Ride reports from a sunny Sunday 23rd October

On Sunday 23rd October we were blessed with a glorious Autumnal day for our rides. I don’t know about you, but I was blown away by the golden sunlight, the long shadows and the red, yellow and orange leaves. There was a great turnout at the Buttercross and it was encouraging to see a few new faces as the Social Section continues to go from strength-to-strength.

Speaking to a few of you after the rides, it sounded like you all had a great half day out, but don’t take my word for it – here are the reports from each of the ride guides…

Here’s Steve Moncur’s report on the Gentle ride he led to the Eccup Donkey Sanctuary

Some new faces joined us on our Gentle ride to Eccup reservoir and then for coffee at the Donkey Sanctuary.

After swapping a few Tweets over the last week, it was good to meet Amy & Michael and hopefully we’ve done enough to convince them to join! We were also joined by Richard’s daughter Chloe which was great.

Felt strange turning right at the garage in Pool as we always seem to go left, but right we went and made our way along to Creskeld Lane at which point our group definitely got quieter with all efforts on getting to the top!! Well done all – it’s one of those hills that as it’s windy seems to just go on and on!!

Group photo (at this point we’d merged with the other Gentle group) at the gorgeous reservoir followed by a trip to see the donkeys who were on their very best behaviour.

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After the coffee stop we again split with some coming down East Chevin (official route) and a group of us going off-piste and coming down Leeds Road – 2 miles with no pedalling required and a chance to admire the stunning view helped make sure we all reached the pub with a big smile!

Great ride all!

Here’s Ian Helliwell’s report on the Gentle ride he led to the Eccup Donkey Sanctuary

There were 8 of us in the 2nd gentle ride to Eccup including Chloe out on her first ride with the club. After a nice gentle roll out of Otley we soon got the chance to warm up on the ascent of Creskeld Lane where we tangled with the other gentle ride on their way up.

The weather warmed up considerably by the time we arrived at the reservoir which looked beautiful in the bright morning sunshine. From there a lovely cafe stop at the “donkeys” who were busily munching away when we went over to say hello.

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Just the descent back into Otley remained although three of us took a detour to sample Surprise View (well worth a look).


A very friendly group & a pleasure to ride with.

Here’s Jill Birch’s report on the Stretching ride she led to Tropical World in Roundhay

A climb straight out of Otley up West Chevin and York Gate soon got the stretching group warmed up. On reaching the quiet back road around Eccup the chatter was mainly about the fabulous colour of the trees and the sunshine. A great day to be out on a bike ride.


Of course we did a pointless loop (to avoid the roadworks on Wigton Lane, so not that pointless) and soon found ourselves sitting in the sunshine outside the cafe at Tropical World. The speedy service was excellent. There was a minor hiccup on the way back with our King of Backmarkers, Chip having to chase after a wayward rider but order was soon restored. Where were you going Sheila?

We were pleased to welcome two new riders today, Pam and Kaz, and look forward to seeing them again soon.

Here’s Mark Sage’s report on the Strenuous ride to The Mansion at Roundhay Park

Starting our ride with a stiff climb sadly took it’s toll on our group (led by Mark and back marked by Liz) as ten riders soon became eight after two decided to turn back at the Chevin due to not feeling well. Hope you’re both feeling a lot better now – we were worried for you!

We nevertheless pressed on to Bramhope and to the back end of Golden Acre Park where, due to the busy roads, we decided to take a detour via Eccup Reservoir.

Rejoining our planned route at Wigton Lane we then motored on to The Mansion where we were met with the most glorious Autumnal shades in Roundhay Park. Our Strenuous group were already enjoying some fine dining inside and we joined them for our coffee break. We were wondering where Phil and Serena had got to and we soon found out that Phil’s inner tube valve had decided to bend by 90 degrees and had split and deflated – luckily he had a spare and it was a quick fix.

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We returned to Otley via the back roads of Roundhay, Alwoodley, Black Hill Lane, Arthington and Pool. Perfect conditions and great company for a stunning Autumnal ride.

And here’s Matt Langdon’s report on the Strenuous ride to The Mansion at Roundhay Park

A very select band of Riders joined Matt for the strenuous ride to the Mansion House at Roundhay. Christines Bell and Thwaite and Julia made up the awesome foursome to take on Black Hill.


After tackling the one big climb  of the day on the outward leg, we all enjoyed some delicious, if slightly pricey, food at the Mansion House.

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Julia had a prior engagement and had to leave us after the cafe stop and our merry band was down to just two when Christine Thwaite peeled off home at Five Lane Ends. Matt was left all alone for the final sprint into Otley as Christine Bell headed over to Yeadon.