What’s the 1st rule of cycle club? No, not “You never talk about Cycle Club” – this isn’t a Brad Pitt film! It’s “Never trust the weather forecast – look out of the window and judge the conditions for yourself!”.
With Storm Katie not hitting us on Sunday it turned out to be a lovely day for an Easter Sunday ride – and we were delighted that 40 people remembered to change their clocks and were able to join us on our Easter Sunday Half-day Social rides to work off all the chocolate the Easter Bunny may have brought.
Here are your ride reports…..
Gentle Guiseley Meander with Christine (Guide) and Phil (Backmarker)
“What is great about the gentle group is that it offers new riders the chance to join a cycle club and know that they can do the ride at their pace. Sometimes the ride is also the choice of those riders returning to riding after injury, from a break or just wanting a relaxed ride at the end of a long riding week!
Today we welcomed back Ken and Phil from adventures abroad and Andrew and Nigel from the winter break. With Brian, Jill and me we formed a perfect seven riders, happy to take it easy on the back roads of the Wharfe Valley suburbs.
We did an exceptional number of pointless loops including the special visit to the “Wharfedale Hamlet Cul de Sac” and the tour of the architecture of the former High Royds Hospital and then the loop of Occupation Lane.
Phil kept order at the back and managed to follow all my pointless meanders and we got to the café stop just before the other groups for an excellent selection of snacks and drinks.
The roads on the return to Otley were so quiet you would think that there was a ban on Sunday trading…oh yes Easter Sunday…wish we could have more Easter Sundays!”
Stretching Group with Ruth (Guide) and Sheila (Backmarker)
“Curlews, red grouse, skylarks, oystercatchers….oh and we did a ride as well.
8 of us in this stretching group sailed round what is dubiously called ‘the easy way up the cow and calf’.
It was good to welcome some quite new people back, who just found that they cannot stay away, and also ride with hardy regulars.
The ride was lovely: views, weather, company and assiduous photography support crew. Being Easter Sunday meant that the roads were quiet apart from clumps of OCC here and there.
We were a truly democratic group (everyone had a view about the route) and not afraid to innovate and use a paper map: The photos show you what this cutting edge technology looks like, and how it is used.
We were a well matched group in terms of pace and banter and regular stops at the top of hills made it easy to ride together. There were no problems on the roads, although I think that we are we are all more mindful of their condition and good at warning each other.
The café stop was perfect at La Stazione in Ilkley. The staff went out of their way to fit us in, serve us efficiently, and they were super cheerful and friendly. We told them how delighted we were. Easter Bunny was waiting for us at the Fleece to end a perfect morning out with OCC Social Series.
Next Easter I suggest that the ride coordinators, always ready to go that extra mile, hide chocolate eggs all along the route with prizes for the group who find the most.
Seriously, thank you coordinators – it’s a great ride with endless opportunities to get extensive views, feel on top of the world, push yourself up the hills but also enjoy the exciting descents.”
Stretching Group 1 with Lee (Guide) and Fran (Backmarker)
“It was lovely to see so many riders gathered by the health centre at 9am (but it was really 8am wasn’t it???)
Fran & I took a group of eight on a steady 25 mile stretching route which took in both Creskeld lane and the south side of the Cow & calf climbs.
During a very welcome break for coffee & cakes (or tea & bacon for me!) at Ilkley cycles “The fuel station” cafe we managed to dodge the first heavy shower of the day
With all the serious climbing behind us we crossed the river wharf in Ilkley to take the back road for our return to Otley. Just as we thought we’d sneaked a dry ride we were hit by a cloud burst of rain & hail around Asquith which just made the obligatory pint back in the warm welcoming surroundings of the Fleece all the more enjoyable.”
PS – There may be a prize available for the most original explanation for what the ladies are up to in this photo!!!
Strenuous Group 1 with Sarah (Guide) and Andy (Backmarker)
“9 Happy people set off on the Strenuous ride with the thought of Cow and Calf looming. Nigel joined us at the iron bridge as he’d forgotten the clocks to make us 10!
After a windy ascent up the cow and calf the sun shone at the top so was a good excuse to recover and regroup. With the nasty hill over we shot ahead to try out the new Cafe in Guiseley passing the Stretching ride coming the other way.
The “Everybodys’ Café” was very welcoming and was lovely to see Hazel there despite her not being able to ride today. The Gentle ride was also enjoying the hospitality of the cafe.
Due to the wind we altered the route and stayed a bit lower on Carlton Lane. Just as I was saying to Ian that we had avoided the rain it started to hail right at the end into Otley.
Another lovely 28 mile ride and always good to try a new cafe. Brilliantly back marked by Andrew Chalke and was nice to meet new people.”
Next rides are Sunday 10th April – details to follow soon…until then ‘Happy Cycling’!