Skipton’s club for all road cyclists, whether just getting into cycling as a sport, experienced racer or anything in between! Here you will find news updates on club events and activities as well as an introduction to riding with the club.
Given the bulk of riders had opted to go on the Away-Day Event, just 10 of us opted to do a lumpy-bumpy hybrid 42 mile route in place of the usual 30 and 50 milers. We were joined on the day by Rob, returning to riding with the club after a layoff, and Richard, doing his first Saturday Social Ride.
Heading out to Embsay, we then set out to climb Black Park (a good warm-up indeed) before hurtling down the other side to Barden. After crossing Barden Bridge, we embarked on the second climbing challenge past Appletreewick and Skyreholme and on up to the Grassington-Pateley Bridge road. At this point Steve (who had a prior engagement) and Rob (still building up his fitness) opted to head back to Skipton via Grassington. The rest of us cycled on to Greenhow Hill and turned down to Fewston on Redlish Road. Good style was adopted on the long, fast seven-mile descent to Fewston – a compact group of eight riders two-abreast. And Di and Wendy kept us royally entertained with their constant chatter although I’m not sure either of them drew breath!
Copious quantities of beans, eggs, toast and teacakes were consumed at the Fewston Farm Shop café stop before embarking on the second half of the ride taking in Fewston Reservoir en-route to Askwith. Striking out for Ilkley from Askwith, we enjoyed a rare treat – the road was closed to traffic while workmen repaired the surface for the Tour de Yorkshire but were allowing cyclists through. Cue several members racing a couple on a tandem! From Ilkley we headed towards Bolton Abbey via Nesfield at a spirited pace and then turned up Gated Road to return to Embsay and then Skipton. Interestingly Wendy and Di stopped talking as we reached the top of Gated Road and launched themselves off the front of the group at a pace that would have impressed Marcel Kittel. They proceeded to jointly record the women’s second fastest time this year on the one-mile Strava segment from the quarry to Embsay bend – motivated by the thought of cake at Bean Loved perhaps?
Overall it was a very enjoyable ride; the weather was decent (certainly by the standards of this spring) we had climbing challenges and fast sections and the enthusiasm of those taking part made it an enjoyable day.
Sunday fast club ride to Wray.
6 set out with some enthusiastic riding helped with a tail wind. Nasty spill at a notorious blind junction before Wray Cafe stop. Bacon butties & Cake were essential medicine for our man down.
Return push via Clapham and Austwick with a final push back over Nappa. 77 miles at 16/17 average and glad on this occasion we all made it back.
We were blessed today with some of the best weather so far this year and it was reflected in the turnout of members at Chevin, all fit and raring to go! The featured ride was another extended distance with a route of 70 miles over the Cross of Greet from Slaidburn. It needs to be attempted on a decent day and today it was.
18 opted for this route and a further half dozen did the shorter one as far as Halton West. This group, led by Di, was joined by guest riders, Fiona and Paul. So keen was John, that he flew back from India just to get out on his bike in the sunshine and enjoy some good, fresh, northern air!
The faster group, numbering 10, set off ahead picking up Kevan waiting at Gargrave. Making their way to the Riverbank Tearooms at Slaidburn, they arrived about 1130. Advance booking proved to be a wise call as the place was vey busy. The women in this group had apparently set a lively pace to this point!
The other group of 8 riders arrived about 30 mins later and had to join a queue out of the door to order their food. Strangely, just has Steve parked up his bike, the front wheel punctured with a loud hiss. With Rick’s help this was speedily repaired in time his consume eggs on toast! Service at the tearooms was good today despite the large numbers arriving for lunch.
The climb of Cross of Greet is in “100 Greatest Climbs” page 79,
So it has a bit of a reputation that means it must be tackled at some point in a cyclist’s life or there has to be a good reason why it hasn’t!
It”s like the climb over Buttertubs from the Hawes side with some sharp bits but generally not too demanding. [See this link for more info about the climb and some background : Cycling uphill
Edward was “Cross” when he reached the top!
Although the view of the 3 Peaks and the Lakeland hills from the summit was obscured by haziness, there was a real sense of altitude gained and wide open space. After a catch up and a photo call we descended to Mewith Lane and the way back to Giggleswick Station and the A65. The descent from the top is fast and thankfully the tarmac isn’t too bad, adding to the fun!
With the temptation of a second cafe stop at Hazy Days in mind, we pressed onto Hellifield via Rathmell and Wigglesworth in good order. Water bottles and energy needed topping up, so we were more than a little disappointed to find that the cafe had shut at 3! However Karl came to the rescue with an invite to his place on the route back.
Coffee, tea and Haribos were on the menu and were gratefully consumed fuelling the last few miles back home.
So a memorable day out with a sense of achievement and more than a few very happy cyclists.
At last, the Saturday club rides enjoyed really good weather for this longer but very enjoyable route to Clapham devised by Cath and appreciated by all. There was a sizeable gathering outside Chevin for the pre ride meeting of about 25.
The numbers were large enough to split into 2 groups for the longer route. The 30-40 milers were going as far as Wigglesworth and followed the same route until they turned back heading for Hellifield and a cafe stop at Hazy Days no doubt!
A minority of optimistic souls had opted for shorts and summer tops but although they didn’t admit to it they looked decidedly chilled despite the emerging sunshine! “Ne’er cast a clout until May is out” they say!
Rick didn’t miss an opportunity for posting LPD posters at each notice board we passed!
For change there were no mechanicals to slow down our progress and we arrived at Clapham tearooms before midday having made good time, riding well together and maintaining steady pace. The second group arrived shortly after: all in good spirits. Service in the tearooms was speedy and large amounts of beans, eggs and bacon was consumed.
It was a case of diminishing numbers on the return leg as firstly Nick opted for High Hill Lane out of Settle. (He’s getting in the miles for the Fred). Then we said goodbye to Kevin at Airton and Tara at Gargrave.
The post ride drinks at BL was upbeat after the day’s rewarding efforts and a great day out!
The 50 miler this week was a 70 miler! Taking advantage of the longer days and the spring weather (we thought!). Today’s was a “special” to Wetherby. This route has the bonus of the extra distance without too much more effort than our usual 50 would involve. The numbers who turned up this morning were surprisingly low and only 7 set off on the longer route with a similar number undertaking the shorter distance route to Weston.
One of the challenges of a club ride to Wetherby is to find a cafe that will accommodate us all. However Caran, who was leading the ride, persisted and just when it looked as though we were going to have sit outside, she swooped on 3 newly vacated tables inside. I think the sight of us lycra clad and mud spattered individuals may have distracted the “ladies lunching” there.
A recurring feature of recent club rides has been mechanical breakdowns and today was no exception with Simon suffering a rear tyre puncture at Farnley and Mike, for the second week in succession, limping back to Skipton with only one gear working after a cable snapped. The toll that winter takes out on our bikes!
Around the Lowe Wharfe valley there are frequent sightings of the red kites that live in Harwood estate and today we were treated to several close ups. As they only consume carrion we were safe from these impressive predators as long as we kept moving!
We returned at some pace along the back road with Christine taking the front wheel and giving us a helpful tow into a staff breeze.
Another challenging route for those who like to go up and do it in Lancashire. Actually for once the weather was better there than in Skipton with dry roads and some brightness. The poor weather saw a drop in expected numbers with only 7 undertaking the longer route and about the same on the shorter one. We were joined by a guest rider who was no slouch on her Canyon and who we hope will be applying for membership.
Today’s leader Rick nearly always goes West for the quieter roads and today was no exception. We followed a familiar line up to Hellifield through Eshton and Bell Busk and then from Wigglesworth down to near Bolton by Bowland. From there the roads began to slant up and soon we were ascending Waddington Fell from the north side. Then our mechanical issues started with both Mike and Rick suffering form dysfunctional free hubs within 50 yards of each other. What chance of it happening like that? Thankfully both managed to get to the top of the climb without any further problems but not for long. Our Cafe stop at the Country Kitchen in Waddington was amazingly quick as we were the only customers and so we were served within minutes of our arrival!
Setting off from Waddington and heading for Clitheroe in an increasing headwind was a bit of a surprise because we hadnt noticed it pushing us along on the outward run. Isn’t that always the case though?
Rick and MIke’s problems worsened and on the outskirts of Clitheroe, Mike had to abandon, hoping he could be rescued by his family. (He subsequently reported he was safe and sound at home).
After the ups and downs of Twiston Lane from Downham, we topped out on Brogden Lane with its long distance views to Penyghent and Ingleborough and the welcome descent to Barnoldswick. It was here that Rick’s freehub finally gave in and with some assistance and scooting reached “Barlick” and made a rescue calls home. He too was safely at home within the hour,
So from a start list of 7 only 3 made the return to Skipton ( one turned off home near Broughton). A real Agatha Christie Script?
The promising weather forecast for today tempted out a large number of members for today’s rides which Caran had created to make sure that we made the most of the opportunity! The 30 milers had the climb out of Malham up Goredale Lane to look forward to. The 50 milers had this and then up and over to Halton Gill from Stainforth having descended into Ribblesdale down Langcliffe Brow! There was particular joy for Simon T who claimed the climb out of Malham as his biggest since getting back on his bike! A cafe stop at the Old Barn Cafe was justified reward for our efforts. We then finished off with the rolling route to Winterburn and a tidy return along the Grassington Road.
The prospect of better weather brought out plenty of riders today and I put up my hand to lead the 30+ group (miles not age!) this included first time rider Rob, and Kevin who we haven’t seen for many months. We set off in mildly damp conditions ahead of the 50s and Caran joined us at Elslack taking a short cut to catch us up.
The advance riders of the 50 group were on our coat tails most of the way and just about catching us at each junction. We all regrouped on the Bolton by Bowland road where we all parted ways and we headed for Hazy days café in Hellifield for the usual excellent service, with the 50s heading for Slaidburn. I dropped off a box of LPD cards at Hazy days.
The sun them came out for a slightly warmer return leg back into town via Bell Busk and Gargrave.
I didn’t have much to do as ride leader and was really pleased with the group riding on the main roads when we paired and grouped up very nicely.
Back into town for the customary debrief at Bean Loved