Spring has Sprung – the Social Series basks in the sunshine!

Spring has certainly been kind to the Social Series. I think the last three rides have all been in glorious sunshine and this was no exception. We had more new riders and some old hands returning, because … because….because…  well why wouldn’t you? As Clare writes below, “what else would anyone want to do?”

Stretching ride to Silsden

Skipper Steve’s report…

Another gorgeous day saw 20 people coming on our Stretching Rides to Silsden with me leading the “slower Stretching ” group .

A gorgeous ride worth doing if you like hills but aren’t quite goat material yet ! We took the back road to Burley then through Ben Rhyding before briefly joining the A65 then going up a rather long big hill !  where we had the delight of meeting up with our strenuous ride who apparently found an even hillier way to get there .

Excitement of the day was again lock based when we discovered for the 2nd ride in a month that we’d locked bikes together without the key having made it. Fortunately a couple of our group have certain “skills” which enabled us to get through the lock .

Misspent youth? Or just plain dodgy?

A tough uphill straight after the cafe stop was made more enjoyable by an impromptu verse or 2 of the 1985 Sister Sledge classic Frankie ….and we’re looking to see one of our members showing us the matching dance moves at some point soon.

Then back to the beer  Garden for a pint or 2 !!

A gentle+ ride to Abbey Tea Rooms at Bolton Bridge

This week’s social rides saw the introduction of the gentle plus aimed at riders who wanted to stretch their legs a little more, it was so popular that we split into two groups. Mark Jones took the second group along with Ian Helliwell as his back marker, William stepped in to back mark for me, many thanks to all three for making this work.

My group had a few familiar faces one returning rider Rebecca and Emma on her first ride out with Otley cycling club.

We rolled out of Otley over the bridge and left onto Weston Lane and were soon at our first climb of the day, all easily and safely to the top, we stopped to regroup and check all was ok before carrying on through Askwith and eventually into Ilkley. We took a few minutes here as riders shed layers due to the morning sun shining nicely on us making it a very pleasurable ride. With jackets shed we continued onto Bolton Bridge and our café stop at the Abbey Tea Rooms, where we met up with Mark Jones and his group of riders. It was pleasant sat outside enjoying a coffee and a bacon sandwich in good company, great location and the sun was out, is there any better way to spend a Sunday morning?

Once we were all refuelled it was time to head back to Otley. We would cycle back along the same route that we’d used on the outward journey. It was a busy day on the roads with cyclist galore which is always great to see and anybody who wants to join a cycling club but is not sure about it will be more than welcome at Otley Cycling Club and the gentle social rides are a perfect place to start, it’s the best thing I ever did!!

A second ‘gentle plus’ ride to  Bolton Bridge

What a perfect day for cycling in the brilliant sunshine although a bit nippy on the fingers at times. The Gentle + ride (group B) led by Mark Jones, with Ian Helliwell providing excellent back marking, who also volunteered on the day to cover the large number of riders that turned out.

Liz, Catherine, Paul and Chris made up the group of 6. We had a potential new recruit that came along and joined our group: Mr Chris Ellison who is considering joining the club. There were some excellent photo opportunities to capture riders and the excellent views along the route from Otley to Bolton Bridge Café Nr Bolton Abbey.

We also made a stop at Catherine’s new house along the route, boasting some excellent views across the Wharfe valley.


A great day out and some excellent cycling from the group ensuring all were involved and remained together. Once again thank you to Ian for back marking a great job.

Gentle ride to Addingham

Clare’s report…
What else would anyone want to do but go cycling on such a beautiful spring morning? The gentle group this week were all ladies: Amy poached from the gentle plus group; Kerri getting her cycling legs back after a baby break; Anne and Julia both looking for for a steady trip and Clare desperately hoping that she could a) remember the way and b) had brought her bike lock key.

The intrepid team were wind-assisted by the level of conversation, and fascinating snippets drifted up towards the leader from time to time. Amy and Julia being kit-aholics were in their element comparing notes on frames and Campag gears, not to mention their virtual adventures on Zwift. Not even the cyclocross section where bikes had to be carried over the bridge into Addingham could make them pause for breath.

We had a very pleasant coffee stop at Outside the Box in Ilkley, followed by a steady tootle down the main road to Burley in tight formation with expert back-marking by Kerri. It has to be said that this ride was quite possibly the slowest average speed ever achieved on a club ride. We were overtaken by most of the Sunday cyclists on the road to Addingham, and by the Gentle plus group twice. it was of no import, a lovely social morning was had by all.

Random photo section…

When strenuous and stretching rides meet en route to Silsden…

Look! Look! It’s a rare sighting of the ‘B’ Ride…

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