The weather forecast decimated the numbers this week, and only 2 social rides went out!! Those who followed the mantra of “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing” were rewarded as the photos below even showing glimpses of sunshine! Conspiracy theorists are suggesting this was just part of a determined policy to make the no-shows regret their decision…”Quick, the sun, let’s stop here for a photo!”.
Two people who were glad that somebody turned up were the ride guides, who were both leading for the first time: a massive thank you to Clare and Carolyn for stepping up to this vital role. I think the general consensus was that you were ace! Hope you enjoyed it. It sounds like you did from your reports below (with some great photos by the way!)…
Gentle Ride to Guiseley
Steve, Trish, Anne, Julia and Clare set out on the gentle Guiseley meander. The weather forecast was appalling for this morning, but luckily for us, it was also wrong with the heavy rain failing to materialise. We were well wrapped up against the cold, shedding layers as we climbed up Creskeld Lane to Bramhope, then stopping to put them all back on again before making the descent back into Guiseley on Carlton Lane. At this point Trish noticed that the leader’s back tyre had deflated and a roadside repair was effected with Clare, Julia and Steve desperately trying to remember the advice from Chevin Cycles maintenance evening last week. Suffice to say that smut doesn’t just come out of chimneys.
The cafe stop at Everybody’s in Guiseley was a welcome break, and a chance to warm up. We lost Anne at this point – not a back marker failure, she just needed a shorter ride!.The rest of us tootled across High Royds through Menston, and then via a hidden ginnel into Burley. The old gated road gave use short traffic-free respite, before joining up with the main road and a steady push back to the Fleece. Thanks to Steve for back marking.
Stretching Ride to Harlow Carr
It was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that I turned up to Buttercross on Sunday morning. Today was my first ‘go’ at leading a group ride for the Otley CC Social Series. In preparation, I read the handy guide to social series rides, and sought advice from more experienced members of the volunteer team. The recce of the route, as suggested by Ian Helliwell didn’t quite go to plan. In my defence, I did this on the way home from work one evening, somewhat distracted by the supermoon. Use of street view maps, as suggested by Liz Hills did, however, identify the precise junction where I had taken an unintended turn.
Having a good back marker (Ann Howe’s top tip) was easily put into action when Mike Blank volunteered while we waited for riders to arrive. Sadly, the inclement November weather – cold, damp, with a forecast of rain all morning – resulted in fewer eager cyclists than usual. Three stretching rides became one and I somehow ended up as the elected leader. And just as the six ‘stretchers’ were about to set off, our ranks swelled to eleven when the B Group decided to abandon a flat 40-miler to Garforth in favour of a shorter but hillier ride to Harlow Carr.
Setting off up Farnley Lane soon had us up warmed up, before an exhilarating descent to Leathley where we turned away from the main road onto the lovely lanes to Stainburn and North Rigton. From here we battled a cold northerly headwind to Beckwithshaw, where we turned right towards Harrogate and our coffee stop, The Pine Marten. Phew. We’d managed to fulfil the most important part of the ride (according to Graham Smith) getting to the coffee stop.
A lovely lounge area awaited us, with leather sofas and pouffes a plenty. Refuelled by hot drinks, warm breakfast sandwiches and chat, the sun started to make an appearance through the mullioned windows, and it was time to get the layers back on and return to Otley.
After a few pointless loops of the car park to keep warm whilst bikes were extracted from the fence and secure places amongst the trees, we were off again. With a weak wintery sun keeping our spirits up, and the biting north wind behind us, we flew back to Leathley. Here, the group agreed at an extra hill would be a good idea (note to self: Julia Day’s tip was that this wouldn’t always go down well, but it did today) and we climbed up Farnley Park, avoiding a potentially busy Pool Road, arriving at The Fleece at 12:45.
Everyone agreed that it was worth fighting with the overshoes to get out for a ride today, and that, surprisingly, the weather wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be. Thank you to the top ten riders (Mike, Christine, Justin, Ian, Richard, Caz, Andrew, John, Phil and Ken) who let me lead them on my debut today.