Bowland Forest Tourist Trial: Sunday 23rd April 2017.

In conjunction with the Wray Scarecrow Festival, Lancaster CTC organised a cycling trial covering over 100kms of the Forest of Bowland.

The start and finish was at the Village Institute in Wray. By the 09:00 start there had been 48 registered to ride the event. The weather was kind and Sunday proved to be one of the finest spring days so far in 2017.

With 3 non starters 45 riders were involved in the event with riders from Peak Audax and Manchester, Eden Valley Cumbria, Settle Wheelers, Kendal & District Cycling Scene, Harrogate, Preston, Leyland and St Annes as well as local Lancaster CTC regulars. Ages ranged from 12 years to the septuagenarians. But then this was a tourist trial and not a race.

This was a hilly event based in the main on minor roads and with a total of over 1,600 metres of climbing. The outward journey went through Claughton, Caton Green and Quernmore Cross Roads before Five Lane Ends and the first check, at 22kms, an information point, just before The Fleece. 

The first major climbs were over Harrisend Fell and the road from Oakencloiugh en route to Bleasdale and Chipping.

Here, at 50 kms, there was a marshaled checkpoint outside of the handily positioned Cobbled Corner Café. Several riders took advantage of the opportunity here for food and drink.

By now the field was split over several minutes and they left in small groups heading towards the Inn at Whitewell, Dunsop Bridge and Slaidburn. From here there was a serious climb up towards Tosside and Wigglesworth where they turned to Rathmell and the final marshaled check at 80kms just before the A65.

The return leg took the riders through Eldroth, Mewith Head and along Mewith Lane en route to the finish.

All 45 riders completed the course between 1.30pm and 5.15pm. At the Village Institute the catering there was most welcomed. All successful competitors also received “goody bags” courtesy of Cycling UK.

It is hoped to repeat the event next year.