A Social Series ride on a parky January day – we don’t let the cold beat us!

Well it was a bit parky on Sunday, but the ice of previous rides had long since melted, which meant a good crowd could at least get out and ride their bikes safely! Here are the reports and pictures from our illustrious ride leaders.

Strenuous ride to East Keswick

Steve’s report…

The first “strenuous” Social Series ride went east – to East Keswick specifically, before looping back to Harewood to the wonderful Muddy Boots café. Just five of us took on this ride, making for a really good tight group. In reality the only strenuous part of the ride was out of Otley up West Chevin and Yorkgate to Surprise View, which warmed us all up nicely on a chilly morning. After that it was plain sailing, with no problems through the Spear Fir ford (although two of us took a “discretion the better part of valour” option and pushed over the footbridge) or on the busy one and half mile chunk along Harewood Avenue.

Everybody was very ready for the coffee stop, after which we were warmed through sufficiently to enjoy the ride back through the estate and along the valley back to Otley.

Gentle ride to Harewood

David’s report…

A small group for the gentle ride  this Sunday with only five of us settling off myself, Clare, Julia, Amy and Ian who volunteered to back mark on the day, so thanks to go there.  The weather was little dull but dry with a temperature of around 5℃.

We headed out for the Muddyboots Cafe taking in Rawden Hill into Weardley and then entering the Harewood Estate.  Some of us found we had lost our hill legs over the Festive period (myself more than most).  Arriving at Muddyboots Cafe where we all enjoyed a warm drink to warm up.
We then set off for Otley once more going via Weeton and Castley.  Taking in a photo opportunity on Wescoe Hill Lane with Almscliffe Cragg in the back ground, before heading onto Otley without incident and arriving at The Fleece just before opening.

Stretching ride to Thorner

Mark’s report…

The stretching ride out to Thorner was over subscribed down at the Buttercross at 9.00am. A bit of quick thinking was implemented, and we decided to split the ride. Chip volunteered and took 9 riders with him, and I took the 6 that were left: myself, Ruth, John, Steve, David and Phil who agreed to do the backmarking for the ride.  Chip set off first with his group, followed by our group shortly afterwards. We trundled along towards Pool, past the Wharfedale pub then right up Creskeld Lane. On reaching the top Ruth advised that she needed to be back early and headed home.

We continued  along Wigton Lane to the Dexter, and then on the back roads through to Thorner in what I would describe as flipping cold weather….. I had washed my gloves on Saturday and had put them on the radiator to dry, but it does help if the heating is on through the night to dry them! My fingers were like blocks of ice as we drew into the cafe at Thorner.

We drew our breath after a pacey ride into Thorner and had a lovely coffee, tea, bacon sandwiches, fruit slice etc. There was a table indoors that seated 6 people, at which was sat a young girl with her mum. The mum offered us the table as long as her daughter could sit and eat her bacon sandwich, saying she would stand as we looked like we needed a rest. The team, as chivalrous as we were, accepted the offer.

We got to know new and old members at the cafe, before getting our kit back on and heading back on the return leg to Otley via Eccup reservoir.

I asked a runner to take our photo but he declined advising us that he was in a race…..but there were no other runners around? Maybe he was way out in front or just thought we were a bunch of scary blokes in lycra and didn’t want to stop?

Steve left the group near Bramhope as we made our way towards Black Hill. We descended at a fair rate however there was a lot of mud on the road which made it a bit tricky, but we all arrived at the bottom of Black Hill safely before heading back along the Pool Road back to the Buttercross.

In summary the ride was a bit nippy to start off with, but some great scenery along the way. All advised that they enjoyed the ride. I’d like to thank Phil for carrying out a sterling job of backmarking. Hope to see you all again soon.