There were six solos and one tandem at the start of the Cyclists Touring Club Sunday ride to Ingleton and Dent. Some riders had been put off by the forecast rain and heavy downpours at 6.00 am, but those who made the effort were amply rewarded by fine weather in near-perfect conditions.
In anticipation of a very hilly ride after coffee, the group took the easy route to Ingleton via the Lune Cycleway, Wray, and Ravens Close. At Inglesport, we fuelled up for the hilly ascent over Kingsdale to Deepdale and Dent. By the time we attained the 1,500 foot contour of the pass the mist had cleared so we could enjoy the stupendous view to the north before the rapid descent to the two gates. The scenic hedge-lined by-way along Deepdale was savoured before rolling into Dent for a convivial cafe lunch.
Though the clouds were gathering as we headed off to Gawthrop, the rain still held off for our return along the south side of the river via the gated road. The cloud-topped Howgills provided an atmospheric backdrop to Sedbergh from the shorn-sheep populated unfenced lane. At the junction with the main road, the usual regrouping took place before eagerly anticipating the run down the valley for tea at Casterton Golf Club. This was brought to an abrupt halt at Middleton where the new bridge was receiving its finishing touches and the County Council had decided on complete closure of the road. Walking along the top of a dry-stone wall carrying a tandem could have been interesting!
Retracing, we had no option other than to try the Rigmaden lane alternative. This itself was slow-going due to the traffic jams caused by the local 4x4 owners. Four riders made it to the tea stop, and it was a late finish by the time we had freewheeled to Kirkby Lonsdale and hastened through Arkholme to Lancaster.
Nevertheless, riders enjoyed a 70-plus mile day, with a little more climbing than anticipated. And the rains arrived just after we got home. Details of our rides can be found at www.ctclancaster.org.uk.