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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