Whilst those members of Cappuccino CC who should have been getting in some pre-Etape miles chose instead to stuff themselves with pork pies and crisps in front of the royal wedding, seven comrades left St Aidan’s for a breezy day in the Dales.
We headed off out through Beckwithshaw, being pushed along a bit by the wind up Norwood Lane before dropping down through Fewston and on over Timble and onto the moors. Aided by a tailwind on the descent into Askwith, Matthew’s speedo clocked us at almost 50mph, unfortunately, once at the bottom of the hill Tim had a puncture which allowed some of to us to bask in the sunshine, and Jamie to head home to get in barbeque lit.
The first long climb of the day came as we headed up from Ilkley, via Carter Lane onto to moor above Langbar. This is a long steady climb, but the strong winds meant that even the ‘easy’ bits were a challenge. We decided to stop for out first cuppa at the cafe at Bolton Bridge – good quality beans on toast which revived us nicely.
The weather was beginning to change a bit by now, with a chill wind and a hint of rain. We rode out of Bolton Abbey village via a gated back road that took us to Embsay, where we did another challenging climb onto another windswept but beautiful moor. It was too cold to admire the fantastic scenery for long, so we dropped down into Wharfedale, rode along the valley, and then climbed yet another big hill via Percival Hall up to Stump Cross Caverns where we enjoyed another well earned refreshment.
With the days climbing done, we enjoyed a swift, wind assisted run down Duck Street in tight formation, before heading directly back into Harrogate, despite the best efforts of an idiot in a Range Rover who somehow managed to upset Malcolm.
A really good, challenging ride and I hope we’ll be able to do this route again, especially on a day when the wind isn’t quite so strong.
View the route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/82285977