Thursday 30th November: The Boot and Shoe to Beacon Fell

Last Thursday's ride (30th November) was to Beacon Fell via Garstang Arts. Twelve of us set off on the route planned by Dave Butterfield who was with us in spirit if not body. I had loaded the ride into my Garmin but by the morning it was drained of energy. But we set off via Condor Green and Cockerham with a couple of kinks on the way down through Winmarleigh - I had to stop to check Dave's notes. There was the usual excellent service and cakes at Garstang and then a rather smaller group of five set off for Beacon Fell - the Garmin was also refreshed from an external battery. Although it was a bright sunny day we were all cautious about black ice that might have stayed in the shadows. Sure enough, the road round Beacon Fell caused a few back wheel skids but no one fell on the Fell. The return after lunch was into the wind which had got up and although the route was direct it seemed to take ages. Keith and Neil stopped off at the Barn for mince pies and cream - and to get warm. Tim, Phil and Mike made straight for home, worried that as it got dark, the surface might freeze. A good ride for this time of year - thanks Dave and hope to see you on the road again soon.

Milnthorpe to Casterton

Ride Report – Sunday 19th November 2017 – Milnthorpe and Casterton
- from Len Howard

Ten riders met at Beaumont on a clear but frosty morning for a 50 miles meander along mostly quiet lanes. Milnthorpe was the first stop, reached via Silverdale Station, Carr Bank and Sandside. Two riders who were more “fleet of crank” took a hillier route to warm up. Another six riders joined the group at Number 17 café for a leisurely coffee break as they waited for the outside temperatures to rise.
A group of 10 continued to the lunch stop at Casterton Golf Course. The leaders chose a little-used balcony route with stunning views across the Kent valley to the Lakeland hills, cycling via Black Yeats, Warth and Tarnhouse Tarn to get over the fell to Old Town and Mansergh. The Lune valley was resplendent in the winter sun and the lanes through Rigmaden Park provided stunning views across the valley to Barbon and Casterton fells.
The convivial lunch gathering at Casterton Golf Course was extended to 2.30pm, leaving enough daylight for a leisurely return via Kirkby Lonsdale, Docker Park, Capernwray and the Kelletts.

Sunday October 29th Tour de Lancaster

On Sunday Richard Trevitt led some 14 members of Lancaster Cyclists Touring Club for a ride of some 45 miles around the Lancaster area, starting from the Millenium  Bridge. In perfect weather conditions and in brilliant sunlight the riders set off along the cycleway alongside the River Lune towards Glasson Dock, then along Dobbs Lane and up to Briggs Brow. There they joined the Cockerham Road, making for the Pudding House for a welcoming coffee stop before continuing along the lanes, across the motorway and past Blea Tarn for the undulating route along Happy Valley to Knott Wood, before being finally rewarded with an extended descent to Caton. Crossing the Lune to the cyclepath, the cyclists made for Halton Green before veering off on to the steep and seemingly endless ascent,  past Monkley Gill towards the Kellets. From there they were rewarded with a beautiful view across the Bay before plunging down to the coastal road and a welcome lunch stop at Red Bank Farm.


Suitable refreshed, the riders headed back for the coastal road, some to follow the canal path towards Morecambe whilst others continued along the road,  rejoining at Sandylands.  From there the route took them towards Heysham and across the Moss to Snatchams and the cycleway, returning to the Millenium Bridge after an exhilerating and varied "round tour" of Lancaster and district, to complete a great day out.

Salter Fell ride Sunday June 26th

Patience and Len led a ride of off-roading stalwarts of the club on 25th June.  The objective being the 8 miles crossing of Salter Fell from Slaidburn to Littledale.  It was completed in the chillier breezes of the weekend, with fantastic visibility, by five members, two of whom came along on mountain bikes.  Four other members rode to coffee at Dunsop Bridge village hall and opted to return on tarmaced alternatives.

The Salter Fell track, also known as Hornby Road, is classed by the OS as an “other route with public access where exact status is to be checked with the Highway Authority”.  There is no access for vehicular traffic, but it is widely used by off-road cyclists and walkers. 

After gorging themselves on the wonderful home baking at the village hall, the cyclists delighted in the beauty of the Hodder valley in the clear conditions, turning off at Newton to get to the start of Hornby Road via Back Lane.

Some sections of the track south of the watershed (topping out at 416 metres) had to be walked, even by the mountain bikers due to the loose and rocky surface.  We stopped briefly at the sculptural “milestone” telling the story of the Lancashire Witches, who were marched this way in the 16th Century when it was the main route from north-east Lancashire to Lancaster Castle.  A picnic lunch was taken at the south facing shooting hut, where we were paid an unexplained and menacing visit by two people in a Range Rover, presumably the gamekeepers.  They didn’t speak but drove around us, passing close to where we were sat, before moving on.

Once over the watershed, the wonderful panorama across Morecambe Bay and to Yorkshire’s Three Peaks provided good excuses to dismount and stare, particularly whilst the only puncture of the day was attended to.

The tarmac was thankfully regained at High Salter Farm, and we rolled down into Wray for afternoon tea, where we rendezvoused with two of our members who had opted for the on-road alternative via Wigglesworth and Rathmell.

With a distance of 50 miles, it was not one of our longest summer rides, but the challenging surfaces made it feel like a most enjoyable epic.

Sunday 21st May The Boot and Shoe to Calder Vale via Fleetwood

A goodly number of riders turned up for the start of what was to be an unusual day out, involving a ferry and a bluebell tea! The route to Knott End was straightforward, due to the need to catch a ferry before the tide was too low to permit access to the boat. A good pace was set along the road to Cockerham, before turning off on Crimbles Lane to Moss Edge and from there to Pilling, following Fluke Hall Lane and onto the sea wall. Reserved seating was very welcome and three other rides met us there having made their own way out from Lancaster and Scorton. 


After a welcome second breakfast for some, an earlier than expected ferry was available, with the news that a bus pass no longer afforded a reduced fare!! Setting off along the promenade the leader was unaware that before Rossall School their way would be blocked due to updating of the surface, and a detour was made along the road running parallel to the sea wall. The original route was soon rejoined, and from there the roads were in turn very quiet, or much more busy in equal measure, but after ten miles or so, and some fairly complex navigation, the lunch stop was made at Stanah Country Park.


After a convivial half hour, two of the group opted for a road route to Shard Bridge, whilst the rest went ‘off road’ following the Wyre Way to Skippool. The scenery along this section is very unusual and caused much interest for those who hadn’t been this way before. All met up before the bridge to ride across it and then along pleasant lanes through Out Rawcliffe and Nateby to Garstang. At this point one of the group living near Garstang introduced everyone to a canal link which got us safely under the very busy A6. On reaching Dimples Lane, what had been a very flat ride until this point suddenly got very hilly, over Ringing Hill and Sullom Side - almost two miles of steep climbing, but worth the effort as the Bluebell Teas provided by the good folks of Calder Vale were delicious and prepared everyone for the climb through the splendid bluebell woods and up to the school and church.


Harris End Fell then had to be tackled from Oakenclough, but is a much easier proposition in this direction and the riders were soon on the downhill section and on their way back to Galgate and home - 56 enjoyable miles on some roads not often ridden.

Sunday 16th April Beaumont to Bowness

Three other riders joined ride leaders Patience and Len at Beaumont in drizzly conditions for Sunday’s ride to Bowness.  The intermittent light rain accompanied the group via the Kelletts, Holme and Heversham to the coffee stop at Levens Hall.  Unsurprisingly no further club members turned up there to swell the numbers, and only 4 continued to Bowness.  At the bend by the entrance to Levens Hall the riders were brought to a halt by police, marshalling the aftermath of a head-on car crash and forcing all motorised traffic to turn around.  Fortunately the riders were permitted to walk past the accident site to get to Foulshaw Moss.  

The poor weather prompted a change of route plan and the riders cycled up the Lyth Valley instead of the Winster Valley and called for bowls of soup at the café at Blackwell, rather than having a soggy picnic down at the pier head.

Conditions brightened a little for the return journey via Crook, Underbarrow, Brigsteer and Levens, where the A6 was still closed after the morning’s accident.  We were relieved to hear that there had been no serious injuries, thanks to air bags in both vehicles.  Clouds returned as we cycled over the Moss and 3 of the group took brief refreshment at Leighton Moss before braving more rain for the final leg home.

Sunday 12th February The Boot and Shoe to Chipping

A small group gathered at the Boot and Shoe on this cold morning. Some had read the forecast which explained why the group was so much smaller than in recent weeks. Nigel had even read the forecast for Chipping and warned us that it was expected to be at the edge of a band of snow crossing from the East.

Most of us set off up Bowerham Lane and Blea Tarn Road but some chose a more direct and less up-and-down route to the Applestore. The main ride followed Proctor Moss Road across the valley of the River Condor and then along the side of the valley above Damas Gill for the first views of Harris End – the sun was shining and much of the sky was blue. We went through Dolphinholme on Wagon Road and around Tinker’s Lane to Long Lane and then a left turn onto Brewer’s Lane to run parallel with Harris End away to our left. Over the footbridge at the ford and then around the bottom of Nicky Nook until we dropped down to the Applestore past the parked cars of Sunday walkers. At the Applestore we found Anne and Mike enjoying bacon sarnies and we joined them to dally over coffees, teas and cakes. The warmth indoors was welcome and there was some reviewing of routes and weather before four of us (Patience, Len, Geoff and Tim) set out for Chipping. Nigel stuck to his forecast and went homewards with Anne and Mike.

To begin with, as we picked up Higher Lane again, the weather was good – still some sun although the views westward across the Fylde included bands of grey cloud. The ups and downs as we rode along the valley side parallel to the motorway didn’t seem too onerous but in places were rather muddy where tree felling had been going on. A familiar route along Sandholme Lane led us to less familiar territory up towards Claughton. The dip to cross the River Brock on Walmsley Bridge Lane was not as pronounced as Brock Bottom, but as we rose on the other side we were met with blasts of wind from the gaps in the hedge just as cars were passing and there was a steep drop to our left. Slowed by the headwind, we made our way to Whitechapel and along Church Lane to Syke House Lane. By now Harris End was way behind us and the dominant landmark was Beacon Fell. We turned almost towards it and then turned away, and by the time we were going up Loud Bridge Lane the wind was getting stronger and began to have rain in it. The weather was coming from east-north-east and that was exactly where we were heading; could we get to Chipping before that mass of grey cloud reaching to the land was upon us? Not quite. The rain was never heavy but was getting wetter as we rode into the village. Our hands and feet were cold and getting inside the Cobbled Corner was a relief from the wind chill and damp. It was not too busy and teas and plates of beans, eggs and sausages were not long in coming; the ‘Paris-Roubaix’ special was popular although we hadn’t ridden quite as far as that…

The rain was still in the air when we left the café for a direct ride back, thankful for having the wind behind us now. And then, as we left Chipping, the rain became sleet and eventually thin snow. Len had a little trouble getting both his feet heaters switched on but we all whizzed along enjoying the descents but wary of the occasional side blasts and the wet road surface. The haul up Delph Lane was not pleasant with the snowy wind blowing through the thin line of trees to our right and the descent to Oakenclough wasn’t the usual freeride pleasure because of road works with reluctant traffic lights. As we rode up beside the Barnacre and Grizedale reservoirs, there was Harris End again with the wind whipping down the gaps between the fells (Hazelhurst, Stake House and Harris End). The damp road suggested caution for the approach to the cattle grid at the bottom – but there wasn’t any of the traffic that gathers there on a fine day. Once round the bottom of Harris End, the weather seemed to lighten a little and the prospect of Lancaster to the north west looked better. But even was we zipped down through Street and across the Wyre, it was still damp and windy and the slog up past Wyreside Lodge was accompanied by half a dozen cars who all seemed able to see around blind corners. The wind blew us along towards Galgate and the gentle downhill meant there was not too much peddling to do. Up through the University, we rode back to Hala and at the Booths crossroads split up. A ride with not many miles or miles per hour and rather more weather than we would have wished for – I’m sure we were all glad to get back to warm houses.

Sunday 8th January 2017 Beaumont College to Leighton Moss

Seven riders set off from Beaumont College heading back to Lancaster because a damaged bridge meant that the usual Green Lane route to the Halton Road was closed. The lump in the middle of Whalley Road began to warm everyone up but the pull up the Kirby Lonsdale road included stops to divest; a few of us were dressed for colder weather! The day was dank with mist and heavy cloud but very mild for the time of year. As we rode upwards we seemed to be in low cloud which oozed droplets meaning that the normally delightful descent down Sunny Bank was on a road slick with damp that required cautious cornering.

Numbers swelled at Greenlands – a particular pleasure was to see Ray Moss tucking into a scone – and as we set off for Cinderbarrow and Holme there were twelve riders (though Ray couldn’t be persuaded to join us; he had shopping to do). The group kept well together as we crossed the valley on the Pye’s Bridge Road over the A6 and up through Hale into the familiar roads around Arnside and Silverdale. Ken wasn’t hungry enough for his second scone so a detour through Silverdale towards Jenny Brown’s point was added. Leighton Moss was a pleasant lunch stop – they always get through a queue very quickly and have the right sort of light meals – though we lost a few who preferred to eat at home (it was good to see Miles on this leg of the ride).

The weather was still fairish and the ride so far had been shorter than usual, (even for a short day), so the final leg back to Lancaster was improvised for a smaller group of seven who agreed to go up Warton Crag and back to Borwick and through Over Kellet. A split at Nether Kellet (we’d lost one or two on the way…) between the Lancaster and Morecambe riders meant that four were left to return through Halton and cross over onto the cycle path back into the city. I recorded only 43 miles all told out and back from Aldcliffe but we’d had a pleasantly sociable ride in reasonable conditions.

Sunday November 27th Beaumont to Ingleton

Sunday’s CTC ride to Ingleton explored a new “lane” soon after setting out from Beaumont.  The cycle lane by the side of the new Heysham link road took the riders smoothly down the new cutting to Halton.  It felt strange to be cycling on the right side of the road adjacent to speeding traffic and this section of the new road has no views to speak of, so curiosity was satisfied but this may be the only time we use it!

From Halton they climbed up through Halton Park and on to Gressingham, towards an early coffee stop at Hornby Post Office.  Meeting up with 4 more club members who had cycled independently to Hornby, the enlarged group continued via Wray, Ravens Close and Burton-in-Lonsdale to the lunch stop at Ingleton.

Cognisant of the ever-decreasing daylight hours a fairly direct route was chosen for the return trip, via Bentham, then turning left at the Punch Bow Inn to gain the high level route down to Wray and along the Lune valley to Lancaster.  For the time of year 45 miles was a respectable distance and they were grateful for a lull in the freezing conditions experienced earlier in the week.

Sunday 20th November Lancaster Circular

Given the time of year a “Lancaster Circular” ride was good idea - never more than ten miles from home, it allows a speedy return to base, should the weather take a turn for the worse. Torrential rain the day before must surely have put some riders off, and indeed those who did turn out experienced some minor flooding and muddy patches.


However the weather was superb. Although chilly, it was bright and clear for the whole ride. The leader took the group out through Hala and onto the ‘back’ road to Caton, before turning off towards the university and Galgate. They were warmed up a little by the gradual climb to The Fleece. Here they followed the route to Street and from there a little known road leading to the bridle path through Wyresdale Park and the coffee stop at The Apple Store. Here they were joined by a rider from the Preston area.


Suitably refreshed in the warmth of the newly restored glass house, the group descended into Scorton, and from there they crossed the A6 making their way along Wallace Lane before crossing the A6 once more. At Five Lanes End the first opportunity arose to make a hasty return home, but all carried on along the route known locally as ‘Happy Valley’, an undulating ride affording fantastic views of Clougha, Lancaster and the Lakes. Some did take advantage of the escape routes back to home, but the bulk of the riders reached Caton and the cycle path back into Lancaster. Here some did indeed return home but the remainder of the group enjoyed homemade soup at the newly reopened Red Door Cafe in Halton. All in all a ride of around thirty five miles was enjoyed by everyone.

Sunday 23rd October Beaumont to Barbon

Nine riders set off in sunny but cold conditions from Beaumont College on Sunday for the programmed ride to Barbon, led by Mike Bridges.  A cold north-easterly wind blew as the group climbed towards and through Nether and Over Kellet.  The cold clear atmosphere led to wonderful views in every direction as they continued northwards to Burton in Kendal, where the headed west to cross the A6.  This enabled the group to join NCN Route 6 break for the last stretch to coffee at the Garden Centre in Beetham.

There was a typical swapping of additional members going onwards and some returning towards home, resulting in about 7 members following the leader and 3 making their own way to lunch.  After Ackenthwaite, Route 6 was re-joined by the riders and followed through Woodhouse to Stainton, where a right turn took them to Halfpenny for a loop north then east on the seldom ridden (by the Lancaster and South Lakes group!) Low Park Lane, continuing east on Gatebeck Road.

This section marked the one major climb of the day, with an initial section marked on the maps with one arrow and passing under the M6 on the way past the northern slopes of Warth Hill before joining the B6254 at Barkin House.  A short pause allowed the riders to regroup before the descent to Old Town, continuing on minor roads, still downhill, via Mansergh into the Lune Valley.  Here, the riders turned left along the valley, to cross the Lune near Rigmaden Park and approach Barbon via the A683.  Lunch was taken at the Churchmouse in Barbon, while some members ate sandwiches before using the café for a warming drink.

After lunch, the sun still shone but the fresh wind was chilling, although helpful since it was now following.  The riders headed south to Kirkby Lonsdale, crossing the Lune again to reach the road to Whittington and Arkholme.  There was the usual reduction in numbers as a few members turned off to reach their own homes, but the last of the group continued their appreciation of the fine views along the road as far as the turning at the Red Well, turning again and descending at the minor road past Halton Park and using the Lune Cycleway to reach the City.

It had been an enjoyable ride, completed via some seldom cycled (by the group) roads in clear but cold weather.

Beaumont to Barbon Sunday July 10th

CTC Lancaster and South Lakes members met at Beaumont for a 55 miles ride to Barbon via Beetham Garden Centre café, led by Patience Cooper and Len Howard.  By and large they dodged the showers, except for a very wet patch just before the lunch break.

Heading north out of Lancaster the riders paused on the new A6 flyover to take in the extensive view from the top before continuing to Carnforth via Bolton-le-Sands and the canal towpath.  Beetham was approached via the villages of Warton, Yealands and Slack Top, with a few climbs to work up an appetite for the coffee stop.  Numbers were swelled here by members who had travelled separately from the Carnforth and Kendal areas.  We also shared the busy café with several tandem crews who had picked the same destination.

A goodly number proceeded, under threatening skies, to Crooklands then on quiet lanes past Preston Patrick to Gatebeck where we turned eastwards up a long climb to the B6254 at Crosslands Farm.  We turned onto the B road, swooping up and down several undulations to Old Town, where the forecast rain put in its appearance.  Having put on our waterproofs we continued via Mansergh and Rigmaden Park to the bridge over the Lune.  We then joined the little lane, known to cyclists as “puncture alley” and arrived in Barbon a little sodden, but not downhearted.  A sociable lunch was enjoyed at the Church Mouse café whilst the skies cleared and then the group divided as some chose the east and some the west side of the Lune for the homeward leg.  Those on the eastern route had a further stop at Hornby Post Office for some welcome tea and cakes to round off a good day “a-wheel”.


Sunday 5th June Beaumont to Grange

There was a good turnout for Lancaster CTC’s Sunday club run on the first Sunday of June. The club’s annual spring week away had been held in south west Scotland and 24 club members had enjoyed a beautiful seven days of glorious sunshine from their base in Dalbeatie.

The weather here in Lancaster on 5th June was a continuation of that experienced in Scotland and the ride to Beetham and Grange promised further good fortune.

The ride started from Beaumont and followed a traditional route via the Kellets, Longlands, Holme Mills and Holme village.  Coffee was taken at the garden centre where several members from the Carnforth and Bentham area joined the Lancaster group.

Refreshed, those continuing for the whole ride took to the lanes en route to Achenthwite and then progressed to Heversham, Levens and onto the cycleway leading to the Derby Arms, Witherslack. This route had avoided the busy A590 and here they made use of the underpass in order to follow the quiet roads towards Grange via Methrop and the Golf Club.

After a picnic lunchby the lake in the park the ride then returned to base via Levens, andthe marshes of the Kent Estuary. After Storth and Leighton Moss the remaining club riders returned via Crag Bank, the canal towpath, Bolton le Sands and Ancliffe Lane.  The total distance of the ride was just over 60 miles. A very enjoyable day’s cycling.

March 6th

The first Sunday in March began with clear skies and the promise of favorable conditions for cycling. Although rather cold the roads were dry and there was no sign of ice. Mike Hutchinson, the club secretary, had planned a ride to Kendal with a coffee stop en route at the Garden Centre in Beetham.


Meeting by the Millennium Bridge at 09:15 the riders rode under Skerton Bridge and through the estate to Halton Road. They then rode up the long drag to the Kellet transmitter before riding through the Kellets, Holme and Burton in Kendal.

They arrived at Beetham in good time to meet several other members of the club, from the north of Lancaster, who had ridden straight out to coffee.


After refreshments those continuing for the full day’s ride rode through Ackenthwaite, Woodhouse, Hincaster, Sedgwick and Natland before crossing on to the cycle path taking them into the centre of Kendal. After a brief walk into the shopping centre they headed for Wainwright’s Yard and lunch.


The initial route back retraced the outward route until Sedgwick where they headed for the tunnel under the bridge traversing the River Kent by the Salmon leap. From Levens Bridge they took to the Cumbrian Cycleway across the marsh to the B5282. Immediately after Sandside they climbed through Storth before continuingpast Waterslack and Silverdale Golf course to Leighton Moss. Here all but the leader elected to continue straight home whereby Mike had a hot chocolate before returning to Lancaster.


The ride has been just over 55 miles on one of the best days of the year so far.

The views of the surrounding countryside were especially clear in the sun. With a backcloth of snow on the Lakeland hills and the blue sky interrupted only by white clouds.


It was a cold but bright morning on Sunday when ten riders set off from Beaumont on Nigel Cole’s ride to Kendal.

Warmed up by the ascent of Kellet Lane up to Nether Kellet, they dropped down to Carnforth and headed on past Warton Crag and over Leighton Moss to a welcome coffee stop in Arnside, joined here by several others, happy to be out on their bikes again without the recent accompanying winds and rain.

Heading on to Levens , through Brigsteer Park, enjoying the elevated views over the Lythe Valley with the sun sparkling off the many flooded fields, they turned right at Brigsteer and commenced the challenging climb onto Helsington Barrows to be rewarded with extensive views South over Morecambe Bay and East to the Howgills dusted in snow. Quite warmed up by this effort, they then descended into Kendal, busy with crowds attending the Mountain Festival. 

Suitably refreshed after enjoying the sunshine along the River Walk they headed South into a warming but often dazzling lowering sun, through Natland and along the lanes through Viver and Ackenthwaite to a final welcome tea stop at Beetham Where it was still sunny and warm enough for some of the group to enjoy a coffee outside. 

Finally returning via Holme,Tewitfield, Over Kellet and down to the Lune Cycle track at Halton. The sun having just set as they wove through the traffic jams in Lancaster after a very rewarding 50mile ride.


Seven hardly souls gathered at The Boot and Shoe for Anne’s ride to Fleetwood via the ferry at Knott End. Given the torrential rain and the forecast for it to continue for most of the day, the decision was made at this point to totally rearrange the ride with a coffee stop closer to home followed by a return to base to dry out.

As a consquence of this decision the group set forth along the cycle path to the university, and from there through Ellel and Galgate. The wind and the rain were against them as they rode up to Whams Lane and from there down to Bay Horse, crossing the A6 at Hollins Lane. From here it was a mere mile or so to the coffee stop at The Pudding House. After a longer than usual break putting the world to rights and observing the two minutes silence, the hardy souls set off again, this time with a welcome back wind taking them to Cockerham and Conder Green. Several options were available at this point and the riders took their preferred choice as to the shortest way home.


It was a select band of 7 riders who set off in calm, cool conditions from Beaumont College on Sunday for the programmed ride to Clapham, led by Mike Bridges.  What little wind there was blew from the east as the group headed for Halton, climbing from the village along Kirkby Lonsdale Road.  The views of the Lune Valley unfolded as they climbed.  A right turn took them in the direction of Aughton, then, bypassing Gressingham, they headed downhill for Loyn Bridge.  A break was taken at Bridge House in Wray, where another member joined and 3 turned back.

The short steep slope at Mill Houses was bypassed by following the road past Feathermire, re-joining the more major road just prior to its descent into Low Bentham.  Here, the group joined the B6480, following it through High Bentham before turning left on Tatterthorn Road and heading for Ingleton.  Ingleborough and neighbouring hills ahead gave a variation to the local scenery and a warning to the group of more height to be gained before lunch.

This came in the guise of High Street at Ingleton, turning right onto Clapham Old Road for a steady effort past Newby Cote and into the pretty village of Clapham for an alfresco lunch at the Car Park.  The temperature was just warm enough to be comfortable.

Having completed their repast, the group resumed its progress by heading for Clapham Station and the climb up to Keasden.  The wind had freshened, but being from the east, was now of assistance in the journey past Mewith Head and the Forest of Mewith.  The ride was also assisted by the smoothness of the new tarmac on Mewith Lane and the continuing good scenery.  The only hiccup was a front wheel puncture sustained by one of the group – a rogue piece of hawthorn being the culprit.

This was soon sorted out with a change of tube, and the group resumed its ride downhill towards Wray then via the main road to Caton.  The last stretch into Lancaster was completed via the Lune Cycleway and a section of canal towpath.

It was, at 45 miles, perhaps not the longest ride in the calendar but nonetheless satisfying, being completed in good weather and scenery.

Beacon Fell Park

Thirteen riders met at the Boot & Shoe for the CTC Lancaster and South Lakes ride to Beacon Fell Park led by Nigel Cole. 

Setting off on a gloriously sunny late summer morning, they crossed the A6 and made for the tranquillity of the Lune Cycle Path at Stodday. Heading South past Condor Green and along Jeremy Lane, then briefly back on the main road to Cockerham. Soon happily returning to the quieter lanes around Forton and on to Garstang cutting across on Dimples Lane to get to Sandholme Bridge where they climbed up the hill to for a welcome coffee stop at Cobble Hey Farm, sitting outside in the sunshine, enjoying the views.

Eight riders then continued on a circular route around Beacon Fell Park. Now in warm sunshine, along Oakenclough lane, past the gliders taking off from Bowland Fells Gliding club and having the pleasure of extensive views towards Bowland, Pendle and Longridge fells. They then turned back West, riding up Rigg lane and around to the visitor centre for the lunch break, enjoyed once again outside, with distant views looking over the Fylde and in the company of many other visitors making the most of the day.

After lunch they completed the circuit around the park and descended to Walmsley Bridge and Claughton, heading back North West, once again along quiet lanes all looking particularly beautiful in the bright sunshine. Following NCN 6 to Scorton for a final refreshment stop and returning to Lancaster up Cleveley Bank and along Miller’s Brow for last vistas of the fells. Then dropping back down to Galgate and through Lancaster University and the cycle track back to Scotforth, ending a most enjoyable and varied ride of 50 miles.

Next weeks ride, 4th October, is to Arnside, led by Dave Hugill and departs from Halton Station at 9:15am

Hardriders - Beaumont, Sandside, Levens, Witherslack, Grange (cafe), Meathop Moss ,Levens, Heversham, Holme, Lancaster

The forecast was for rain later but the weather preferred sooner and so the intrepid team and their leader Brian were soon subjected to a downpour. The rain started gently, near Warton but ‘caping up’ was delayed to Gilpin Bridge. One rider recently returned from a visit to India, avoidedthe monsoon by heading home from Milnthorpe. At Witherslack the soggy quintet decided to avoid the planned route towards Tow Top and head across the moss to Meathop and Grange. Thyme Out Cafe, on the main street (bikes parked at the back) proved a welcoming stop. The return via Meathop Moss, Levens, Heversham, Holme Mills and the Kellets was no drier but concluded a good day out on the bikes. For the leader just shy of 60 miles, average speed 13.4 mph and back home just after 2pm.  A great start for the trial and hopefully even more riders for the next one to Sedbergh on February 22nd.