Very bright and very c..c..c..cold. Layers a plenty were the order of the day, but for those that wrapped up and rode the views were tremendous. The last of the autumn colours against clear blue skies. If you climbed (and most of our rides did this week) then you could see for miles. Not much hanging around though, so most were back round the fire in the Fleece in record time. Thanks to our volunteer leaders again – particularly David who took on the role when he was riding in cleats for only the second time – that’s a lot to concentrate on!
Stretching ride to Pannal
We all met at the traditional meeting place on what proved to be a cold and brisk Sunday morning. Mike Blank offered to be my back marker and thank you for that. Shivering in the cold we were all eager to get going. There were five initially with myself, Karen, Janine, Derek and Mike in the group with Derek who is new to the club on his first ride out. We caught up by Robert on the climb up to Farnley. The ride started eventfully with me as ride leader not being able to make it 2 yards without falling to the ground, second time out with cleats. Luckily it was only my pride that was injured so was able to pick myself up dust myself off and make a more dignified second attempt at setting off.
We started the early climb up into Farnley and to those of us who were new to the route found there were a few challenging climbs early in the ride up through Farnley and Lindley. The climbing helped however to quickly forget the cold temperature. Once we made it through to the Lindley we made steady progress through to Pannal and enjoyed a warm drink and a bite to eat in The Bistro at the Garden Centre.
Once we were ready to head out we set off through Pannal passing the Golf club and heading out to Kirkby Overblow and then onto more familiar roads for myself taking in Weeton and Castley on the way back to Otley. Whilst descending the hill into Castley we found a lady struggling with her bike and the group was chivalrous and waited whilst a couple of members helped make a repair at least to get the lady home.
I once again provided a moment of humour by ending up in a heap, this time unexplained. At this point Karen who it turned out knew the lady left the group offering to return to Pool in Wharfedale to ensure the repaired bike got home. The rest of us made it back to Otley incident free.
Stretching ride to the Cow & Calf
We had a group of 10 people eager to climb the Cow and Calf (actually 9 people were keen, one had been enthusiastically persuaded to do the stretching rather than the gentle ride by her “friends”)
The group agreed that as some wanted to go steady up the hills, others steady on the downhills….we would keep it steady and so we maintained a tight peloton towards Creskeld Lane for our first climb. The climbing was done with ease and we continued to climb to the top of Chevin, without really noticing it. The road to the Cow and Calf was new to many in the group and although the traffic is never great on that road it was worth enduring for the amazing views that the winter sunshine provides. A steady climb to the Cow and Calf and then a descent to Ilkley for our café stop at Booths.
After coffee the previously “lets take it really steady” riders suddenly decided that they were on some kind of time trial quest, so the group split with some of the group choosing to “blast” down the main road to grab the best seats at the Fleece and the rest of us going at a steady pace on the back road. We had two break away riders on the back road group so in the end just 3 of us kept the steady social tradition of a ride where you can enjoy the scenery and the company and not worry about your pace or Strava segmentation!
Strenuous ride to Thruscross