Iffy. That’s what it was….but the forecast said rain was coming at 1pm which made a half-day ride an attractive option. Fortune favoured the brave who came out, as they were rewarded with dry tarmac and great company.
A special thank you goes to David and Liz who volunteered to lead and back mark respectively for the first time. It makes such a difference to be able to share out those roles – we hope you enjoyed it!
Stretching ride to Roundhay
The less hilly stretching ride set off to Roundhay but on a different route than usual partly because we’d done Roundhay recently and wanted a change, but also due to the fact that nobody wanted to wait 2 hours for me to get to the top of West Chevin !
So, after accepting that our group was going to be mischievous (Chip and Hazel in the same group), we set off up Bradford Road onto the A65 then up the much gentler (but still counts as a hill) Carlton Lane, before rejoining the “traditional route” through Bramhope, along Millionaires Row before reaching the (too posh for us) Mansion House for coffee and bacon sarnies.
If there’s ever a ketchup shortage in the world please contact Chip/Hazel …..where much to our surprise it was Trish that struggled to behave – but we’ll save the story about how she treated my sausage for another time …
We then set off on a reasonably uneventful ride home through Eccup and then the nice long descent along Leeds Road back to the pub !
Stretching Ride to Silsden
Great to see many regulars opting to cycle over the hill to Silsden, one of my favourite routes. Brian offered to back mark and we soon set off from Otley towards Silsden, taking a slightly more urban route through Burley and Ben Rydding. We climbed Cocking Hill with ease and at the top I easily persuaded the group to take an extra detour to see some views. This was the first time that Janine had been up this hill on a road bike and Richard, just returned from the flatlands of the Fens appreciated the views.
Mike Blank agreed with me that it was only a “tiny” bit more climbing and then realised that he had lied too and it actually an extra bonus hill…..but fantastic views at the top.
Sadly the other group beat us to coffee and some of our group had some very fussy orders (“Bacon that is almost charred but not quite”) so we enjoyed a very leisurely break.
The weather clouded over for the return trip which affected the views but did feel magically misty so worth the climb. An easy return back to Otley followed with Paul and Brian easily navigating the final roundabout of the day in their speed to get to the Fleece for another nice coffee (with just a bit of milk and with beans that are just a bit roasted, not too deep roasted…)
Gentle Ride to Addingham
The gentle group headed out to Addingham. I had help from Liz Ritz who was back marking for the first time, thank you to Liz for the help. The weather was set fair and the six strong group headed off hoping that the weather forecasters had got it right and the rain would stay away and arrive around lunch time as he arrived back in Otley.
The ride went up through Askwith, down past Middleton woods and up to Nesfield. A brief stop off the bike walking down to the bridge to cross the river over to Addingham. Heading back towards Ilkley for the cafe stop at La Stazione.
We then headed back towards Ilkley through Ben Rhydding and Burley in Wharfedale pausing at the Stepping Stones for a photo opportunity, unfortunately the river was high and the stepping stones were not to be seen.
We then set off on the home straight and just to prove the weather God’s were smiling on us as he pulled up at The Fleece in the words of Peter Kay “it started spitting.”
Strenuous ride to Silsden
This was a very enjoyable route which gave great views down both the Wharfe and Aire Valleys… which unfortunately I failed to take pictures of, as my phone was tucked safely away inside a waterproof pouch. (just look at the stretching ride as it was virtually the same). Instead here we are in the cafe…
There was much excited talk of Shaun and Phil’s impending club trip to Mallorca – they didn’t even seem to be put off by news of the hotel’s glass fronted en-suite bathrooms! None of this impressed Ian however, who needed a double-espresso just to stay awake (he blamed it diplomatically on a young baby, but we may have bored him a little!).
We headed home with a growing cross-wind and rain threatening, but the donning of rain-jackets turned out to be fairly pointless other than to give Julia the chance to berate everyone for their no-longer matching attire. We all pretended to care. 😉
Big thank you to Sean M for doing a great job back-marking.