Social Series Report (28th June) – Stainforth via Halton Gill

Today’s riders all set off from Dave’s shop as usual, the group was 12 strong but smaller than of late. This, we assumed, was down to the fact that there was something called ‘The White Rose Classic’ going on and some of our regular riders were taking part.

Anyway, we made our way along Grassington Road to Linton at some pace! We collected a rogue cyclist along the way too, who just happened to know exactly where to join us because of our excellent ride planning (pat on the back to self), so then there were 13 of us.

We continued up to Grassington and down the Grass Woods road to Coniston where we turned off to Kilnsey. The Crag looked spectacular against the moody skies, with climbers dotted around like colourful spiders.

Onwards and upwards we travelled, turning off to Arncliffe. I fell behind a bit on this road and the others became a speck in the distance. Then, all of a sudden, Gareth Evans appeared like Mr Ben (70s kids TV reference). Apparently I wasn’t the back marker, he and John Cahill had been nattering and it had slowed them down. We all got to Arncliffe and stuffed bananas and flapjack etc. down our necks and watched a couple of vintage tractors pass by, before riding up to Halton Gill and the climb up to Pen-y-ghent.

The views on this ride are amazing, even on a cloudy day. We live in such a beautiful part of the world, we are so lucky that we have hills to ride up in order to see such beauty. Then, you get to ride like the wind down the other side. Bonus!

After debating whether to visit Stainforth Foss we decided to leave it for a warmer day as it was too chilly to paddle and we needed our lunch. Off to Settle with instructions to turn left out of Langcliffe and along the High Road to Constitution Hill, we lost 2 of our boys. They rushed ahead and missed the turn. ‘Oh well, they’ll find us’ I said, and they did, although not until they’d done a tour of Langcliffe looking for us! 

The Settle Down café was busy with cyclists from Southport, they were doing an Audax and said they would complete a route over 200k by the time they got home. I pretended not to be surprised by that and wished them well. They were asking about where the best place to view Le Tour would be as they were staying in Skipton next weekend to watch. We suggested somewhere up Buckden way!

The excellent waitress service at the café was top notch again, there’s enough tea in those pots to sink a ship!

After refuelling, off we went up the cobbled street to start the climb up Attermire towards Airton. Phew! Not recommended on a full stomach! One or two dismounted, as it is hard to get going again if you stop, but we all made it up there without revisiting our lunch.

Glorious decent into Airton and over the river bridge up towards Winterburn. We turned right here to Eshton and through to Gargrave. The final hills and swoops down into Broughton are always a good sign that you’re on your way home and a quick sprint along the main road to Carleton, where we all managed to get across the junction at the same time! We waved goodbye to 2 more riders at Carleton as they were heading home to Cononley and we all went back towards town.

There’s always one motorist who wants to put a downer on the day and we met him in town. He was quite abusive, but we put his bad mood down to owning a brown car, overtook him and got out of his way. After all, Bean Loved was calling and we had earned ourselves a proper coffee! 

Lots of climbing, lots of banter and lots of views.  

A grand day out.