Ride from Beaumont to Beetham via Casterton and the Freewheel contest, Sunday 27th October 2019

Eleven Cyclists Touring Club members met at Beaumont, all having remembered to put their clocks back the previous evening, and all anxious to have a go at the annual Freewheel contest.

The long downhill between Aughton and Gressingham again served as the testing ground, and Ray (as usual) officiated, ably assisted by our President. Our elevated position enabled us to track the showers moving along the valley, but luckily we escaped the damp. Team Graeme and Maz demonstrated their prowess at assuming a compact and aerodynamic form to triumph in a convincing manner.

The group continued to Casterton Golf Club via Kirkby Lonsdale for a celebratory morning coffee, and met up with two more members.

A brief shower on setting off again was succeeded by welcome autumnal sunshine, which lit up Casterton and Barbon Fells, as we headed up the Lune Valley and turned off to climb up to Rigmaden Park. The threat of showers had now diminished, so layers were shed in anticipation of further climbs. The first of these manifested itself  in the steep pull out of the valley to Mansergh and Old Town. Further such neglected by-ways with weeds, potholes and rotting hedge clippings were to characterise much of the following seven hilly miles, as we crossed the low fells between Lunesdale and the coastal plain. The route took us past Kitridding Farm and Tarnhouse Reservoir. Between the two one rider had the double misfortune to suffer simultaneous punctures in both wheels, but new tubes were speedily installed.

Having crossed the watershed, the balcony lane between Warth and Whelstone afforded sun-drenched views down to Endmoor and beyond to the Lakes and Morecambe Bay. Once off the hills, faster progress was made via Crooklands and Milnthorpe to Beetham for a late lunch.

The homeward-bound route took us via Slack Head and Gait Barrows to Crag Foot and Carnforth, where we dispersed to our various homes. Riders were satisfied with the 48 miles covered, peppered with some hills. A good test for the legs for the time of year.

If you are interested in joining us on our relatively relaxed rides, you can find details of our Sunday and weekday rides on the website (www.ctclancaster.org.uk).

Photos from Nick Hall of the Freewheel contest last Sunday.

Ride from Boot & Shoe to Lytham, Thursday 17th October 2019

Lancaster and South Lakes Touring Club
Gathering at the Boot and Shoe for our yearly trip to the flesh pots of Lytham (not St Anne's!!!) the weather looked promising and as if we might have a following breeze up the prom to Fleetwood for the ferry over the Wyre.
As it turned out this was a ride were everything was on the loose!
I hadn't made my mind up which way to go but we were aiming for the Courtyard in Great Eccleston for coffee (and bacon butties). I had phoned them the day before saying there might be 15 of us but at the Boot and Shoe there were about 22 so a quick phone was made.
There was no way round it, we had to go over the Wyre and the nearest bridge to Great Eccleston was Cartford Bridge, which tradition states the leader pays the toll. As luck would have it the third group went astray so I only had to pay for 17 (groups 1&2 plus Mike H)
Suitable refreshed we set off via Elswick, Thistleton and Weeton before turning right just before Wrea Green.
Heading through Westby into the teeth of the wind I became aware that the riders following me were close enough to be drafting!
Into the Station (pub). In Lytham were 8 relieved riders having a much needed break.
Sandra appeared after making her own way there so after she had a cup of tea we set off up the prom to Fleetwood picking up Neil at ST ANNES pier.
Wow what a ride to Fleetwood, a following wind all the way.
On the way to the 15.15 ferry the first loose bit of the ride, a loose dog managing to bring a rider down, however little damage other than a bit of missing skin and offset handlebars!
We expected a coffee break at the ferry cafe but it was shut so we had to press on but another problem arose, Ken had a loose saddle so we spent a bit of time fixing that. In the mean time some none coffee riders had already left us.
Saddle fixed off we set past the zebra and giraffe but the rough road finally finished Ken’s saddle off and he found that the bracket had sheared so cable ties from a local farmer held the saddle in place.
On the main road to Pilling the cable ties gave up the ghost so using the seat pin padded out with gloves Ken rode back home through Pilling and Cockerham(sitting down was a problem though!)
All in all probably one of the better rides of the year, lovely weather great company and interesting incident.
Anyone interested in joining us can find information about our Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday rides on our web site at www CTCLancaster.org.uk
Jim Gardner

Ride from Boot & Shoe to Ireby... and Wray, Sunday 13th October

I was a bit late (had to help a cyclist who needed a pump…) and found Anne and her dog Vera waiting with Neil in the rain. The forecast was not good. We chatted for another few minutes and then said, since we were there, we’d set off for Wray for a coffee (although Anne and Vera had somewhere else to go…). And then Ian turned up so there were three of us. And by the time we were approaching Wray the rain had stopped. The other two were persuaded that we should carry on to Ireby Green and come back to Wray for lunch. So off we went again, using Agnes Ing Lane and Trinket Lane to avoid the village and get us onto Russells Lane and then to Lower Bentham. We took the hilly road out to make our way to Burton and Ireby Green. Of course it was raining again and getting worse as we approached our coffee stop. There we found Sandra, who having waited some time, reassured me that I wouldn’t be chastised because at least I’d led the ride to the scheduled coffee stop. Warmed and dried we returned to the rain to set off for Wray. Trying to make a ride of it, we took the Bentham Low Road and then the Bentham Road to get to High Bentham. And as I turned towards the station and across the River Wenning, Neil reminded me that it was a steep hill up to Mewith Lane. Thickrash Brow its called and that well describes my expression as we went up it. But from the crossroads to Wray, Mewith Lane is without steep uphill bits (Neil called it ‘undulating’) and even the persistent rain didn’t put us off from wizzing along. It was still raining when we left Bridge House Farm and mixed it with the artics on the A683. We went various ways home - my Garmin (which had caused me much frustration by not knowing where it was much of the time) recorded 42.2 miles from home and back. Short for a summer ride but we’d managed to get 2497 feet of up and down… and survived the rain. It wasn’t all bad.

Tim Dant

Ride from Crook O'Lune to Horton in Ribblesdale, Thursday 19th September 2019.

Lancaster and South Lakes Cycle Touring Club
Talk about the devil looks after his own( can't be the sun shines on the righteous!). Lovely sunny weather promised and a light breeze, perfect for our ride to Horton in Ribblesdale on 19th September 2019.
Off we set travelling along the cycle track to Caton where we crossed the busy A683 to climb over Caton Green to rejoin the A683. Going through Hornby and Melling then just before Greta Bridge a right turn off the busy road took us through Wrayton where we then weaved our way through quiet lanes to our favourite coffee stop at Inglesport.
Suitable refreshed and now not needing directions(there is only one way to Horton unless you fancy pushing your bike over Ingleborough!!) we climbed past White Scar caves to Ribblehead then took the right turn aiming for Horton and dinner. So into the pub for a well earned dinner(well Pen-y-ghent cafe was closed!!)
After dinner the work still hadn't been done so we headed south to Helwith Bridge and the few little bumps on route. In Helwith Bridge we turned right and made the long descent into Wharfe then Austwick. Instead of riding on the A65 we used the cycle path into Clapham then turned up the slight incline on the old road to take the first left to drop down to Newby and across the A65.
Once across the busy road we cycled across Newby Moor(and its bumps) to join the B6480 which took us through High Bentham, Low Bentham, Wennington and into Wray where another coffee stop was called for.
Straight forward from here down the A683 and the cycle track back to Lancaster.
Great day, great company and a mere 65 miles what more could you want( just imagine we could have been stuck behind a desk in an office ugh).
Anyone who is interested in joining us can find information about our Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday rides on our web site wwwctclancaster.org.uk

Ride from Beaumont to Bowland Bridge, Sunday 8th September 2019

Perhaps it was the prospect of a fine, windless day ‘awheel’ with crystal- clear views of the Lakes, or possibly the quest for companionship, which enticed  nine riders to converge on Beaumont for a fifty mile jaunt to relatively tourist-free southern Lakeland.

The Lancaster and South Lakes section of the Cyclists Touring Club was heading for Sizergh Castle and Bowland Bridge,  and began by taking the lightly- trafficked A6 to Carnforth. Familiar by-ways were followed through the Arnside and Siverdale AONB to Sandside and Dallam Bridge, exchanging greetings with faster ‘wheelers’ getting in a morning ride before the Sunday roast. Heversham Moss and Levens Village led us to Sizergh Castle café for scones and a natter.

Bowland Bridge for lunch only attracted five riders, who tackled the climb back over to Levens and savoured the scenic downhill to Brigsteer. At the edge of Crosthwaite, hedge lined single track lanes descended to the River Gilpin and continued on the far side of the Windermere  road through Tarnside. A picnic lunch, with fine views up the Winster valley and across to Strawberry Bank was mixed with further convivial natter. After exhausting both our food and discussions we turned south through the unfenced ancient woodlands of the valley side to Witherslack and the old A590. Crossing the new road gave access to the smooth tarmac of the Sampool area, now designated bridleway and a cyclists haven.

As it was still early in the afternnon, another stop at Greenlands café furnished teas and coffees, after taking to the lanes to the east of the A6 through Heversham, Holme and Burton.

Cycle touring is a wonderful route to fitness. Have alook at www.ctclancaster.org.uk to find out which of our range of rides  might suit you.

Ride from Millenium Bridge to Catforth via Elswick, Sunday 1st September 2019

It was cheering to see that the beginning of Autumn hadn’t dimmed the enthusiasm of club members for a ride on a day which promised to be windy and there were ten or more ready to set off at the start on the Millenium Bridge. Avoiding the possibly muddy or puddly conditions due to overnight rain and high tides on the Lune estuary they took a route through Lancaster and Aldcliffe village to emerge on Ashton Road towards Conder Green and on to Cockerham. Keeping to the main road across the Moss the previously helpful wind became much less helpful and slowed progress in reaching Stakepool where the slower ride leader caught up with the stronger group who had outpaced him by a few minutes. Easier conditions allowed better speed through Scronkey and Moss Edge so it was only late morning by the time they crossed the toll bridge at Cartford. Having taken the risk of not phoning the cafe beforehand it was no complete surprise to find that it was closed in Gt Eccleston so the decision was taken to continue to the village of Elswick where thankfully they were able to refresh on scones, flapjacks and teacakes, washed down with hot drinks.

Some riders departed at this point to get back home while the rest carried on in brighter conditions. The flatness of the Fylde meant that there were no hills to negotiate and the GPS altimeter rarely reached 50 feet as they went through the oddly named Wharles and Treales.

Happily turning east the wind behind them meant even more speed could be gained and turning before Lower Bartle and back across the M55 motorway they were soon parking their bikes outside the cafe in Catforth. The cafe provided the usual speedy service and massively thick slabs of bread to support eggs, beans and other cooked foods with enough calorific value for the return leg.

Leaving Catforth there was a convoluted series of winding roads negotiated through the picturesque area around Cuddy Hill with the backdrop of the Bowland Fells in view. The ever busy A6 was crossed at Bilsborrow and quieter roads towards Garstang and over Barnacre where showers briefly halted progress while waterproofs were put on. They avoided the worst of the heavy rain evidenced by wet roads and carried on to Scorton where the few who hadn’t departed the ride on route would have stopped for a tea break but were thwarted by the already crowded cafe there so continued to Lancaster via the University.

The day had been better than the forecast suggested but strong headwinds at the finish made the going tough, but there was sunshine at the finish of the 56 mile route.

Ride from Crook o'Lune to Nateby, Thursday 22nd August, 2019

Gathering at Crook O Lune car park in reasonable weather, that equals light rain and a stiff breeze, 6 of us set off into Caton to cross the busy main road and headed up what is laughingly called 'happy valley' into a very stiff breeze. A regrouping at Quernmore crossroads then again at the Fleece, we turned right at Harrisend crossroads heading for Scorton. The original intention was to go over the ford on the 'Roberts loop' but considering the rain over night and the amount of water in the Lune we headed straight down to Daisy Clough
This ride was listed as hilly(which is probably why so few turned up!) so after refreshments we headed off for the mountains of Pilling via the col de Winmarleigh before turning back on ourselves to head for possibly the highest point on the Fylde at Nateby!! finally after all that effort a dinner time stop in the pub was needed in Garstang.
Suitable refreshed we decided, after a consensus of opinion to take a flat route home heading north to the mini roundabout at Green Lane to turn right heading for Gubberford Bridge here we took a right to head back on ourselves aiming to do the 'Roberts loop' in reverse so we could have a coffe/tea at the Apple Store. The ride to the Apple Store was interesting because some of the becks on the loop were so swollen they over ran the road but we managed to ride through them.
After our refreshment stop a sedate ride home through Forton, Galgate and the University.
Not what I had planned but as CyclingUK advises, leaders need to be adaptable and we still managed 50 miles in reasonable weather, true it could have been better but you can't organise the conditions

Ride from Clapham Station to Chatburn via Wigglesworth, Sunday 18th August 2019

The principal actor in last Sunday’s car assisted stage of the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) summer programme was the fickle wind. One moment sapping the strength from the legs as we struggled uphill into a headwind, the next chasing us along the lanes and ruffling the backs of the leaves.  At other times making us grip the bars tightly in a strongly gusting side-wind.  The wind had a sidekick in the form of showers which threatened all day but only made a dramatic appearance in the late afternoon.

Nine riders (including one with electric-assist) converged on Clapham Station and made decent progress via Rathmell to the coffee stop at Gardenmakers café near Wigglesworth. The wind favoured our onward journey down to the River Ribble at Paythorne.  A brief encounter with the main Gisburn to Long Preston Road enabled us to gain the quiet lane to Horton.  Across the A59 and on through Bracewell to the outer limits of North East Lancashire at Barnoldswick.  Here the Lancashire Cycleway was joined, leading to Brogden and then steeply up the side of Weets Hill to the main Gisburn to Nelson road.  A fast descent, holding the bars tight in a crosswind, to the Rimington turn and onto the shoulder of Pendle Hill.  Twisting lanes with sharp hills emerged on the edge of Downham.  Then down into the Ribble valley at Chatburn, where the Pavilion Brasserie at the new garden centre provided the fuel for our legs to tackle the return trip.

Already behind time, we took advantage of the now friendly wind to speed us through Grindleton and Sawley to Bolton by Bowland. The Lancashire Cycleway led us north and uphill towards the Bowland fells. At this point discretion was exercised, all agreeing that there was little point in dicing with the gusting 50 mph wind at the 1,500 foot contour on Bowland Knotts.  Reluctantly, we turned east to make haste with the wind to Tosside and the scenic balcony lane to Rathmell, overlooking Ribblesdale.  The gated lane through Rome and Wham by-passed the A65, and threw some sharp showers at us.

Eventually, journey’s end appeared.  A late finish at 5.30, with 53 miles covered and over four thousand feet of climbing.

Ride from Devil's Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale to Mallerstang, Thursday 8th August, 2019

Photo from Dave Hugill of the ‘survivors’ at the Moorcock, Garsdale Head. And one from Rod of a larger group of riders…

Ride from Beaumont to Feizor via Ireby, Sunday 4th August 2019

Eight members of Lancaster and South Lakes Cyclists Touring Club met at Beaumont for the ride led by Patience to Ireby Green and Feizor.  The forecast was for a fine morning, with showers coming in after 2pm.  This proved to be accurate, although we weren’t expecting the thunder which rumbled intermittently on the ride home.

Ever in search of routes which don’t replicate recent rides, we set off to Halton, staying on the north side of the river, and turned off at Green Lane, meeting another group of cyclists with the same challenge in mind.  A steep climb brought us up to the main road between Halton and Kirkby Lonsdale, where we turned right, then right again after a couple of miles on the Aughton Road.  We took the narrow lane to Eskrigg, by-passing Gressingham, then across the Loyne Bridge to Hornby.  We turned left onto the main road through Melling and Tunstall, before turning off at The Highwayman pub and taking the minor lane to Cowan Bridge.  It took a little while to cross the A65 as there was a lot of traffic, and we thankfully gained the quiet lanes again, taking the Leck and Ireby loop on our way to Ireby Green farm café, where we enjoyed some morning refreshments and met up with club chairman Nick who was nursing a sore knee.

After a welcome break we carried on down to Burton in Lonsdale, then along undulating lanes to Ingleton, where we girded our loins for the long climb over the fell to Clapham, where Neil and Ken left us in a bid to beat the predicted rain.  We carried on via the cyclists’ link alongside the A65 to Austwick.  The original plan had been to carry on up the Helwith Bridge road, then drop down to Feizor on a bridleway, but the sky was darkening and some of us had tired legs, so the remaining six opted to take the quicker route to lunch at Feizor which involved half a mile of cycling on the A65.  Fortunately most of the traffic was going in the other direction, and a cautious camper van driver stayed behind the group, providing some unintended protection for us.

Four of us enjoyed the cyclists’ staple of beans (and eggs for some) on toast at the café, with 2 others leaving us briefly to consume their sandwiches.  As we gathered back together to leave the first few drops of rain fell, but did not amount to much, so we did not have to put waterproofs on yet.  We turned back towards the A65, but turned left before reaching it and took the high level route which took us to the top of Buckhaw Brow.  An exhilarating 40+ mph swoop downhill to Giggleswick was followed by a steep haul up over the fell to (you guessed it!) the A65 which we crossed for the final time and carried on to Eldroth and Keasdon and the ever-popular cyclists’ route back to Wray on Mewith Lane. 

An afternoon tea stop at Wray gave time for the rain to finally catch us and give us a thorough, but rather welcome, drenching on our way back to the cycle track through Caton and Halton to Lancaster.  The rain had ceased by the time we reached the cycle track and the sun came back out, causing rising clouds of condensation as the roads quickly dried out.  After 60 miles and some 3500 feet of ascent we patted ourselves on the back for a great ride in excellent company.

Patience Cooper

Ride from Millennium Bridge to Dent, Sunday 28thJuly 2019

There were six solos and one tandem at the start of the Cyclists Touring Club Sunday ride to Ingleton and Dent. Some riders had been put off by the forecast rain and heavy downpours at 6.00 am, but those who made the effort were amply rewarded by fine weather in near-perfect conditions.

In anticipation of a very hilly ride after coffee, the group took the easy route to Ingleton via the Lune Cycleway, Wray, and Ravens Close.  At Inglesport, we fuelled up for the hilly ascent over Kingsdale to Deepdale and Dent.  By the time we attained the 1,500 foot contour of the pass the mist had cleared so we could enjoy the stupendous view to the north before the rapid descent to the two gates. The scenic hedge-lined by-way along Deepdale was savoured before rolling into Dent for a convivial cafe lunch.

Though the clouds were gathering as we headed off to Gawthrop, the rain still held off for our return along the south side of the river via the gated road. The cloud-topped Howgills provided an atmospheric backdrop to Sedbergh from the shorn-sheep populated unfenced lane.  At the junction with the main road, the usual regrouping took place before eagerly anticipating the run down the valley for tea at Casterton Golf Club. This was brought to an abrupt halt at Middleton where the new bridge was receiving its finishing touches and the County Council had decided on complete closure of the road. Walking along the top of a dry-stone wall carrying a tandem could have been interesting!

Retracing, we had no option other than to try the Rigmaden lane alternative.  This itself was slow-going due to the traffic jams caused by the local 4x4 owners. Four riders made it to the tea stop, and it was a late finish by the time we had freewheeled to Kirkby Lonsdale and hastened through Arkholme to Lancaster.

Nevertheless, riders enjoyed a 70-plus mile day, with a little more climbing than anticipated. And the rains arrived just after we got home. Details of our rides can be found at www.ctclancaster.org.uk.

Len Howard

Ride from Boot & Shoe to Settle on 25 July 2019

Hot or Wot?? Arriving at the start, I was wondering if anyone else would turn up, due to, once again, the unsuitable weather forecast. But wait, there was no rain, just clear blue sky and a great deal of extremely hot sunshine, even as early as 9.15am. There were 9 of us defying the forecast. Having heard of the proposed top dressing of the road along the intended route via Jubilee Tower, I had planned instead to take the familiar route through the university and onto Galgate. We took this route and continued past 5 lane ends and onto the crossroads by the Fleece Inn where we took the left turn to Dolphinholme and onto Abbeystead. We passed through Abbeystead and joined the originally planned route towards the Trough of Bowland. As we got higher, although a tough ascent, we benefitted from a slightly cooler, stronger breeze as we approached the summit. As we took the descent, we created our own cooling breeze, and when we arrived at Dunsop Bridge, it wasn’t until we stopped for refreshments that we realised how hot it had become. We were well attended at Puddleducks where we were well served by the whole family, although sitting outside with the sun beating down probably wasn’t the best idea of the day. Having replenished our water bottles, we started the second section of the journey through Newton and Slaidburn as the terrain ‘undulated’ beneath us. Onto Tosside and Wigglesworth, where we took the left turn to Rathmell and onto Settle, where several lunch options were taken, sandwiches, chips, salad, even ice cream! That is, of course, not by one rider, but between us! By the time we had taken our lunch break, the heat was now almost unbearable, and we were extremely glad to get going so we could create our own breeze, although at this stage Mike decided that the train home was the best option for him, fearing that he was ‘overheating’. We took the road through Langcliffe and Stainforth and took the left turn at Helwith Bridge towards Austwick. Pausing in Austwick for more refreshments, it was decided, given the continuing heatwave, that the best bet now was to take the shortest way home, and not sample the delights of Ingleton. Keasden, Mewith Head and onto our ‘much loved’ Mewith Lane was now the chosen route, and we made good time as far as Wray where some of us stopped for further refreshments and the rest made for home. Just under 5000ft of ascent and almost 68 miles on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year, and possibly the hottest day ever recorded in the country, may not have been the best idea ever, but it made a change from avoiding the showers and wearing wet weather gear in Summer, and we did all survive the ‘swelterations’.

Neil Westwell.

Lancaster CTC - 100 Miles Challenge Ride – 30th May 2019

 The forecast for Thursday 30th May was a bit desperate – gale force winds and heavy rain;  so your “brave” leader sent round a message suggesting that the ride may be shortened due to the conditions and kept her fingers crossed that no-one would turn up.  However, our sturdy members are not going to let a bit of weather put them off and a total of 5 club members met at Millennium Bridge at the earlier-than-usual start time of 8.30.  In fact the drizzle soon lessened off sufficiently to allow a brief shedding of waterproof layers on the ride over to Casterton Golf Course.  The route went via Halton Arrow Lane and Swarthdale, before joining the main route to Kirkby via Arkholme. 

Fortunately the Casterton café is open from 8am and we were able to fortify ourselves with bacon butties and scones as we watched the rain begin.  At this point Nick did the sensible thing and went home, but Neil and Mike C were up for the challenge to continue with Patience and Len, aiming to go at least as far as Sedbergh, which was soon reached.  Throwing caution to the wind (and rain) we decided to carry on over the (on this occasion not-so) Fair Mile and on to Tebay for lunch.  Fortunately the pub was open and serving rather pricey soup and sandwiches, but we were glad of the respite from the elements.

On setting off again we headed initially north-east to Gaisgill, Kelleth, Newbiggin-on-Lune and Ravenstonedale as we negotiated the circumnavigation of the Howgills, before battling the head-wind down the A687 and back to Sedbergh.  The weather was improving a little by now, but nobody was bothered any more about aiming for 100 miles, so we settled instead for a squelchy return to Kirkby Lonsdale, then down the east side of the Lune and back to Lancaster. 

My GPS recorded a distance of 84 miles, average speed of 12mph and total ascent of 4,500’, of which I am quite proud!

Patience Cooper

Bay Cycleway Ride - Barrow to Glasson

Once again the Bay ride had been organised which is from Walney Island to Glasson Dock a distance of almost 90 miles.
11 riders gathered at the unearthly hour of 07.00 (almost middle of the night for me!!) outside Lancaster railway station to load their bikes into the van ready to be transported to Barrow railway station.
We were catching the 07.36 train so we gathered on the station drinking coffee then boarded the train, which unbelievably was on time!
Excellent train journey managing to pick up Michael Moon at Silverdale which pushed the number up to 12.
Arriving in Barrow, Dave Hugill was standing there waiting for us with a cup of coffee in  hand so now we were 13 (Dave had caught an earlier train from Carnforth)
The van turned up within a few minutes so we unloaded it, got ourselves prepared and set off through the streets of Barrow to Walney.
At Walney a brief break to sort ourselves out at the official start, then back through Barrow.
The route takes you through the dock area on quiet cycle lanes to join the shore road at Rampside. We used this road all the way to Aldingham where we cut inland to Scales then up and over Birkrigg Common before dropping down into Ulverston. Unlike last year we found the right route through Ulverston so it was soon left behind.
After Ulverston we took the official route through Mansriggs and Bowstead Gates to drop down to Penny Bridge and Greenodd where a much needed refreshment stop was taken at The Bakery.
Suitable refreshed we crossed the Leven Estuary using the foot bridge then on the unsurfaced track which soon became a metalled road to the foot of Bigland Hill.
At this point it was decided to split up, some wanted to go up and over the hill (no questions were asked at this stage about their mental capabilities!) whilst the saner ones went along the B5278 passing Holker Hall into Cark, Flookburgh, Allithwaite and into and through Grange over Sands to the golf club for dinner.
Now the group had reunited and refreshed we were on the official route through Meathop to Levens then across the moss to the Arnside road.
Through Arnside we went passed to Albion(reluctantly) up the hill to drop into Silverdale via Holgates. In Silverdale the route goes round by Wolf House Galley then down the hill and as time allowed us straight into RSPB for yet another brew.
Off we went, at this point numbers were starting to get smaller, we went round the crag over the wooden bridge through Crag Bank onto the A6 to Mill Lane then through the housing estate towards Red Bank to join the main road at Hest Bank then onto the promenade at what used to be VVV.
The rest of the way was straight forward all the way down the promenade to Morrisons onto the old railway line to Lancaster then continuing along the railway line to Glasson Dock we arrived there about 18.30 about 2 hours quicker than last year.
Ringing home to tell Teresa the good news, we were told Ian Roberts was on his way to meet us so we hung around and cycled back along the road into Lancaster. I arrived home after doing just over 84 miles with about 3500 feet of climbing (those that went up and over Bigland Hill would have done more feet of ascent).
Last year we were cycling home in the pitch black in torrential rain this year sun, light breeze, great temperate and smashing company and just imagine I could be stuck behind a desk!!

Jim Gardner

Ride from Boot and Shoe to Waddington, Thursday 15th June 2019

Thirteen seasoned cyclists gathered outside the Boot and Shoe for their regular Thursday ride.
Setting off, they went through the University and on to the Fleece and Dolphinholme using the usual route.
At the crossroads we took a left turn to go through Dolphinholme and on towards Abbeystead but instead of descending to Abbeystead we took a left turn to go up Plantation Lane to join the Jubilee Tower road where we turned right for a fast descent to the Tarnbrook turn off then the nasty little climb up Rakehouse Brow then on through the Trough into Dunsop Bridge for well earned refreshments at Puuddleducks.

Suitably refreshed off we went heading past The Inn at Whitewell (much to some peoples disgust we didn't turn left there). Taking the next left we did a small section of the old roman wall (avoiding the chariot ruts), through Cow Ark to pass Browsholme Hall.

Then we took the next left onto very narrow lanes just wide enough for large vehicles which was evident when we met one coming towards us. A sharp pull up Talbot Bridge brought us to the B6478 leaving a turn right and a fast descent into Waddington.

After well deserved refreshments (including a pint) we set off for Bashall Town then over Higher Hodder Bridge for the long slog up Chaigley Brow.

Turning left after Walkers Fold to drop down to Chipping passing the Gibbon Bridge Hotel.
Problems in Chipping due to lack of legs (mine) I decided not to go via the gliding club but take the flatter way. Unfortunately I hadn't worked out the alternative route but thanks to Mike and Ken we made it to the top of the lane leading to Walmsleys Bridge where they said “you know where you are now so lead on!”.
Usual way back to Scorton via Claughton, Sandholme Mill and Barnacre to stop at Daisy Clough for yet another refreshment break.

All in all an excellent ride with 62 dry miles for me and according to Neil 5000 feet of climbing.

Jim Gardner

Ride from Boot and Shoe to Chipping via Dunsop Bridge, Sunday 16th June 2019

Rain was forecast. But it is ‘all about the descent’ as I repeated during this short ride with some steep climbs. Firstly I lead the small group of six down Blea Tarn Road (the first good descent!) and up Proctor Moss Road. The countryside was soggy but green and there were moments of warming sunshine as we passed Welby Crag and descended to Lower Green Bank and turned for Abbeystead. Now everyone remembers the thigh burning climb out of Abbeystead but they forget the earlier bone jarring descent into Abbeystead on the seriously damaged Strait Lane. It gets exciting as you realise a vehicle might be backing out onto the road towards the narrow point of the bridge. The culvert works on the Marshaw Road at Well Brook Clough meant there was an off-putting ‘road closed’ sign on our route for the Trough, but it was the first one of two that we ignored. And indeed, the road was open all the way as we wound our way up to the cattle grid at the top of Trough Scar. The wonderful descent into the Trough itself was spoilt by the slicks of water draining from high to lower ground across the rather greasy road surface. But it was still good going as we rattle through Sykes Farm onto the switchback above the Marshaw-Wyre to arrive in Dunsop.

There were lots of cyclists going the other way on an Audax but there was room in the cafe for all of us to sit around a big table where a couple of the group that Chipping was too close to make a good leg before lunch. So we went to Newton and enjoyed the views across the Hodder valley. Crossing the river presented us with that steep road leading to Waddington Fell, but we turned off right before it got too much and followed the single track road that gains height through a series of ever steepening sections up to Brownsholme Heights where the trig point told us we’d made it to the top. Some of us had wobbled our way up the last stretch of this single track road as a surprising number of vehicles came down it. After what is a long and rewarding descent into Cow Ark alongside Hagg Clough on a much improved road surface, we discovered the reason for the traffic; the road down to Whitewell was closed for top dressing. John woke up the two dozing road men and they said we could ride on it provided we went slowly. It was a noisy descent as gravel spun of the wheels (Geoff got some stuck in his excessively narrow Italian forks).

At Chipping we met up with two riders who’d arrived late at Dunsop (Nick who’d missed us at the start and Mike who had ridden from Preston) but chosen the Wild Boar Park road (that lacks a decent descent…). Most of us set off for home after lots of beans, and enjoyed some brief but whizzy descents across the two tributaries of the Brock River at Bleasdale. We slogged up and then cruised down Delph Lane and wound round the corner at Oakenclough onto the fellside road overlooking the Wyre valley and the sea. The descent was good but caution approaching the rain dampened cattle grid took a few mph off the final section. We all stopped for a gaze across to the sea before the big descent to Lordshouse Brook that gives enough impetus to float almost all way up the other side. Then the last big descent of the day towards the Old Forge and we were nearly home. There was some rain and putting on of coats. But then it was too warm so we had to stop and take them off again in Galgate. Only 47 miles of up and down but my Garmin said my maximum speed was 39.34 mph! I kept both hands on the bars going downhill.

Ride from Beaumont to Cartmel via Beetham, Sunday 12th May 2019

The excellent forecast enticed   15 members of the Cyclists Touring Club to assemble at Beaumont College for a 65- 70 mile ride to Cartmel.

We made good time to the coffee stop by using the A6 to Cragg Bank, and using the woodland shade to keep us cool on the long climb to Yealand. A downhill  to the A6 at Cinderbarrow, and by familiar lanes to Holme and the garden centre, where we just managed to secure enough seating.

Here the group swelled by the addition of the Carnforth contingent, and a juggling around of personnel resulted in 14 riders continuing under blue skies  and a warming sun. A short section on the A6 between Heversham and the A590 was  surprisingly quiet, followed by single track  lanes across Levens Marsh and an ‘exciting’ ( ! ) crossing of the A590, before reassembling on the north side.

Only the roar of the traffic disturbed us between Gilpin Bridge and Witherslack, before turning away from the clatter and by lanes less frequented to the foot of Tow Top. There were no takers for the direct ascent to High Newton, so we followed the west bank of the River Winster to Thorphinsty Hall. Here the serious climbing began to get us up Newton Fell, but with the welcome distraction of panoramic vistas across to Milnthorpe Sands and the distant Three Peaks.

Having temporarily mislaid three of the group at High Newton we headed south and with gratitude downhill to Cartmel, which proved to be not as busy as anticipated considering the benign conditions. Suitably fuelled by café fare or picnic, we turned the cranks in the direction of Grange via the fell road, and opted for the main road through Grange so as to avoid annoying the promenaders.

The ‘usual’ route home was followed across Meathop Marsh, Levens Village, Heversham Marsh and Storth. At this point our average speed plummeted by helping the farmer to take his cows half a mile along the road for milking. A final dash was made for a late afternoon tea at Silverdale Golf Club, soaking up the afternoon sun on the terrace and reflecting on the magnificence of the day ‘awheel’.

Len Howard.

Ride from Boot and Shoe to Cleveleys via Bridge 64, Thursday 9th May 2019

This was our annual fish and chip outing to Cleveleys.

Weather awful rain and cloudy and the temperature was cold. I arrived at the Boot and Shoe hoping no one would turn up but 11 nutters did so I couldn't return home.

Off we set taking our usual way through the Uni the up Stoney Lane to turn right down Whams Lane and to cross the A6 at Potters Brook, then down Cockerham Road to turn left before the canal on to Tansy Lane to eventually join Park Lane.

Heading towards Garstang I decide to take a right after the pub and this is where things went awry but inspite of some meanderings we did arrive at Bridge 64 albeit a bit later than expected. After coffee we went through Nateby then left and quick right to take us through Out Rawcliffe and over Shard Bridge, through Poulton then into Cleveleys where we were welcomed and refreshed with lovely fish and chips(most of us had the smaller potions).

In the afternoon straight up the prom to catch the ferry with a couple of minutes to spare. Through Knott End over Pilling Moss into  Cockerham where we split up(three of us heading for a coffee at Pudding House) Then straight back through Conder Green and home.

53 miles in the legs and the felt like it but the average speed was faster than a normal Thursday's ride.

Jim Gardner

Ride from Beaumont to Sedburgh via Sizergh, Sunday 5th May 2019

Beaumont ( yes, Beaumont) to Sedbergh on Sunday 5 May.

Taking the policy of splitting into groups of 8 or less for traffic safety reasons to a new level, Nick decided to form a second group before arriving at the Beaumont start and started his ride from Millennium Bridge. The rest of us, those who had read the rides diary, set off from Beaumont having welcomed Maz and Graeme to their first CTC Sunday ride. We took the Halton road and turned up Kellet Lane passing through Nether Kellet, Over Kellet and Capernwray, where Mike took a comfort break, promising to catch up. We waited in Borwick, but Mike didn’t catch up, so thinking he had taken a different route we carried on. The weather, although cloudy, remained dry and cold, ideal for cycling through the quiet, welcoming countryside and good progress was made through Holme, Ackenthwaite and onto our destination of Sizergh Castle. It was there that we discovered Nick, who, somehow, had arrived before us, and re-discovered Mike who had somehow managed to join the ‘Millennium Bridge’ group. We had arrived at Sizergh Castle marginally before the Bank Holiday queue so we were able to enjoy our coffee break in comfort without having to wait to be served.

The 2 groups now combined for the second leg of the journey having lost only one rider to the ‘pull’ of home and the dreaded gardening duties. We took the road through Sedgwick and followed the delightful Halfpenny loop before joining the Gatebeck road, where we turned left towards Old Hutton. As we climbed, the wonderful countryside opened up before us, and the views were extensive. Riding through Killington village, we encountered the first, and only, mechanical of the day in the form of a puncture for Maz.

When we arrived at the main road we turned right and went back across the river to take the narrow lane across to join the Sedbergh to Kirkby road. It was along this lane that the Bluebells were at their most dazzling, lining both sides of the lane as we rode along. We followed the road into Sedbergh and began to explore the lunch possibilities. Half the group carried sandwiches so didn’t need to join the lunch option seekers. Unfortunately, the first cafe was full, the second closed, so into the pub it was! The Bull in the High Street turned out to be an excellent choice and we sat in extremely pleasant surroundings whilst the very friendly staff took our orders. We were presented with our excellent food pretty quickly, but having spent time hunting for our venue, the sandwich brigade were beginning to feel the cold.

Having said good bye to Maz and Graeme who had a previously arranged party to attend we set off back down The Kirkby Lonsdale road, taking the track into Barbon, where Nick decided to take his group (Nick) a flatter way home. We climbed out of Barbon onto the old Roman road and followed it to the end. Passing through Tunstall we took the turn at Wrayton, taking us to Wennington and Wray. We continued on our way towards home, the group now fragmenting as we neared our own homes.

An excellent days cycling in good company with lots of interesting climbs and wonderful views to go with them. 67 miles 4700ft of ascent in extremely suitable cycling weather.

Neil Westwell

P.S. The fragmentation of the group on the A683 allowed those with legs to go up the series of bumps through and beyond Brookhouse, while those wanting a more level bimble went along the cycle path to rejoin the Nick group. This group of three finally dispersed as we went arrived at Lancaster.

Tim Dant