one to me. Keeping the power down and now with Nick G in our little breakaway we kept the pace up and off we went to Broughton – PR smashed.
After regrouping again and some tired legs we made our way back to Skipton where we all went our separate ways. Adam Thompson and myself went back to Cross Hills and here was a chance for one more PR. I led to Bradley where Adam took the reins and dragged me back to the Kildwick roundabaout – PR smashed (thanks Adam)
Arriving back in Cross Hills very tired and extremely happy that was another great morning out with SCC. A very tight, decent paced group, on a good route with great company.
Having some great riders among the group makes it ideal for those wanting to push their riding. There is plenty of encouragement and a relaxed atmosphere with no one being dropped.
Roll on next week.