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.