The intro this week is a plea for help. These were a very challenging set of rides to arrange as many of our regular ride leaders were away. All our ride leaders are just club members who volunteer to help out occasionally, so the more of us who volunteer the more fun it is to do.
Please think about it. It’s not that hard or onerous, and no special qualifications are required, and we can pair you up with an experienced ride leader so you’re not on your own during your first ride. Mike Blank is the man who co-ordinates our volunteer leaders, and will help you start ride leading. You can get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org . More info can be found on our volunteers page
Many thanks… now on with those ride reports…
Gentle ride to High Trees
Seven of us enjoyed a lovely gentle meander out through Menston and Guiseley, then along the gorgeous Carlton Lane to Otley Old Road And along to High Trees Garden Centre in Horsforth. This proved to be a very pleasant pit stop at a cafe that most of us had never been to before (I’ll be looking forward to another visit in winter with that lovely looking wood burner going!). Sitting in the walled garden, surrounded by palms, we jokingly pretended we were in the tropics (a bit of imagination was required!).
The return journey was equally relaxing. No mechanicals (yay!!) and the only real challenge being temperature control. We warmed up on the gentle climb around the outskirts of Bramhope, but the downhill stretch was a bit nippy.
Back in Otley, I said my goodbyes to all and let my trusty back-marker see the group safely down the road to the Fleece. A big thank you to all who joined us and to Andy Chalke who helped out as back-marker despite his recent injuries. Hope to see everyone on another ride again soon!
Stretching ride to Fewston
This was the shorter stretching ride with a somewhat cheaper café option at Fewston Farm Shop. There was a bit of confusion at the Market Place as not everyone had read the instructions to pre-book on the Linton Bridge rides so my group had a number of “disappointed” riders. However they soon were convinced that they had actually got a good deal as they got me as their ride leader, they got additional hilly loops, a super cheap café option and our strongest rider Will as the back marker (thanks Will for helping out!)
We set out towards Fewston with our first climb up Askwith. I was glad I had “outed” Robert and his electric bike as he glided past some of our fitter riders! Our new rider John may have been tempted to chase down Robert without this guidance to let Robert get to the top first!!
At the top of Askwith I delighted the group with my first additional loop round Snowden so we could admire the great views. I think Edward at this point may have been wishing he had pre-booked for Linton but he managed to muster a slight smile at the top of the climb.
We headed over to Fewston and I took the group past the Farm Shop Café without stopping!! There were some wistful looks but I persuaded them of the value of an additional hilly loop which included a top secret bridleway that we cannot describe for fear of security issues involving pallets and high tech equipment. I finally stopped the pointless looping and let the group have a coffee at the fantastic Farm Shop.
After coffee we returned to Otley and after Jack Lane I took half the group on the direct route back to Otley by special request and Robert gave Harry and John an extra dose of hills via the Gated Road. Big well done to Harry for taking on a much more challenging ride, its great to see how much you are enjoying road cycling with Otley CC.
A lovely morning exploring the back roads of the Washburn Valley in its early autumn loveliness with a great group of people.
Stretching Ride to Linton
There were a full team of 8 riders on a lovely autumn morning. A great route out to Linton was our destination.Unfortunately punctures were to become the theme of the day (1 before we even rolled out of the car park).
We made our way serenely along towards Dunkeswick & then a short burst along the A61 before turning right to tackle Kearby Cliff. I know this short sharp hill was worrying a couple of our riders but everyone coped just fine.
Not too long after that my puncture ordeal began but we did manage to get to see the newly rebuilt bridge at Linton, all £5M worth. Doubling back on ourselves to reach our cafe stop we belatedly joined the Strenuous group at the Wood Hall hotel for snacks.
Due to time delays we made a group decision to shorten our return by missing out a little loop & flying on back down Kearby Cliff. My problems then began in earnest & at that point I asked the others to carry on back to Otley, but our back marker Richard kindly offered to stay & help.
All being said this is a great route & it was nice to ride with a few people I hadn’t met before. Hope my antics didn’t spoil the day too much. Thanks to Kerri, Amy, Angela, Micheal, Chris, Mark & Richard for your patience & great company on what was a trying day.
Special thanks go to Richard for taking on the back marking role. You’re a star👌
Strenuous ride to Linton
There were eight of us for this Strenuous ride, a new route designed by Christine to take in the newly reopened Linton Bridge and Wood Hall Hotel. In the group was Mark (ride guide), Michael, Steve, Greg, Richard, Rick, Paul and Steve Lake (back marker (thanks Steve!)).
The first few miles of the ride included the Pool Road, Arthington Lane and a lovely traffic-free section through Harewood Estate, which was a welcome break from the busy roads up to this point. We then hit the Leeds-Harrogate Road for a short section and after about a mile, took the lane down to Wike and a nice flowing section of road to East Keswick.
At Collingham we enjoyed a nice, smooth newly laid run of tarmac leading up to the recently repaired Linton Bridge which we crossed for the first time in over 2 years and then headed up the lane and long driveway up to Wood Hall Hotel.
As we pulled up to the hotel we had a comedy moment as Greg fell sideways (thankfully onto the soft grass) after messing up his gear selection on a steep climb just after a fast downhill. To be fair, I’d done exactly the same, but managed to not fall off!
We were initially disappointed by the small amount of food on offer for our group of hungry cyclists – half of a tiny bacon or egg sandwich each and a minuscule pastry didn’t quite cut it! We think there’d been a bit of a misunderstanding and after a polite a word with the duty manager, more food was brought out thankfully.
A quick photo outside the hotel and we were off again, taking the short section of bridleway to the back lanes around Sicklinghall, a descent of Kearby Cliff, Weeton and Castley Lane for our return to Otley for 1pm. No incidents to report, just a fantastic morning/early afternoon’s ride in terrific company – and the sun even came out! Thank you chaps and looking forward to the next one!