Cold & Muddy – Great for a bit of MTB

A cold winter’s morning saw nothing less than the largest turn out we’ve ever had for a club MTB ride. Eighteen keen riders, including three of our mini/midi flyers decided to forego their lie-ins and seek mud and hills around the trails of Airedale.

The initial descent down the Springs Road bridleway saw us temporarily split into two groups – one group taking the muddy field path, with another descending the cobbles which had temporarily been turned into a stream for the day. We reconvened under railway bridge and proceeded as a united group.
Descending to Esholt Waterworks via devious and varied paths, trails and woodlands, we finally arrived at the suspension bridge which was swiftly navigated and the group headed East to the first climb of the day. The climb took us upwards through Calverley Woods and onwards towards Pudsey. The group split in two for the climb, spearheaded by our two junior Yorkshire Cyclocross racers and were rewarded with a brisk final ascent to the sunshine at Wood Hall Golf Club. A particular mention of Jacob Barker who was exceptional all day, but especially on this tough, muddy climb!

After a quick breather, it was time to enjoy the descent, first back to Calverley and then onwards to Apperley Bridge where the group took over the Bridge Cafe for some well earned refreshments and a good chat about what /really/ is the point of road bikes…!
After the break, we proceeded towards Leeds on the canal towpath, and took another series of muddy bridleways from Sandos back to Apperley Bridge. After then, we were left with a brisk climb back to Yeadon and a final victory run down the branch-line back to Silverdales.
Final distance covered was 15 miles, with 1500ft of climbing and we had plenty of tired smiles and muddy faces to show for it at the end.
More photos can be found here: