The weatherman’s not always right – Our social series are glad they didn’t listen to the forecast….

Choose life. Choose social rides. Choose turning up at the Buttercross on a Sunday morning not knowing where you’re going. Choose cafes. Choose cake. Choose bacon butties. Choose meeting new people in skin-tight clothes (loose clothes are available). Choose new routes down funny little roads.  Choose sweating in lycra. Choose filling your lungs with Wharfedale air. Choose Airedale (risky). Choose exhilarating descents. Choose pointless loops. Choose earning your beer. Choose to do what they all did below. You won’t regret it.

Gentle ride to Muddy Boots

Richard’s report…

Yet again we had lots of eager cyclists at the Buttercross this morning and a total of twelve for the gentle route to Muddy Boots. We split into two groups of six with Ian Helliwell taking the second group. Within my group we had two new cyclists to the club, a warm welcome to Faye and Colin. My planned bark marker couldn’t make the day so Lorna Langdon stepped up and took the role. Steven, Liz, Colin, Faye, Lorna and I set off cycling leisurely but at a good pace which suited all in the group along pool road stopping only to make sure all were ok and to talk about upcoming junctions and the direction we would be going.

We all made easy work of Rawden Hill and once at the top took the chance to pose for a picture, honestly it wasn’t just to give me more rest, honestly it wasn’t.

All back on our bikes we were soon into the Harewood estate and all safely up the rough path which didn’t cause anybody any issue today and to our second picture of the day just before we reached the café stop at Muddy Boots which was as normal spot on and perfect for cyclists.

Fully refreshed it was back to our bikes to make the return journey to Otley via the pointless loop and a visit to St. Barnabas to look at the Gargoyles and strike another pose for yet another picture.

A fun ride with lots of chat and laughs along the way, I’m sure I speak for all when I say we look forward to seeing Faye and Colin again soon, was lovely to meet you both today.

Strenuous Wilsden Wobbler

Christine’s report…

What a wonderful morning for a ride up on the hills! We really benefited from taking this hilly ride option because the views of Baildon Moor were extensive and well worth the climbing on this relatively new route. Our usual café in St Ives was closed so we got to do the famous OCC Social Café test on a new café. We were delighted to report that the café at Woodbank Nurseries had cycle parking, plenty of seats, reasonable coffee, gluten free options for Carol, plenty of toilets, toasted tea cakes that were not soggy and an amazing array of “stuff” hanging from the ceiling!

The Wilsden Wobbler route lived up to its name and with the exception of Michael who found some sprinting legs on the road somewhere, we all just about managed the last ascent of the ride without having to walk and were glad of a sit down in the Fleece at the end! Thanks to Phil for being the back marker and helping keep this unruly lot in some kind of order.

Stretching Ride to North Rigton

Mike’s report…

The lesson for today’s ride is never to trust a weather forecast. After a week of forecasts promising heavy rain on Sunday morning, the clouds parted at 8:59, just as we met up at the Buttercross.

Eleven cyclists joined the Stretching ride, including Isabella on her first ride with the social series. With Chip back marking the group, we set off along the back road to Askwith.

Nearing the top of our first climb of the day, we caught up with Stephen Gallagher who was using the honourable plod to get to the top of the hill.

Now with twelve, the group had a lovely “undulating” ride in the beautiful spring sunshine, to our coffee stop at North Rigton. We took advantage of the sun trap of the patio at the Square & Compass, to enjoy a leisurely coffee (or in one case who must remain anonymous in case it gets back to Jane, a pint of beer).

It was then back on our bikes for the short ride along the lovely back lanes to Otley, and the official beer stop and meet up at The Fleece.

My thanks to Chip for back-marking the group for me, and to all the riders who came out and helped to make this stretching ride just what social cycling should be.

Another gentle ride to Muddy Boots

Ian’s report..

There were enough to form two gentle groups again this week so I took 5 others along with me to Harewood.
Karen, Lorraine, William, Jana (hope that’s the correct spelling) on her first outing with the club & Sheila our excellent back-marker.
The ride went along smoothly even up the muddy track through Harewood as the sun eventually began to shine down on us.

Only a couple of stops to try & adjust cable tension etc (these things are much easier with the bike in a stand).
Our cafe stop was the ever obliging Muddy Boots who looked after us as always.
Just the return to Otley then with a brief detour to  see the gargoyle’s at St Barnabas.

A nice steady ride along with good company made for a very enjoyable morning & a couple of drinks afterwards in The Fleece.
Thanks for all your company & to Sheila again for some top back-marking 🙂