This 55 mile ride was well attended with 12 taking part. 12 set off from Chevin quite promptly. The group was “very keen to tackle the climb up Black Park” as quickly as possible. On second thoughts perhaps I mistook the moans of apprehension for expressions of ecstasy that often accompany the ascent of hills on Social rides!! But there was more climbing to consider as the planned route was to climb Cote de Kidstones!

The ride up the Dale was into a headwind the whole way and it was a relief to get shelter from it as we travelled through the woods and beside stone walls. Jacqui and Martyn took the lead and kept the pace steady along to Consiton. The back road from Coniston to Kettlewell was a wise choice. There was some serious discussion at our next catch up in the village. Who was going to stick with the route and do Kidstones and who thought the Triangle a better option? As Caran was having problems frequently dropping her chain it was with great sadness that she decided to give the climb option a miss and go round the Triangle route to Hubberholme. Others seeing her distress offered to keep her company and give her some comradely support!

The rest did Kidstones aided briefly by a tailwind! Michael left all in his wake. As expected the view from the top lifted the spirits. The thrill of the descent reminds me of that feeling in childhood when you were out playing with your friends doing what you liked best. A few speedy miles brought us to our planned Cafe stop at Zarina’s arriving as expected at 1230 exactly! Aga eggs, beans on toast and bacon butties were consumed with alacrity. Then off we went again for the return leg via Hawkswick and the small lane across the Skirfare to the other side of the valley.

Tailwind in our favour we made fast progress down the Dale to Kilnsey Trout Farm where Edward needed to stop to check his “tackle” (again!). The rest pressed on via the new tarmac at Linton (Tour de Yorkshire route) and then down past the Angel at Hetton to Eshton where Kevin bid farewell to us. Finally we climbed everyone’s favourite hill out of Gargrave to Broughton, a disciplined double line to Heslaker along the A59 and then farewells to Micheal and Rik before the remnants made it to Skipton and a very social, post ride gathering at Bean Loved. Carrot cake, Toffee apple and blueberry flavoured muffins to make up for the spent calories!

Thanks all for an enjoyable Saturday in the splendour that is Wharfedale!

Steve Wilkinson

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