13 Riders met at the Boot and Shoe for Neil’s ride to Settle via the Trough (the easy way). Before we set off Ian and Jim confessed their intention to ride to Settle missing out the climb over the Trough, thus reducing the numbers to 11. The ride took us up the steep climb through Quernmore crossroads towards Jubilee Tower but before reaching said Tower, Andy was wishing he’d joined the other 2 on the alternate route, so he turned back. Down to 10! Unknown to the rest of us, Sandra had secured a lift from Stuart to Jubilee Tower, so was ‘on the ride’ albeit in front of the rest of us. Back to 11! As we reached the tower, the leader began to think that Jubilee Tower wasn’t the easiest route over the trough, even though Nick said it was! Stopping at Jubilee Tower briefly, it became apparent why this route, although a tough, unrelenting climb, is so attractive on such a clear day, the views from here were absolutely breathtaking.
We undulated (good verb that!) along the moors to reach the top of the Trough with the tremendous descent before us to Dunsop Bridge. On arrival, we were welcomed at Puddleducks cafe as usual and partook of a well earned tea/coffee and lots of cakes break. Tim decided not to continue with the ride and returned home via the steep way up the Trough. Back down to 10, although we hadn’t yet caught sight of Sandra!
Continuing through Slaidburn and up the spectacular hairpinned climb beyond, the riders continued their undulations through Tosside and onto Wigglesworth, where we turned left towards Rathmell, and, crossing the A65, into Settle, where we not only found Sandra, but Ian and Jim appeared from behind a pillar in the cafe! Back to 12!
After a leisurely lunch in Settle we set off as a bigger group, although Sandra had departed before the rest of us. Riding along the quiet lanes we were treated to the wonderful views of the Yorkshire Dales, culminating in the sight of Ingleborough dominating the horizon.
Arriving at Bridge House in Wray for our last stop of the day we found that Sandra had already arrived and we joined her for yet more coffee/tea (and possibly cakes).
A good, albeit testing, ride with varying numbers of participants on a clear day with magnificent Lancashire and Yorkshire scenery. 63 miles and 5500ft of ascent. Beat that!!