The Social Series can cope with a little wind and rain……you just need the right jacket!

This week we had not one, but two new ride leaders… and both from the same household!!  Gary and Sandra were prised apart 😉 and led a stretching and gentle ride respectively. A massive thank you to them both for volunteering to lead.

It was a blustery day, but not unpleasant, so we had plenty of riders warming up for spring 🙂

Here are the stories from all the rides…

Gentle Ride to North Rigton 

Sandra’s report…

Feeling a little nervous about my first time leading a ride, it was lovely to have so much support ready and waiting at the Health Centre. 

So the Magnificent Six set off, Christine and I at the front, Steven L and Sheila back marking, with Ruth and Steven M forming the body of the group.

All going well right up to the journey along Pool Road where we were kindly serenaded by a complete idiot in a large red van playing a remarkably loud and complex tune on his horn… 

Shortly after we were joined by Andy Boylan and Andy Chalke.

We had a lovely ride out towards the Almscliffe Crag chatting and spotting little glimpses of snow drops, daffodils and I think cow slips?? Just to remind us that Spring is nearly here! Coffee and the obligatory bacon butty, plus a shot of colour coded Smarties at the Square and Compass.

What more can a cyclist ask for?

Stretching ride to Pannal

Ian’s report…

You know spring is coming soon when  there are numbers to need 3 stretching rides. Along with my group of 7 we headed out for Pannal & our cafe stop at Christians Bistro.

Signs of improving weather again as we reached the top of Farnley Lane & outer layers of clothing were being discreetly hidden in bushes for collection on the return leg. At least the wind was feeling warmer than last time out.

A timely photo opportunity with a rather large bull was not to be missed as we regathered at the top of one climb.

Bull whispering to Chip: “Step over that fence big man, and I’ll change your nickname to mashed-potato.”

Just a slight change of route back over Farnley on the return to try & avoid the wind along Pool road.

Thanks to a very friendly group & to Chip for top back marking again.

Happy Hilly Hampsthwaite

Graham’s report…

This ride was just right. We had an evenly paced group and it was just chilly enough to keep us moving. So despite the lumps, and a bit of panting from Carol (which she does a lot apparently – so not to worry!)  we breezed into Hampsthwaite in record time.

I’d forgotten how good the downhills are on this route too. From the top of Norwood Edge down to Hampsthwaite involves two long glorious gradual descents , which on dry tarmac, and with little traffic, involved very little braking.  It went like this…

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!     Pedal pedal pedal       Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

The marvellous Sophie’s café was our host, and provided the finest sausage and egg butty I’ve had in a while. As we unlocked our bikes on departure, we all fondly looked forward to the prospect of a warm spring day in their back garden. It’s coming soon readers!!

However spring-like it was not coming home, as  the wind got up and was smack in our faces. This time we *all* heaved and panted, but needless to say the gravitational pull of the Fleece was strong enough to overcome the wind. We watered again.  Just right!

Big thank you to Iain for elegantly back-marking.

Another stretching ride to Pannal

Gary’s report…

Another great turnout this morning on a blustery day! There where 14 I believe who wanted to go on this ride so I took the first group of 7 ( Andy,Chris,Nigel,Ruth,Trevor,Justin & Ken) off up the Farnley climb out of Otley. 

“Ruth & the Riders” album cover shot.

I’ve not led one of these rides before & wasn’t too sure of what pace to set ? So I just winged it ! Thanks to Justin for doing a sterling job back marking too!

We all got to the cafe, I think maybe earlier than we thought, & had some lovely bacon & egg sandwiches.(which I did think was a bit pricey but very nice).

 Riding back to Otley via Kirby Overblow the weather stayed fine but we were into a strong headwind & on the Pool road it seemed to get stronger. We tried to stay close coming back & I think we got up some decent speed into the wind?

All round a lovely ride with great company & a pint at the pub to finish! 🙂 

25.2 miles & 1970 ft of climbing