A damp murky mizzle met the intrepid social riders on Sunday morning, but worse was to come as the wind waited a while before growing in strength. All the rides seemed to go quite high too, so we were well and truly jet-washed by the time we reached the Fleece. As ever though, you never regret a ride!
Big thanks to our ride leaders and back-markers – particularly Gary who had to take over mid-ride after Chris had was taken ill. Here are some of the stories…
Stretching Ride – Ilkley via Menston and Cow & Calf
(From Hell to eternity comes to mind!)
We had four riders including myself ( Mark Jones – Ride Guide) choose this ride, Steve who returned from the ride out to Thorner earlier on in the month after being away from Otley Cycling Club for a while (It was great to see you again Steve), Justin and Chip!
We set off with some trepidation as the forecast was supposed to be building up to high winds later in the day. We left the Medical Centre, round the corner then turned right and rode up to the traffic lights to turn left onto the Pool road. The lights turned green and off I rode, then after 200 yds I could see no one behind me…..had I ridden through a red light came to my mind……..no ….. our group had had an RTA at the lights….. Chip had caught Steve’s rear wheel when setting off at the lights. Justin said Chip was like a tortoise on its back trying to get upright. Justin guided traffic while Chip and Steve got vertical and back on their bikes.
Off we set along to Pool then up Creskeld Lane, not much wind at this stage. We all arrived at the top OK and managed to stay on our bikes. We then rode through Bramhope and across the A658 and along the top of the Chevin to Surprise view. Once we had got past the protection of the trees the wind was swirling and what would have normally been a 30mph downhill coast to the junction at the bottom, saw us having to pedal into the wind reaching a max speed of 16mph!
Once we arrived at the lights in Menston we were not looking forward to the hills up to the Cow and Calf. We set off, wind not too bad at first, then as we turned to head towards Ilkley on roads open to the moor, we were riding at about 12 degrees off the vertical leaning into the wind to combat the strong gusts! We had a couple of stops to gather our breaths and catch up.
Finally we arrived at the Cow and Calf, then rode down to the Stazione for a well deserved coffee, tea and bacon sandwiches.
After our brief stop we set off left out of the Stazione heading towards the A65 under the bridge to the traffic lights. After 300yds I heard a shout from the back of me. I stopped, a 4X4 had pulled out in front of Justin just missing him, but he was OK. We continued down to the lights and along the A65 back to the Fleece. We were all were relieved to get back but enjoyed the ride and satisfaction of beating the weather. I would like to thank Chip for back marking who did a sterling job after his fall earlier in the ride. Great ride guys! Cheers Mark!
Stretching ride to Fewston
Sunday was a beautiful sunny spring day….perfect for cycling. That is if you happened to be in California. In Otley it was slightly damper. That didn’t stop our bunch of keen cyclists setting off for a windy wet ride to Fewston. Nor did the weather dampen our spirits, we all had fun in spite of the conditions. Setting off from Otley we had a brief hill to Farnley, and across via Linley Woods to Beckwithshaw. From there we headed into the wind along Norwood Road, and while we were expecting the uphill section to be a drag, we weren’t expecting to have to put effort on the downhill section too.
We finally stopped for a coffee at the Fewston Parochial House. It didn’t matter how wet and bedraggled we were, the villagers running the pop up café made us welcome, and had a lovely array of cakes and soup to revive us. It was then that we had to struggle into our wet gear ready for the return ride to Otley. All apart from one of our group, who should remain nameless (it was Sheila), who announced she had found a radiator to leave her gear on but hadn’t told anyone else.
We then had a bit of a climb up to Timble, and then on up to Low Snowdon where the wind had really picked up, before the long descent back to Otley.
Thanks to a great group for a lovely ride, and thanks to Sheila for backmarking for me. Unfortunately the rain prevented me taking a group picture this time, so here is a generic wet cyclist. You get the idea!