A pleasant surprise awaited Len and Patience at the start, as a large contingent of active members had decided to turn up, perhaps encouraged by the benign (not freezing) weather or a perfect storm of New Year’s resolutions to set a mileage target for 2019. I guess that there were 14 or so, including some who are only usually spotted on Thursdays.
Following copious New Year greetings, we turned our wheels towards the coffee stop at Greenlands, via the Lune cycle path, commiserating on the way with members of the Lune Valley Club who we overtook at speed (they were mending a puncture). Regrouping at Crook o’ Lune car park, we took on the challenging climb of Halton Park and succeeded in riding it all. The hard work over, Greenlands was reached at 10.30, via Addington Lane, Birkland Barrow and Over Kellet. We were greeted at coffee by 6 members who had gone direct from home. A leisurely break was enjoyed by all, and convivial discourse flowed uninterruptedly.
Surprisingly, most riders decided to proceed to lunch at Casterton, taking the main road to Burton in a disciplined manner so as not to annoy Sunday morning drivers. Through the village and right towards Clawthorpe where lay our next challenge of the day, the climb into the hill mist onto Clawthorpe Fell.
Regrouping at the top, a controlled descent took us down to Hutton Roof and thence via Biggins to Kirkby Lonsdale, where it was noted that the increasingly dreich conditions had reduced the motor cycle presence by a few thousand. It was only left for the 16 of us to tackle the long drag to lunch at Casterton Golf Club.
The staff coped admirably with the influx, having only been forewarned of about 5 cyclists. We were able to swell the choir singing Happy Birthday to a 7 year old at a children’s party at the next table, before heading off into the mist again towards Lancaster. Some took the low road along the east bank of the river, whilst most retraced across Devil’s Bridge and took to the hills between Newton and Capernwray.
Not a spectacular mileage, but plenty of climbs to keep us warm, and a chance to relate our adventures of the festive season and our hopes and aspirations for tours and day rides awheel in 2019.