Meeting at Kellet Crossroad we split into 3 groups. Taking the Committee’s advice, each group leader was provided with a route description sheet. There was no need to keep each group in sight and the groups were more able to pace themselves. Tim led the more agile group, I followed with a slightly more sedate party and Nick led the more leisurely group. (my thesaurus wasn’t much help).
We proceeded via Nether Kellet towards the Redwell before dropping down to Gressingham for a general regrouping. More concerned with the self imposed ease of producing a route description, we then followed the A road via Melling and Greta Bridge to Burton in Lonsdale. (Future editions of this ride will go via Wray and Ravens Close.) From Burton we followed the pleasant lane to the cafe. I’d told the cafe to expect between 12 and 20 cyclists for coffee but when the 24 starters and a couple more arrived they easily coped and most of us enjoyed the outdoor seating.
After coffee some returned home and we split into two groups. Tim, again leading the charge and me, the calmer group, (thesaurus – dignified, sober?). However the road works on the A65 or the M6 motorway closure led to some very undignified crossing of the main road, as we scrambled between the linear car park of stopped vehicles. This had to happen 3 times as we zig- zaged between Ireby, Leck, Overtown and onto the Roman road. Clear of this mayhem we followed pleasantly into Barbondale. Over the Barbon climb and down to Dent we were ready for what the cafe, picnic or pub had to offer.
Sustained we pedalled into Sedbergh, as one group and were soon on the quiet lanes to the west of the depleted River Lune. With the sun blazing down the climb up to the T junction above Egholme Farm was always going to be tough. This however didn’t allow for the driver of an inflated SUV who forced her way alongside the stream of toiling cyclists. I saw a looming wing mirror, made an involuntary move to the left and running into the grass had to climb off. Another rider suffered in the same way and we walked the next section before we could remount. Where was Matt, with is camera, when you need him?
The descent to Rigmaden is always a pleasure and on to Kirkby Lonsdale. Here we split, with a group going to Wray for afternoon tea and the rest of us heading for Arkholme and our own homes. It was an eventful 60 miles, on one of the hottest days of the year.