Twelve riders gathered at Boot and Shoe with the prospect of a fine but chilly 55 mile excursion “awheel”. The strong SE breeze introduced a wind-chill element, especially in the morning, but gifted the group a wind-assisted return.
It had gone 11.00 by the time we thankfully piled into the coffee stop at Cobble Hey, greeting another four members from south of Lancaster. A leisurely elevenses was partaken, knowing that Beacon Fell was now well within our sights. There was a decided reluctance to emerge into the biting wind strafing the exposed hillside.
Eventually, sixteen riders set off down the farm access road, some returning home and leaving nine to continue via the steep-sided wooded valley at Brockmill. The realisation that the lunch stop was now within a couple of miles encouraged three to take the direct route, whilst the rest continued in a loop to the south, visiting Inglewhite and the Ye Horns crossroads, before lunch finally beckoned via Barns Clough Reservoir and Carwags. Sheltered by the trees, it was warm enough to sit chatting around a large picnic table by the busy cafe and to take in the somewhat hazy view across the central Lancashire plain.
Descending warily off the fell, avoiding the numerous icy patches, it was a contented group which thankfully accepted the help of the following wind to freewheel (mostly!) back to Lancaster via the well-worn cyclists’ route through Bleasdale and along the edge of Harris End Fell. The panoramic view from the high point, of the M6 corridor and the ‘ivory towers’ of the University, encouraged the customary pause to regroup.
Everyone made it home by 4.00, to happily reflect upon a stimulating winter ride.
Patience & Len.