The clear blue skies promised an excellent day when six club members gathered on the Millenium Bridge on Sunday morning. This was unusual for a Bank Holiday weekend but nevertheless everyone appeared optimistic with shorts and short sleeves in abundance.
The only slight mishap on the way past Claughton was a dropped chain by the leader which was quickly rectified. It was with relief that the group left the road to Hornby which was choked with holiday traffic and headed for Wray which displayed bunting and many straw stuffed characters. A detour after High Bentham led up Windy Hill and along obscure lanes with views of Ingleborough to the A65 and Goat Gap Cafe which had a tempting selection of scones and cakes.
The ride leader had foolishly thought that everyone would enjoy braving the high speed motorbikes and exhaust fumes on the road to Ribblehead but a mutiny by the entire contingent quickly put paid to this idea and a quiet lane was followed to Clapham Station then to Eldroth and Low Paley Green before heading to Austwick.
Ken sensibly decided to give the next part of the Tour De Yorkshire a miss and head to Feizor by road while everyone else found themselves on an unreconnoitred bridleway which the headstrong leader had chosen. The combination of steepness and roughness of this resulted in Neil snapping his chain but with the necessary tools this was soon fixed. After passing some balloon tyred mountain bikers and some getting off and pushing in places, a pleasant grassy downhill section gave way to houses and Elaines cafe in the hamlet of Feizor. An outside table allowed the sunshine to be enjoyed to the full before setting off on the return leg.
The A65 had to be briefly braved again, then Keasden and Mewith Lane were reached via Clapham. Remarkably all six of those who set off in the morning were still present on arrival at the last brew stop of the day at Bridge House Cafe which thronged with Scarecrow revellers consuming large amounts of ice cream, beer and barbequed meats.
When Mike and Nick, the last of the bunch not to have peeled off arrived back in Lancaster, the heat of the day had still not subsided.