Written by Karl W.
Given the bulk of riders had opted to go on the Away-Day Event, just 10 of us opted to do a lumpy-bumpy hybrid 42 mile route in place of the usual 30 and 50 milers. We were joined on the day by Rob, returning to riding with the club after a layoff, and Richard, doing his first Saturday Social Ride.
Heading out to Embsay, we then set out to climb Black Park (a good warm-up indeed) before hurtling down the other side to Barden. After crossing Barden Bridge, we embarked on the second climbing challenge past Appletreewick and Skyreholme and on up to the Grassington-Pateley Bridge road. At this point Steve (who had a prior engagement) and Rob (still building up his fitness) opted to head back to Skipton via Grassington. The rest of us cycled on to Greenhow Hill and turned down to Fewston on Redlish Road. Good style was adopted on the long, fast seven-mile descent to Fewston – a compact group of eight riders two-abreast. And Di and Wendy kept us royally entertained with their constant chatter although I’m not sure either of them drew breath!
Copious quantities of beans, eggs, toast and teacakes were consumed at the Fewston Farm Shop café stop before embarking on the second half of the ride taking in Fewston Reservoir en-route to Askwith. Striking out for Ilkley from Askwith, we enjoyed a rare treat – the road was closed to traffic while workmen repaired the surface for the Tour de Yorkshire but were allowing cyclists through. Cue several members racing a couple on a tandem! From Ilkley we headed towards Bolton Abbey via Nesfield at a spirited pace and then turned up Gated Road to return to Embsay and then Skipton. Interestingly Wendy and Di stopped talking as we reached the top of Gated Road and launched themselves off the front of the group at a pace that would have impressed Marcel Kittel. They proceeded to jointly record the women’s second fastest time this year on the one-mile Strava segment from the quarry to Embsay bend – motivated by the thought of cake at Bean Loved perhaps?
Overall it was a very enjoyable ride; the weather was decent (certainly by the standards of this spring) we had climbing challenges and fast sections and the enthusiasm of those taking part made it an enjoyable day.