Ride to Sizergh Castle via Barbon, Thursday 8th March 2018

A good number of enthusiastic riders met at Halton Station for Neil’s ride to coffee at the Church Mouse café in Barbon and lunch at Sizergh Castle.

Crossing the River Lune by the Denny Beck bridge the we took the long, steady climb out of Halton via high Road and Kirkby Lonsdale Road to Redwell, through Arkholme and onto Kirkby Lonsdale. Although an uneventful ride to Kirkby Lonsdale in excellent cycling conditions, events took an unexpected turn when one rider’s bike had a mechanical fault which meant he could not continue the ride. It was lucky this happened in Kirkby Lonsdale since buses were available to take him back to Lancaster. The rest of the group, after trying unsuccessfully to help repair the bike, carried on over Devil’s Bridge and onto the old Roman Road all the way to Barbon.

We were given a warm welcome at the café and met up with several other riders who had made their way independently. In fact, we took up most of the tables in the café.

After partaking of excellent tea, coffee and cakes we rode out of Barbon and joined the main road towards Sedbergh. Taking the turn towards Rigmaden we were surprised to find the bridge across the river was closed and completely fenced off making impassable even for bikes and pedestrians.

We decided to carry on towards Sedbergh and finally crossed the River Lune via the B6256 where we headed back in the direction we had just ridden, albeit the other side of the river. We finally joined up with the road we should have been on from Rigmaden having covered several more miles and a great deal of extra ascent. Phew!!

We continued to Old Hutton and took the right turn in Gatebeck and subsequent route through Halfpenny. Finally, after passing through Sedgwick we arrived at Sizergh Castle for lunch just after 2 o’clock. There was a notice to say that food was served until 2 o’clock but luckily there was plenty of food left and we ate our fill.

The ride back via Hincaster and Ackenthwaite was uneventful and our tired group arrived back in Lancaster having covered 60 miles and 4000 feet of ascent.

Neil Westwell