Ride to Wray via Daisy Clough, Scorton - Sunday, 18th February 2018

With the weather forecast surprisingly failing to mention rain in any quantity, a good number of riders met at Millennium Bridge for Neil’s ride to Wray on Sunday 18 February. A group of 14 followed the road along the quay and joined the cycle track towards Aldcliffe. Unfortunately, just before the turning onto Aldcliffe Hall Lane there was a flood in the fields which spread right across the tarmacked track. The majority of the riders took the alternative track which although quite muddy was passable. Two riders risked riding through the flood, whilst two others took an alternative route to the coffee stop.

After regrouping, the ride continued through Aldcliffe and Stodday and onto Condor Green, turning left towards Galgate. Through Galgate after passing the Mushroom Farm along Chipping Road, the riders took the right turn down Long Lane and subsequent left turn towards the second water obstacle of the day, a ford running across the road. Luckily, this obstacle was accompanied by an adjacent footbridge which the majority of the riders took.

Onto Scorton and into the very busy café at Daisy Clough Garden Centre, we were greeted with a cheery welcome and a wonderful display of excellent cakes, consumption of  which we deemed necessary to replace the calories lost on the ride so far!

Meeting up with several other riders who had ridden independently to Scorton we spent a relaxing half hour or so before reassembling for the continuation of the ride to Wray. 16 riders continued whilst the rest made their own way home.

We made our way to Five Lane Ends and onto Caton with the weather remaining ideal for an enjoyable cycle ride. Crossing the Lune by the Crook of Lune bridge, we continued to Green Lane and made the climb to the top. We followed the road to Redwell and onto the Arkholme road, taking the right turn down Rabbit Lane and onto Gressingham, Hornby and Wray where we enjoyed a very pleasant lunch break at Bridge House Café.

So, the group headed for home via Hornby, Gressingham and down Sunnybank to Capernwray, Over Kellet and Nether Kellet where riders split to take different routes home.

An excellent dry, still day was enjoyed by all the participants and Spring was mentioned by more than one person, a bit premature perhaps, but let’s be optimistic! 53 miles and 3700 feet of ascent, a good workout!

Neil Westwell

Ride to Ingleton via Wray: Thursday, 15th February

The weather forecast for Thursday included gale force winds, showers – snow on high ground and sunny periods later. The 13 riders who left Kellet Crossroads were to experience it all. En-route to the cafe stop at Wray, the group rode through Nether Kellet and Addington to follow the long lane above Aughton. The strong tail wind helped the compact group maintain a quick pace. Beyond Gressingham the route continued through Hornby and onto Wray.

After coffee, only 8 riders continued, still benefitting from the wind on their backs, and progressed to Low Bentham via Russells and Oxenforth Green. Beyond High Bentham the group turned North East to Tatterthorn and Nutgill Farm before making their way to the A65. Crossing the busy road they continued again North East to climb up to join the Clapham/Ingleton road. With the strong wind now on their side a fast, if slightly cautious, descent led down to lunch at Ingleton.

Fortified, the group headed through Thornton-in-Lonsdale and Lower Westhouse to Burton-in-Lonsdale. Zig zagging through the village, the group dropped down to the bridge over the River Greta. Here they turned sharp right and climbed up the sheltered lane near Clifford Hall to gain the standard road over to Ravens Close. This was the windiest part of the journey home but was mainly downhill.

The riders, giving each other what shelter they could, continued via Wennington and Wray to Hornby. The group split, with those heading for Lancaster riding down the Lune Valley while the Warton and Bolton-le-Sands contingent climbed up through Gressingham to make their various ways home. A route of 40/50 miles, depending on starting point, with a flying start and a head wind return.

Brian Greenwood

Ride to Arnside and Kirby Lonsdale, Sunday 11th February

 There was a severe weather warning so I wondered how many takers I would find at the start at Halton Station. Sure enough I was greeted by Mike Codd and Ken and Len and Patience soon arrived.  Mike Bridges turned up in his car but, well one has to make allowances since he lives in Preston.

The six of us made our way up Green Lane and Laverick Lane en route for Nether Kellet. The climbing warmed us up effectively in the cold and blustery conditions – but at least there was no sign of ice.

From Nether Kellet we went through Carnforth and Silverdale to take the road over the shoulder of the Knott for Arnside. Little time was wasted in getting into the ever-welcoming Heron Cafe, where we found Brian Greenwood and Miles. They looked very cosy. As we lingered over brews and teacakes we turned a blind eye to the rain lashing at the window.

Fortunately when it came time to leave the rain had abated and there was sunshine sparkling on the puddles. We made our way round to Yealand Redmayne to cross the A6 at Cinderbarrow. Four people peeled off to head home leaving Len, Patience, Mike B and myself to continue. Conditions remained better than expected as we wove our way to Clawthorpe and then up over the fell to Hutton Roof. The climb went on a bit but the other three kindly waited for me as I was the leader. There was a bulk delivery of fresh air at the top.

On down the little lanes to Biggins and across the A65 led us into Kirkby Lonsdale but we decided to continue a little further to Casterton Golf Club. No we weren't planning on a quick round of the course; we just fancied their special pie and peas.

As we were approaching it began to rain again but we avoided the worst of it through our adroit cafe timing. When I arrived I found Len and Patience had ordered the last two pies. This is what you get these days.

By the time we left the cafe it had stopped raining again. We made a bee line for home along the top road through Arkholme and Redwell. This was enlivened by a pleasantly atmospheric snow storm borne by a refreshing headwind.

When I got back to Morecambe I was pleased to see over 50miles on the clock.

Andy Gordon

Ride to Barbon, Sunday 4th February 2018

Six riders set off along icy roads to the Kellets on Sunday 4 on Mike Bridges’ ride to Barbon, with another taking the direct route to coffee. The ice, although looking bad, was not as bad as was experienced the day of the Christmas meal. Taking care, the group took the much-used route to Burton-in-Kendal, before crossing the A6 and heading for Yealand and the coffee stop at RSPB Leighton Moss.

Here, another 10 or so members had already arrived and were relaxing. After refreshments, various members headed off in their own directions or returned home after a good chat, leaving 7 or 8 to continue the main excursion. Rather than follow shaded, potentially icy, routes via Beetham, Farleton and Tarnhouse Tarn, the leader decided to follow a less icy route back to Burton then onwards to Hutton Roof and Kirkby Lonsdale.

No troublesome ice was encountered on the way and the group enjoyed wonderful clear and sunny views of snow-laden peaks. Continuing the route via Rigmaden Park, the group reached the Church Mouse at Barbon for a warming lunch. The afternoon session, still scenic, took the group to Kirkby Lonsdale then along the road via Arkholme to the Red Well, turning here for Halton and Lancaster, with the group fragmenting as it approached home.

It was a most enjoyable run of approximately 50 miles.

Mike Bridges

Ride Report, Sunday 28th January 2018

………and the wind blew !

A goodly crowd of CTC members for the time of year gathered outside Beaumont College on Sunday for a 50 mile ride to Kendal via Arnside, led by Patience and Len.

An easy wind-assisted start took us to Carnforth , followed by a more tranquil leg through the sheltered woodlands of Warton and the Yealands, past RSPB Leighton Moss and around the coast to Arnside. At the Heron Café , Ray, Linda and Bob from Carnforth were already enjoying coffee, having tried their luck and got through the road closure at the level crossing.

Continuing with nine riders, another wind–assisted stretch was gratefully taken advantage of, going via Sandside and Levens village to Brigsteer. The huge pull up Helsington Hill was rewarded by a fast ‘swoop’ into Kendal, and a welcome lunch and natter at Booths Café.

Eventually the time came to face into the strong southerly, which had up to now endowed us with a false sense of ‘speediness’. A direct return route, at times sheltered and at others not, was chosen as the best option, taking us through Natland, Sedgewick, Ackenthwaite, Holme and Burton. A final scenic diversion was taken to examine the bridge closure at Capernwray before once more heading into the wind back to Lancaster via the Kellets.

A memorable ride in blustery conditions, with a demanding return leg against the wind.

Len Howard

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Wray and Ingleton ride - Sunday 21st January 2018

It was a less than encouraging forecast and as I pedalled through developing rain towards the start at Halton Station I wondered how many would turn out. Two. Three if you count Ruth who appeared at the beginning and made a dash for the cafe by the shortest route. Wise!

Len, Patience and I rode up through Halton Park with wintry conditions under our wheels as well as blowing in our faces. Reaching the top we didn't take long to decide to take the shortest way onward to the cafe at Wray. However a certain amount of caution was evident on the descent towards Gressingham, the icy road of the Park fresh in our minds.

At the Cafe we were greeted by Anne and Gilly as well as Ruth. It was very pleasant sitting there by the stove but all good things come to an end. At that point everybody decided on the option of going home. Well, I thought, if I just set off in the right direction I can make up any story I like.

The party of one set off up the good old Mewith Lane route as planned. The wind-borne sleet continued in my face until a left turn after Mewith crossroads led steeply down and up, crossing the railway and river. This part was reasonably sheltered but as I worked my way up, across the A65 towards the top Clapham to Ingleton road, things became frisky and bracing. Turning left downwind on this road initiated a turbo-charged descent to Ingleton. In the cafe I met two young men from Burnley. They appeared to be equipped and dressed for a pleasant spring day. Oh well, each to their own.

Anyone who knows the area will be able to guess the route back to Lancaster, and with a fair amount of following wind it went by quite quickly, though not exactly dryly. As I passed through Halton Station again. I reckoned the ride distance from there to be about 60km. It was one of those rides when everything goes straight in the washing machine because it will come out dryer than it went in.

Andy Gordon

Len and I have just got back from today's ride, feeling a bit damp, but glad to have been out. There was only the two of us and Ruth joining Andy at the start and Ruth chose the direct route to Wray. We three cycled up through Park, crossing a few icy patches, but all staying upright. We met Gillie and Anne at Wray and thawed out with coffee and cake or a scone. We then returned home, having seen the forecast for heavy rain or snow from 1pm, but Andy soldiered on towards Ingleton on his lonesome.

Patience Cooper

Wray and Arnside ride on Thursday 18 January 2018.

Given the discouraging weather forecast, a surprisingly large number of riders met at Millenium Bridge for Neil’s ride to Wray and Arnside.

Wrapped in substantial amounts of waterproof clothing, anticipating the bad weather forecast being correct, the riders, numbering 12 rode along the River Lune towards Halton and took the Kellet Lane turn towards Nether Kellet. As we climbed steadily, and the weather remained fine and dry, although overcast, the views over Morecambe Bay towards the snow-capped mountains came into view. Wow! What a super start to the day! We rode through Nether Kellet and shortly after took the right turn. On reaching Swarthdale Road, taking the turn and riding through the hamlet of Swarthdale, the riders continued along, avoiding the many puddles and farmers’ debris on the road.

Upon reaching the T-junction onto the B6254 we continued past Redwell Fisheries all the way to the right turn to Gressingham along Rabbit Lane. Care was taken along here as it was mainly downhill and contained puddles and field flood debris, not ideal for a fast descent. We continued through Gressingham and through Hornby to Bridge House at Wray, where a warm welcome, hot drinks and super cakes awaited us. By now we were quite cold, although still dry, and it was nice to enjoy the fare in a nice warm setting. We were joined by another 2 cyclists, who had travelled independently to Wray.

Whilst we were in the café the sun had appeared, albeit briefly, and greeted us as 12 of us prepared to set off on the second part of the ride. We took the route back through Hornby, towards Gressingham crossing Loyn bridge on the way, after which the road showed substantial amounts of overnight heavy rain, although it wasn’t thought that the river had flooded. As we rode through Gressingham, we continued straight on this time rejoining the B6254, but taking the right turn down Sunnybank through Borwick and Priest Hutton.

We joined the A6070 towards Burton in Kendal, and just before reaching Burton took the left turn towards the Yealand’s, crossing the M6 and passing Burton services. We passed through Yealand Redmayne and Yealand Storrs, following the road past Leighton Moss towards Silverdale. We then followed the road past Waterslack and Gait Barrows towards Arnside.

3 riders had left the ride on the route to Arnside, but 9 of us arrived at Sheila’s Heron café where the second warm welcome of the day awaited us. After super refreshments in a very friendly atmosphere, the time came to leave for home. Unfortunately, the anticipated wet weather looked as though it wasn’t far away as we took the road out of Arnside towards the Knott and onto Silverdale, at which point the rain began to arrive. It was then decided to ‘cut for home’ so the rain didn’t spoil our day.

A good ride, in mainly dry conditions, although surrounded by wet and flooded fields, with wonderful views across the bay and of the snow-capped peaks of the Lakes, 47 miles in total.

Neil Westwell

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Sunday 14th January -Old Holly Farm - Chipping

Four men started from the Boot & Shoe on a cold morning, and were soon joined by another as we crossed the A6 to ride along Ashton Road, over the Stodday hump and then a left up Tarnwater to get warmed up on the short climb, to take Highland Brow to Conder Green (another hump). Continuing the process of avoiding the A588, we crossed and took the back lane via Glasson to Higher Thurnham, staying thereafter on the A588 to turn left for the road to Old Holly Farm for a welcome warm, coffee and cakes and a meeting with three riders who’d made it there without our help.

After the break, we continued, with an extra one who’d joined us from Preston. Summarising a zigzaggy route, we crossed the A6 and took route 6 until we turned left to pass Claughton on Brock RC Church, with a quick L/R shimmy to bump down to Walmesley Bridge, where the leader got the map out for several lefts and rights through Whitechapel, ending up at the Cobbled Corner cafe and the Sun inn in Chipping for lunch. Our Preston rider sat in front of the church in a short spasm of sunshine, out of the wind, to eat his sandwiches, before he retired to join 3 of us in the pub.

After lunch we lost our Preston rider who escaped down Windy Street back home. Our route was now straightforward, taking us through Bleasdale, up Delph Lane, through Oakenclough and below Harris End Fell, to join route 6 for the return via Galgate and the University to Lancaster.

Mike Codd

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Thursday 4 January Ride report

Six hardy men set off from the Boot & Shoe in heavy drizzle, which accompanied us for most of the day.

Taking the cycle route over the “Col de Piccadilly”, we descended the wet leaves of the Royal Albert Playing Fields and joined the A588 at the Islamic College, traversed Haverbreaks, passed the rail station and crossed the Millennium Bridge. Riding to the end of Morecambe Prom, we continued northwards.  Although it was not going our way, the north wind accompanied us all the way to Milnthorpe.

We avoided the canal path and continued along Coastal Road, to take a left turn to traverse Red Bank, where 10 minutes’ trainspotting ensued at the Bolton-le-Sands level crossing, before a wiggly ride through the houses to turn left to “Allium Cafe” at Bay View Garden Centre for our coffee and cakes (a bit early for onions!).

There, we joined another half dozen of our riders for socialising and a mini committee meeting. Leaving some of the early party behind, we picked up others for our onward voyage through the puddles, punctuated by occasional bits of wet road.

Some started to peel off after Over Kellet and when we reached the Burton Road, 4 riders continued, in drying conditions, via Burton in Kendal and Holme to whizz down in the rain into Milnthorpe for our lunch at the Cross Keys. A straggler, who’d missed our embarkation from coffee, met us there, having taken a short cut.

Avoiding the flood tide on the Sandside road, we ascended through Dallam Park. Stopping to attend to a “mechanical”, we encountered several cars, rat-running this narrow road to avoid high tide. We continued above Storth and passed the RSPB, splitting off to return home.

Riding along the A6 north of Bolton-le-Sands, one of our riders fell off after hitting a deep pothole hidden by a puddle, and fell into the road, gladly, not under a vehicle. Fortunately, his football-sized knee is now back to normal size.

LCC’s money-saving seems to be putting lives at risk these days.

Returning through Lancaster a sudden spasm of sunshine woke up gusts of southerly headwind for the last 3 miles. But we all, falling off excepted, enjoyed the ride and were glad to get out.

Mike Codd

Ride Report – Sunday Impromptu, 31st December 2017

Eight riders, Anne and Mike, Len and Patience, Neil, Mike C, Matt and Frank assembled at Millennium Bridge, hoping that the cataclysmic forecast of gale force winds was a touch pessimistic.  As it turned out, conditions were near-perfect for a mid-winter’s ride, especially when the wind was at our backs.

Anne had only to mention the fact that Brucciani’s were doing a two-for-one coffee offer for us to leap on our bikes and follow her and Mike to Morecambe via Salt Ayre, Middleton and Heysham.  The exceptionally high tide meant that we couldn’t take the usual cycle route past Snatchems, so we had to brave the first part of the main road to Heysham.  Fortunately the Sunday traffic was light and we reached the turn-off towards Middleton without mishap.  The ride along the promenade from Heysham to Morecambe was an absolute pleasure, with the wind at our backs, the sun shining and some splendid waves being blown into the shore.

After an extended coffee break, four of the riders decided to make the most of the fair conditions, and continued north along the Promenade, further marvelling at the impressive seascapes.  Lunch was taken at an expectedly busy Leighton Moss, where Ruth joined us.  On the way there Patience and Len met our President Ray Moss quite serendipitously, at the entrance to the Warton Crag Quarry car park, from where he was setting out for a walk.

The light began to fade as we took our separate routes home, most of us just managing to avoid the onset of rain at 3pm, an hour earlier than forecast.

Len and Patience

Christmas Eve Ride - Sunday, 24th December

A short ride was the order of the day last Sunday, but it was very well supported. Nine riders turned out at Millenium Bridge for the ride to Carnforth. The day was bright and cold, and with a brisk tailwind for help, we rode out through Ryelands Park, over Cross Hill to Torrisholme and Bare, and then onto the prom, newly surfaced with an ultra smooth, resin bonded finish. The wind blew us up to Crag Bank and then we took the shore road to Millhead and Carnforth.

At the Royal Station Hotel, we were pre-booked in for coffee, tea, mince pies, cake and scones. A nice fire completed the welcome, and Ray, Pauline, and Miles arrived to join us. We could even bring the bikes in to keep warm!

After a good chat, everybody made their ways home by various routes, the ones going to Hest Bank or Lancaster, going via the Kellets, and some via Halton.

Thanks All for coming.

Dave Hugill

Ride Report: Thursday 28 Dec 2017

The Christmas week ‘ Impromptu’ ride offered Thursday Riders a great opportunity to work off those extra calories. The sun was out, the sky blue, but only three riders gathered to enjoy the view from Millenium Bridge. Nick, Tony and Len rode gingerly across the ice-encrusted bridge and headed down the Lune cyclepath for a short ride to Glasson Dock. The frozen mud crunched under our wheels, and the iced-up tree and shrub branches twinkled like Santas Grotto.

A very warm welcome greeted us at the Lantern o’er the Lune café and bistro, where we tucked into scones and ‘posh’ ginger cake before again taking to our wheels to return along the eerily quiet main road to Lancaster and beyond.

All in all, a perfect mid-winters day to be ‘awheel’, and still time to fit in a  bracing walk before losing the sunshine.

Thursday 21st December 2017 (Led by Patience and Len)

One of the most soggy and dreich shortest days for years saw 7 enthusiastic (or masochistic!) Thursday Riders assemble at Millennium Bridge for a ride of 35 miles to Arnside Heron café and Greenlands Farm Village (changed from Wray in view of the conditions).  The leaders unfashionably garbed in old fashioned oil-skin capes attracted the usual banter but they stayed drier underneath than their fellow riders.

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Neil, Dave B, Tim, Nick and Mike H set off with the leaders through Ryelands Park to Torrisholme, Hasty Brow, Hest Bank, Bolton le Sands, Crag Bank and Silverdale Village.  Miles was also ”enthused” by the weather, and met us at Heron café, where we gazed through the window into the mist.  It was remarked that days like this encourage us to appreciate the fantastic landscapes of the area when they are visible.

Only Neil and Tim joined the leaders in seeking a direct route to Greenlands café via Dallam Park, Beetham and Holme.  The café staff had done us proud, providing party poppers and Christmas crackers for the remnants of the group.  We reluctantly went back out into the unrelenting drizzle to ride the final few miles to our respective homes.

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.