Ride to Casterton Golf Club (or maybe not!!) via Silverdale Golf Club, Sunday 11th November 2018

Will it or won’t it? That was the question. Well, on the way to the start it wasn’t, but arriving at the start it was, raining that is. The longer we talked about it the heavier it got, so we thought we’d better set off! 6 of us, including 2 new welcome participants, Ian for his second ride and Mick for his first ride, set off towards Kellet Lane, but 5 only actually turned up Kellet Lane, Anne deciding to head to The Red Door Café in Halton instead. We persevered up Kellet Lane to Nether Kellet and up to the Carnforth turn where the group were given the opportunity to take a short cut to Carnforth. The option was unanimously declined and we stoically carried on to Over Kellet and down through Carnforth, Warton and the 3 Yealands. Having passed through Yealand Storrs, we paused to decide the way forward. Unanimously, once again, we decided to carry on as intended, so up the hill it was! Thrang End, Gait Burrows and Waterslack led onto Silverdale Golf Club where the first catering disaster of the day befell us! No Scones! We were, however, offered several good choices from the breakfast menu. We joined the other 6 riders waiting for us in the very plush golf club lounge, and enjoyed our food. As we dined, the rain continued to fall, but departure signalled lighter rain. Ken, who was either too wet from his morning ride or over sausaged from his breakfast, was determined to return home and couldn’t be persuaded to change his mind.

So 7 of us left Silverdale and within a couple of miles the rain stopped, and, as it turned out, didn’t rain again for rest of the day, in fact good visibility and a little sunshine now prevailed. We headed past Leighton Moss and back to Yealand Storrs, taking the left turn to Burton in Lonsdale. We climbed the long hill and onto Hutton Roof, where we took the right turn taking us through High and Low Biggins and Kirkby Lonsdale, and over Devil’s Bridge (more about that later!), taking the road to Casterton. We arrived at the Golf Club and the second catering disaster of the day befell us! No chef, off sick, so no lunch at Casterton. We decided to head back to Kirkby Lonsdale, crossing Devil’s Bridge on the way. We found our way to the bakery and were lucky to find 2 adjacent tables free. We were quickly served with excellent fayre and took our time in the welcoming atmosphere.

We said goodbye to Miles and the 6 of us set off back across Devil’s Bridge (again!!) crossing the main road, and up the narrow path past the caravan site and onto the Roman Road towards the A65. We crossed the A65 and took the narrow road to Overtown and Nether Burrow carrying our bikes across the narrow bridge on the way. We passed through Tunstall and took the Wrayton turn bringing us down to Wennington and onto Wray. We all decided to stick together and took the shortest way, picking up the cycle track to take us home.

Writer’s cramp, tired legs, but no wet clothes to dry out and good memories of a day which started badly, got worse, but in the end was extremely entertaining with the majority of the day’s weather excellent and the catering shortcomings being overcome with great success. 50 miles and 3700 feet of ascent.

Neil Westwell

Ride to Kendal via Arnside, Sunday 4th November 2018

Welcome milder temperatures and a reduced threat of rain saw eight riders set off from Beaumont on Sunday. heading for Arnside and Kendal.
Taking the direct coastal route via Crag Bank and Leighton Moss they followed the Row, around Silverdale ascending the Knot to descend into Arnside for a welcome and convivial coffee break at the Heron Café ahead of schedule. As usual, meeting up with others arriving by diverse routes.

After Coffee, on to Levens , through Brigsteer Park, enjoying the elevated views over the Lythe Valley, they turned right at Brigsteer and commenced the challenging climb up onto Helsington Barrows, to be rewarded with extensive views South over Morecambe Bay and East to the Howgills. Quite warmed up by this effort, they then descended into Kendal, for a lunch stop at Booths where they were joined by Ray, Linda and Miles.

Leaving along the River Walk they headed South, finding the headwind strangely unnoticed on the outward journey! On past Natland and along the lanes through Viver to Ackenthwaite

Finally returning via Holme, Home Mills, Burton In Lonsdale (avoiding the “Mucky Farm”),Tewitfield, the Kellets and down to Lancaster after a very rewarding 50mile ride.


Ride to Casterton via Beetham, Sunday 28th October 2018

I arrived at the Millennium Bridge a little late and grumpy with a bad cold; I’d spent a coughy and spluttery night trying to get some sleep. Neil kindly said he would take over the ride if I didn’t feel up to it. We set off in two groups in what was very good weather with blue skies and sun. The air was cold but the pull up through Halton and along the ridge of the Kirkby road with its ups and downs got everyone warmed up. My body of course overheated just as it had felt chilled in the early of the morning air. We slid down a rather greasy looking Sunny Bank and wound our way through Borwick and Priest Hutton to Cinderbarrow where we turned north along the railway towards Holme. The day was warming up as we arrived at Beetham where we found a number of other Lancaster CTC riders drinking coffee at the tables outside. Even after the revival of tea and cake, I felt worn out by my twelve or so miles and gratefully took up Neil’s offer. I left a discussion about the route to be followed to Casterton as I took off straight down the A6 to home where I went back to bed with a hot water bottle.

Tim Dant

Following Tim’s succumbing to his bad cold and deciding to go home after coffee, Neil stepped into the breach and led the second part of the ride from Beetham Garden Centre to Casterton Golf Club. Following Tim’s proposed route at first through Ackenthwaite, we then diverted and headed to Viver and on towards Sedgwick, where instead of riding into Sedgwick we took the Crosscrake direction and onto the A65. Following the A65 for 200 metres we took the Halfpenny Road and enjoyed the loop on the quiet road which avoided more of the A65. Onto Gatebeck and towards Old Hutton was where the wonderful scenery came into its own as we climbed almost continually.

It was an exceptionally clear day and the views were extensive as we crossed the moors, although it remained cold all day. The only ‘fly in the ointment’ came when we took the left turn at Rigmaden where the sign said ‘4 tonne limit over bridge’ and when we arrived at the bridge it was actually blocked and we had to lift the bikes over the concrete barriers. This we managed and joined the A683 which took us to Casterton and a well earned lunch at the Golf Club.

Through Kirkby Lonsdale and Whittington, we took the right turn in Newton and passed Docker Farm where Patience joined us after gaining a short break from ‘Mother sitting’ duties. Capernwray and the Kellet’s was the way home and destination was reached well before the new sunset time following the clock alteration.

A total ride of 55 miles and 4300ft on a super, cold clear day with spectacular views, marvellous!

Neil Westwell

Ride to Knott End via Garstang, Thursday 25th October 2018

A few of us met at Crook O Lune for the ride to Knott End with the coffee stop at Garstang.
Leaving the car park we went up the cycle track to Caton and crossed the main road at the roundabout. Heading passed Gresgarth Hall we went up Postern Gate and turned left on to Littlefell Lane. At the second cross roads we descended Hazel Rigg Brow to go behind the Uni and turned left on to Chapel Lane. After going over the Conder and passing Silk Mill Cottages we turned left on to the flat lands of Kitt Brow Lane then Langshaw Lane eventually joining the "happy valley" road. I said eventually because Geoff managed the first of his numerous punctures along Langshaw Lane.

The following group led by Mike Codd caught us up and I told then to carry on and we would meet up at Garstang, little did I know.
As time was getting tight when myself, Geoff, Tracey, Ken, Brian and Graham got to Five lane ends we decided to go straight across to Whams Lane then through Bay Horse to Garstang. Whams Lane was too much to Geoff's rear tyre and another puncture was mended. At this point Graham and Ken went on whilst we stayed helping Geoff!
New tube in and set off only for the air to leak out somewhere so Geoff and Brian stayed to sort the bike out whilst Tracey and myself decided the quickest way to Garstang was through Bay Horse to join the A6 the straight down the A6 to Lancaster road and into Garstang.
Arrived to meet all the others so managed a cup of coffee and just got a surviving piece of chocolate cake before we left for Knott End.
Geoff managed to arrive before we set off but he was certainly having a brew before he carried on.
We crossed the A6 at the lights went down Croston Barn Lane to join the road leading to Nateby. After Nateby we turned right to climb up and over Eagland Hill (thanks Ken) into Scronkey then Pilling. Heading along Head Dyke Lane then right which took us into Knott End.
Lovely meal (and a pint) in the squash club then at 13.30 off we set down Grasmere Road to the sea wall at Pilling then over the moss to Gulf Lane, Crimbles Lane and finally The Pudding House.
Five of us decided to return via Proctor Brook to Uni which was unfortunate for Ken because punctures are infectious and he caught the disease. Whilst mending Ken's puncture who should turn up but Ian after suffering the same.
No further incidents after this and I was home for about 16.15 just as it started to rain.
All in all a good ride of 54 for me and a dry one as well.

Jim Gardner

Ride to Kirkby Lonsdale via Farleton View, Sunday 21st October 2018

I would like to say that the day dawned bright and clear for Anne’s ride to Farleton View and Kirkby Lonsdale, but that would be far from the truth! In fact it was surprising that so many turned up at the Millennium Bridge because right from the off it was drizzling, and all the way to coffee it varied from drizzle to a heavy downpour. As we neared the cafe we were tricked by a short sunny spell, which descended into rain before we even got inside the doors. 

The route taken from the bridge was out towards Halton, turning left near the army camp and then up to the Kellets. The riders descended from Over Kellet and across Kellet Lane Bridge, the lights for once on green aiding a speedy ride over. At Tewitfield they joined the A6070 until Burton in Kendal where they turned down to Holme Mills, and then Holme. The tiny quiet lane - very muddy in places meant the remaining ride on the by now fairly busy A6070 was very short, and the arrival at the cafe - now in the rain again, was very welcome and bacon butties and homemade cake made up in part for the wet journey. The group was enlarged  by another five riders who had made their way by various routes.

The topic of the day, apart from the weather, was the very sad news that one of our club stalwarts, now living in Frinton on Sea, had passed away. Ninety One is a great age, but sad nevertheless. We all had stories of Dennis and Sylvia’s generosity when on many occasions they opened up their home for our coffee stops in Newby. His contribution to cycling cannot be underestimated, and those of us who shared a cottage with Sylvia and Dennis on several club holidays witnessed his wicked sense of humour! 

A heavy downpour confirmed what was in everyone’s mind - a speedy return home was the order of the day, and the riders made their own way back to Lancaster and Carnforth, and the promise of a warm shower or bath!

Maybe the presence of these two ladies on this ride should serve as a pointer to the committee, worried about ‘lapsed’ riders. Some  lapsed riders may have declining speed and climbing abilities partly because of advancing age and medical problems, but despite the atrocious weather all declared it an enjoyable ride, led at a sensible pace, with the leader or another rider waiting at each junction. 

Next Sunday’s ride also starts at Millennium Bridge with coffee at Beetham Garden Centre and a destination of Casterton.

Ride to Grange via Arnside, Thursday 18th October, 2018

A beautiful autumn day - a great ride. Thanks Tony!

A couple of images from Dave Hugill:

Ride to Arnside via Wray, Sunday 7th October

The Millenium Bridge was the meeting point for Nick's ride, with the grey morning skies enticing just six people out. Wray might have been only 10 miles away but they set off past the Town Hall, Williamson's Park, the Moor and across the M6 and were soon climbing up in the direction of Caton before descending Stock a Bank and steeply up to Baines Crag. This was no piece of cake!

A drop down into Littledale was followed by the rise up and past the wind turbines of Caton Moor then before the descent into Roeburndale the Three Peaks of the Yorkshire Dales appeared on the horizon. Various gates and a disintegrating road surface slowed progress for a while but the wild scenery more than made up for this. The Roeburn was crossed and various bends negotiated and then a final one in six gradient led to more open views of the Vale of Lune and beyond. It had taken two hours and apparently 2389 feet of ascent by the time they arrived for morning coffee at the Bridge House cafe in Wray. Miles and Ray had got there by a much easier route and unsurprisingly were just leaving as they arrived. 

Richard and Roy felt it was time to go home now, so after replenishing many lost calories only four were left to complete the day out. Hornby and Gressingham were the next villages past through and a few more hills and a slight threat of rain urged them on to Burton in Kendal via Borwick. Thrang Brow Lane was the last climb before easier roads to Arnside and sandwiches on the Quay. Another relaxed cafe break was taken before it was time to head for Crag Bank and the canal towpath. The group gradually went their own ways home and were back by mid afternoon, tired but satisfied by the challenging route and 45 miles completed. 

Nick Hall

Ride to Sebergh via Barbon, Thursday 4th October 2018

Despite the forecast of rain and my inability to spell ‘Sedbergh’ on the rides diary, I was surprised to count twelve people ready to ride at the start. We split into two groups with Hayden gamely taking my outline map and list of place names to lead the second group (I had a Garmin to tell me where to go…). As the first group were winding their way out of Lancaster we got word that Ken had started off with a puncture. Once sure he wasn’t left on his ownsome, most of us carried on. The route we followed to the Churchmouse was pretty direct (Caton, Caton Green, Wray, Wennington, Wrayton, Leck footbridge, Moorthwaite Lane). It involved quite a bit of on and off A-roads which was not so nice, especially with the mizzle and rising wind. When we got to the Churchmouse, we found there were four other CTC riders already enjoying the scones - we did rather crowd the cafe but the staff were friendly and quick and didn’t point out that we had a third more people than I’d told them on the phone an hour and half before. Leaving the cafe meant a sharp uphill section before the relative tranquility of Barbon Dale. We were riding up into the cloud and could see little other than a shooting party dressed in tweeds, barbours and range rovers, down in the valley. Their dogs were dashing about … I was not sure what they were looking for. Surely not rabbits?

We’d gone up into the dale in three groups and we got a message that a new rider in the last group had got a wheel caught and bent in a cattle grid. The shiny steel of the cattle grid had a slick of wet from the oozing air - anathema to bike wheels. Two riders stayed with him and eventually called in a car who carried two riders and bikes back to civilization. Barbondale is a long way from a bike shop, a station or any other sort of assistance. Thank you Brian and Charlotte!

The descent into Gawthrop needed special care because of the wet roads and then we found that the pretty roads along Dentdale had been recently hedge trimmed. A local farmer cheerfully told me ‘You’ll all get punctures along there, you mark my words’. I did. And we didn’t. But I didn’t retrace my wheel tracks to tell him so.

Lunch in Sedbergh was good and Smatts Duo didn’t mind us dripping all over their cafe. But when we came out, the rain was getting serious. The plan to stop in Greenlands was modified and we hammered down the A683 keen to get home into the dry. Across Devils Bridge and then down the Kirby Lonsdale Road. There was half an inch of water in my goretex boots by the time I made it home. I’ll have to rethink how to dress for the rain.

Ride to Calder Vale via Light Ash Farm, Sunday 30th September 2018

Report on club run Sunday 30th September 2018

Autumn may bring mixed fortunes but the weather on the final Sunday in September was generally good although a little chilly at the start of the Lancaster CTC ride in Scotforth.

The day’s ride was to Light Ash Farm, near Myerscough and then on to Calder Vale School where the harvest celebrations provided a chance to sample some of the village produce.

The ride out to coffee was via Cockerham, Garstang, Nateby, Moss Edge and Cartford before turning towards St Michaels on Wyre. Apart from a stiff breeze when heading west it was a relatively easy ride out. During the first 16 miles they saw a large number of riders in a sportif event riding with somewhat more urgency on their allotted course. After St Michael’s the ride headed south and then east towards Light Ash Farm for the coffee break.

After a long delay the ride continued, initially past Myerscough College and across the A6 at Bilsborough, before heading down to Duckett’s Farm and Claughton on Brock en route to Sandholme Bridge. The next section took the riders up the long climb of Bell Lane and Strickens Lane after which some riders headed directly into Calder Vale village before walking through the wooded pathway up to the church and school. The rest continued towards Oakenclough and then turned right climbing up Calder Bank and on to the school. Here they had welcome refreshments.

The ride then continued over Harrisend Fell and the Fleece before Galgate and the university cyclepath back into Scotforth. The ride has been just over 40 miles long and had been on distinctly varied terrain from the relatively flat roads of the Fylde and the rather more challenging roads on the edge of the Bowland fells.

The ride next Sunday, October 7th, will be led by the club chairman, and is to Arnside.

Photo: In Caldervale School - Anne Hutchinson

Ride to Lytham via Great Eccleston, Thursday 27th September, 2018

We all met at the Boot and Shoe for the usual ride to Lytham.
I had originally planned for the coffee stop at Garstang Arts but changed my mind and decided the attraction of a bacon butty at Great Eccleston made me rethink the route.
So the fifteen of us set off on the usual route through the University into Galgate then over the A6 at the lights and went over past Sellerley Farm to Conder Green then on into Cockerham.
Over Pilling Moss we went then into Pilling and took the second left into Bradshaw Lane then right into Lancaster Road which took us to Cartforth Bridge.
Usual system leader pays and as I had arranged an overdraft money was no problem.
Up the hill across the busy road and descended into Great Eccleston where they were waiting for us as usual.
Leaving Great Eccleston after a calorie injection (plus cholesterol) we travelled through Elswick( fracking lovely countryside!!!). Crossed the very busy A585. Into Weeton, Great Plumpton and before Wrea Green turned right on to Ballam Road which took us into Lytham.
Neil left us in Lytham to carry on to St. Anne's with the strict instructions NOT to come back but to wait at St. Annes's pier!!!!!
Some of us were treated by a pleasant young woman in the Station Inn who said if we were over 60 we could have pensioners discount( she should have gone to Specsavers!!!)
The rest was a piece of cake but very hilly. Straight up the prom (hopefully to pick Neil up on the way) to join Clifton Drive then back on to the prom ( try to dodge the GROCKLES!!!!) all the way to Fleetwood.
I had checked the ferry sailings and they were still on the summer time table (every half hour, quarter to and quarter past). 
Over the 15.15 ferry into Knott End where another refreshment stop was called for(or was it the attraction of the loos!!!!)
I had arranged with him upstairs for good weather and a favourable wind and we were satisfied with the conditions.
Jim Gardner

Ride to Sizergh Castle, Sunday 23rd September 2018

With no ride scheduled for Sunday it was decided to have an ad hoc ride starting from Lancaster’s Millennium Bridge at 09:15. Mike Hutchinson had agreed to lead a ride to coffee at the reserve at Leighton Moss with the lunch venue to be decided on the day according to how the ride was going.  Despite a forecast posted mid week of dreadful weather on the Sunday there was a large turnout at the start. Perhaps the revised forecast had lifted spirits?

Mike’s ride took in the climb up to the Kellet mast, Nether Kellet and the cycleway through to Leighton Moss. Here numbers were further boosted by an additional five riders. After a welcome break the party split into those heading back to Lancaster, some heading for Milnthorpe or Arnside and five remaining with Mike en route to Sizergh Castle. The route taken by Mike followed the cycleway as far as Levens Hall and then continued along the old route of the A6 until the bypass at which point they took a series of minor roads, plus the steps down to the underpass and past the salmon leap to Sizergh.

After lunch the chosen return was via Hincaster, Ackenthwaite, Holme, Holme Mills, Burton in Kendal and Longlands. At Over Kellet the group split once again and the riders made their own ways home. It had been a ‘moderate ride’, in glorious weather, with the top mileage only just over 51 miles.

Next week’s ride starts at The Boot and Shoe, Scotforth and is to Light Ash Farm for coffee, and lunch at Caldervale for their harvest lunch.



The Manchester 100 Charity Cycle Ride - 2nd September 2018

On Sunday 2nd September I rode the ‘Manchester 100’ charity cycle ride, a lap round Cheshire starting and finishing in Wythenshawe Park in south Manchester. It is an event I have participated regularly over the last number of years to raise funds for the Christie Hospital where my late wife Christine was a patient.

I opted to do the 100km ride this year as I felt my fitness was not up to doing 100miles following a month’s lay off the bike whilst away visiting my daughter in the States. This was wise decision as I found it very hard riding with my cycling group on the 60m ride to Cartmel on the Thursday before the event having only arrived home the day before.

I had actually entered for the 100m prior to my departure and was given a start time of 7.30 am so initially I was amongst 100 milers and got into a nicely paced group but after the point where the routes split I found I was isolated and for the rest of the ride I was mainly riding solo.

At the finish I did not feel absolutely shattered but I was very tired (I think I still had not recovered from jet lag from returning home) and I seemed to have no power and unable to sustain the effort particularly on the rises and even on the flat although in the last 6m I got behind a group that seemed to be in a hurry to get to the finish and we were bowling along at 23+ mph. Overall I found it the hardest and slowest Manchester 100 I have done in a long time.

The weather on the day was quite warm even at the start and as the day progressed became increasing warmer so much so I had to discard my Christie’s logoed white top partway through the ride – hence I finished wearing a red top. 

According to my Garmin the 100k was 61.2m, the ride time was 4hrs and the average riding speed was 15.3mph.

I have received kind and generous donations for this most worthwhile Charity which currently stands in excess of £250

John Laws

Ride to Staveley via Beetham, Sunday 16th September 2018

Given the driving rain at the start of the day, it was little wonder that only Matt and Neil appeared at Beaumont for the Secretary’s ride to Staveley via Beetham Garden Centre. It was decided in the circumstances to truncate the ride at Beetham and return home (where most sensible people had stayed)

This plan was blown off course by Ian and Norman turning up at Beetham (making plain their expectation to ride to Staveley) and a marked improvement in the weather (promising blue skies and balmy breezes).

Thus it was that the ‘group of 4’ headed north to Staveley via Sedgewick, The Helm (pausing to take in the stupendous panorama across Kendal to Lakeland), the precipitous descent of Meal Bank (now nicely resurfaced), and Burneside. At Wilf’s Café, lunch was taken outdoors with caps donned to avoid sunstroke.

Wheels turned in the direction of home, over the hill to Crook, along undulating lanes through the woodland to Underbarrow and Brigsteer, and through the National Trust parkland to Levens Village. From Levens, the miles passed quickly, over Heversham Moss, through Dallam Park to Silverdale, where Ian and Norman were tempted to take a mid-afternoon tea stop.

Neil and Len headed home for their afternoon teas, reflecting contentedly on fast-ish 60 miles, completed in the near-perfect conditions of an Indian Summer.


Photos by Ian Wood

Ride from Barrow to Glasson Dock, Thursday 13th September 2018

Barrow to Glasson Dock ride 13th September 2018

Oh hell is it that time already (06.30) better get a move on who the hell suggested this ride we are setting of in the middle of the night and I will probably be asleep till Barrow.
Bikes loaded into van and waved them goodbye. Hope there isn”t a bike sale on at Burton services (hopefully).
Managed to get a strong cup of coffee on the railway station.
Reunited with the bikes at Barrow station all in good order, thanked Dave (the man with the van) and set off towards Walney for the official start.
Everybody thought I knew Barrow but aiming for the submarine sheds Walney was easy to find even for me.
Once at the start with a promise of reasonable weather and with a slight following wind, 11 Pensioners In Lycra On Cycles (PILOCS) plus Dave from Arnside (who decided to join us) we set off for Glasson Dock 81 miles away.
First we had to negotiate the busy streets of Barrow till we arrived at the quieter part through Morrisons car park!!!!
Once through the car park we were on the quiet and interesting tracks through the dock area to rejoin the road at Rampside then we had a few miles on the coastal road to Roosedeck where we turned inland heading for Leece.
Travelling through Leece, Dendron, Gleaston (where a group stopped at the little cafe and this was the last sight we had of Neil) the rest of us skirted over Birkrigg Common and rejoined the coastal road in Bardsea heading passed the Bhuddist priory at Conishead we got to our coffee stop in Ulverston at 20 miles. 
Leaving Ulverston we headed inland and through Mansriggs we then turned east as we headed for Penny Bridge then Greenodd passing under the A590 to cross the Leven estuary via the foot bridge and the next bit was cursed by the riders on "skinnies" (yours truly).
We headed towards Low Wood and the BEAST of Bigland Hill. At least we knew that once over this it was a nice down hill into Cartmel.
We did contemplate various dinner stops Cartmel (with pub) or Grange (with pub but didn't do meals) so it was a "no brainer" and Cartmel it was for dinner.
Following dinner we headed along the lanes to Cark so we could detour via Flookburgh into Kents Bank and Grange-over-Sands.
We all realised that we were now on familiar ground as we headed over Meathop and into Witherslack to take the old road to Levens.
No stopping us now as we took the moss road to join the B5282 into Arnside and hoped for a  welcomed brew at The Heron but it was shut so The Albion it was and I have to admit it was the first time I have been in a pub and just had a coffee!!!! ( am I turning into a teetotaller???)
Then into Silverdale passing Holgates, then via Wolfhouse Gallery.
Heading towards Warton the route had a nasty sting in its tale because it took us over Warton Crag!!!!! then Crag Bank, Bolton le Sands, Hest Bank where we joined the promenade through to Morrisons.
Knowing we were on the last leg (and our last legs) and knowing that there was no way we were going to finish it before it went dark we continued along the old railway line into Lancaster and continued along the railway line into Glasson Dock where we arrived at about 20.15.
At this point there was just the three of us Mike, Ian and myself we decided as Mike hadn't a front light to reverse our route back along the railway line to the sewerage works then home for about 20.45 with 91 miles under the bum.
A great day out, good weather, good miles and GREAT COMPANY
Is this going to be an annual "do" if so suggest earlier in the year possibly May/June/July for the extended day light hours.
Jim and Co
Photos by Nick Hall

Ride to Knott End via Cockerham, Sunday 9th September 2018

Five met at Millennium Bridge in light but persistent rain for a dual start.

Mike led the moderate ride, joined by Nick. Neil devised a normal ride to Casterton and Arnside and was joined by Ken and Adrian.

The moderate ride headed south via Haverbreaks and past the Boot & Shoe, taking route 6 to 5 Lane Ends and then across the A6 at Potter’s Brook. Continuing to the A588, coffee was taken at the Cockerham Pudding House with Matt and Mary, who were already there.

Matt and Mary choosing different route for their recumbent trikes, we continued via Stalmine to Knott End, accompanied, but in the opposite direction, by a strongish wind, evidenced by the white horses on the sea at force 5 to 6!

A pleasant lunch at the Knott End Cafe lasted and hour and so we set off home, just as Matt and Mary arrived for lunch. Nick and I bade them farewell and set out with a beautiful following gale and not-so-beautiful scattered showers, getting us back to

Mike Codd 9 September 2018

Ride to Leighton Moss via Casterton, Sunday 9th September 2018

We all met up at Millenium Bridge for the 2 choices of rides, Mike leading the ‘gentle’ ride and Neil the ‘traditional’ ride.

Leaving Mike and Nick, who were heading for Wallings Café, Neil, Ken and Adrian set off in the persistent rain through Nether Kellet, Over Kellet and Capernwray, by which point the rain had changed from persistent to frequent showers. Taking the road to Newton via Docker Farm, and onto Wennington, we rode through Kirkby Lonsdale and onto Casterton Golf Club, for a well earned break and a chance to dry out. Relaxing for some time in the club café, we managed to solve all Brexit issues, and agree on a way forward with the social housing issue.

Finally leaving the café with the world now in a far better place, we returned to the task of the day, cycling through the showers for another well earned break, this time in Arnside. Given the weather conditions and the gloomy surroundings, the ride wasn’t particularly memorable as we rode back through Kirkby, Hutton Roof, Burton and onto the Yealand’s. We arrived in Arnside to find that our preferred café was actually full and we would have to wait an hour for a free table. The decision was made to ride a bit further before lunch, and when Ken had tightened his saddle to prevent a quick exit from his bike, we carried on through Silverdale, passing Jenny Brown’s Point and Wolf House Gallery, and arrived at RSPB Leighton Moss for lunch.

It is a smooth operation at the café and we were soon seated with our lunch before us.

After our second relaxing break, where this time we didn’t need to dry out, we set off for home, splitting up as we neared our different destinations.

A good, testing ride of 46 miles and 3300 ft of ascent, we certainly made the best of a less than inspiring day of inclement weather, and were home for 2.30, in time to see the sun breaking through.

Neil Westwell

Ride to Settle via Dunsop Bridge, 6th September, 2018

13 Riders met at the Boot and Shoe for Neil’s ride to Settle via the Trough (the easy way). Before we set off Ian and Jim confessed their intention to ride to Settle missing out the climb over the Trough, thus reducing the numbers to 11. The ride took us up the steep climb through Quernmore crossroads towards Jubilee Tower but before reaching said Tower, Andy was wishing he’d joined the other 2 on the alternate route, so he turned back. Down to 10! Unknown to the rest of us, Sandra had secured a lift from Stuart to Jubilee Tower, so was ‘on the ride’ albeit in front of the rest of us.  Back to 11! As we reached the tower, the leader began to think that Jubilee Tower wasn’t the easiest route over the trough, even though Nick said it was! Stopping at Jubilee Tower briefly, it became apparent why this route, although a tough, unrelenting climb, is so attractive on such a clear day, the views from here were absolutely breathtaking.

We undulated (good verb that!) along the moors to reach the top of the Trough with the tremendous descent before us to Dunsop Bridge. On arrival, we were welcomed at Puddleducks cafe as usual and partook of a well earned tea/coffee and lots of cakes break. Tim decided not to continue with the ride and returned home via the steep way up the Trough. Back down to 10, although we hadn’t yet caught sight of Sandra!

Continuing through Slaidburn and up the spectacular hairpinned climb beyond, the riders continued their undulations through Tosside and onto Wigglesworth, where we turned left towards Rathmell, and, crossing the A65, into Settle, where we not only found Sandra, but Ian and Jim appeared from behind a pillar in the cafe! Back to 12!

After a leisurely lunch in Settle we set off as a bigger group, although Sandra had departed before the rest of us. Riding along the quiet lanes we were treated to the wonderful views of the Yorkshire Dales, culminating in  the sight of Ingleborough dominating the horizon.

Arriving at Bridge House in Wray for our last stop of the day we found that Sandra had already arrived and we joined her for yet more coffee/tea (and possibly cakes).

A good, albeit testing, ride with varying numbers of participants on a clear day with magnificent Lancashire and Yorkshire scenery. 63 miles and 5500ft of ascent. Beat that!!

Neil Westwell

Ride to Ingleton via Clapham, Sunday 2nd September 2018.

Ride Report Beaumont to Ingleton via Clapham on 2 September 2018.

9 riders met at Beaumont for Neil’s ride to Ingleton for lunch, with a stop in Clapham for coffee and cakes en route. Rather than split into 2 groups, one of eight and one of one, we set off as one group and made our way through the road works towards Halton. Riding steadily upwards through Halton a good, even pace was set which suited all participants and the group was pretty compact when the Aughton turn off was taken. The long descent was enjoyed as the country views opened up before us, being particularly outstanding on such a clear day. Through Gressingham, Hornby and Wray before joining Mewith Lane, a popular route for our cycling group.

The views were wonderful and it was great to see the countryside returned to a super fresh green colour after the extreme ravages of the hot, unrelenting Sunshine turned the landscape brown. Passing Clapham Station the ride continued into Clapham to find Ruth waiting for us at the Bunk House Café. A nice relaxing break was enjoyed by all until departure time arrived.

It was surprising and welcome to find that all 9 original participants were continuing the full ride as we set off towards and through Austwick. Now in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the views were nothing short of spectacular, especially on such a clear day. Turning North at Helwith Bridge towards Horton in Ribblesdale the views became even more spectacular as we passed Pen Y Ghent and cycled towards Whernside in the distance. We paused awhile at Ribblehead Viaduct but were not blessed with the passing of a train, steam or otherwise. With Ingleborough on our left  we climbed away from the viaduct and took the right turn to Chapel Le Dale where we joined hundreds of contented sheep on the fell road to Ingleton, although we weren’t impressed with their Sunday Lunch menu! Arriving in Ingleton we made our way to the Inglesport café where we partook of a leisurely lunch.

Ravens Close, Wennington, Wray and onto the cycle track was the route home. It had been a very scenic ride through the Yorkshire Dales and continued the theme of ‘back to front ride’, as we have ridden these roads before although Ingleton first and Clapham for lunch on previous occasions, but doing the ride in reverse uncovers scenery not seen before, and it was extremely impressive.

A ride of 59 miles and 4150ft of ascent, what a super day to be a cyclist!

Neil Westwell

Thanks to Ian Wood for the photos.

Ride to Cartmel via Levens, Thursday 30th August 2018

Upside down or back to front?

If you are a fan of the TV programs, where people look at houses and then do or don’t buy one, you will be aware of upside down houses. So why not back to front rides? We do tend to have fairly fixed routes and unless you have eyes in the back of your head you will be only be aware of half of the views available.

So take a route we normally do and go the other way! Leaving Kellet X we went over the mast and down to Bolton le Sands and onto the canal tow path. Here the concept of riding in two or more groups was challenged when the second group ended up in front of the 1st. Even leaving the canal was somewhat problematic but at Crag Bank the order was re-established. In two groups of 8 (or 9) the route continued via Silverdale Station and Storth to cross the flats and on to Levens Hall for coffee. Nick who had done sterling service leading his group passed the route plan to Mike C for stage 2.

Not liking the climb to Levens village we went via the flat lanes to Sampool and Gilpin Bridge. We followed the ‘old road’ towards Witherslack but, out of character, turned left across Meathop Moss to Grange. The cold start we had endured relented and tops came off or at least unfastened. A slightly uphill road led to Allithwaite and a right turn, the actual RIGHT turn might have been the one, before the one we took but such was the spirit of the group no one commented. Soon Cartmell was reached and my group headed for the cafe named something to do with ducks. The 2nd group soon followed and passed our cafe, maybe L’Enclume was more their cup of tea

After lunch we gained another 3 riders and set off NE to fork right and make our way towards High Newton. Here the back to front route paid off with stunning views towards Dow Crag and Coniston Old Man. A short climb led to the top of Tow Top. The way down has deteriorated over the years from being bad 30 years ago to even worse today but at least we went down! The group pressed on to Witherslack and back along the ex -A590 to Levens. Instead of dicing with death trying to cross the main road we turned into Heversham. Ackenthwaite and Holme Mills gave way to Cinderbarrow and the main Burton road. Here the group split some going via Priest Hutton and the others Greenlands Farm. I returned to Nether Kellet 60 miles since I left neither upside down nor back to front.

Brian Greenwood