Just the 2 riders this week – Phil and myself Darren, so after a brief discussion we decided on the hilly option.
Leaving Bramham at 9am we passed through Wetherby on the way to Knaresborough. A left at the cross roads, up through the town centre, and a left / right at the double roundabout brought us onto the A59, which was a little busier than of recent, but plenty manageable. From here, we went in and out of Ripley to face the stiff climb up through Bedlam and Burn Yates, followed by the the multiple fast descents, and slower climbs all the way into Summerbridge where we took the left back towards Otley.
From here we had the tough climb back up through Dacre and Darley. I have to to say that at the tight left bend I had run out of gears, but just managed to hang in as the road levelled off a little. We passed Menwith Hill in the misty, yet thankfully still dry morning before crossing the (strangely quiet) A59 and dropping towards Norwood, where a lunatic in a Saab nearly took himself, a 4×4 and Phil out with an appalling piece of driving.
Once heart rates settled we continued and took the steep drop past Lindley Wood Reservoir into Farnley, then the right turn brought us into a very busy Otley.
Coffee was taken at Bloomfield Square – highly recommended and bike friendly with the staff bringing locks out to allow us to chain up outside. With leaden legs we headed back out and up Otley Chevin through Bramhope, took the left up Kings Road, then a left / right towards Eccup Reservoir where I had my customary puncture! We crossed the A61 and took the muddy track leading behind GSAL onto Wigton Lane, admiring the houses as we went.
Left onto Wike Ridge Lane, and right onto Tan Lane brought us through Scarcroft on Syke Lane, crossing over the A58 with the climb up past the stables, over Home Farm Lane and Thorner Lane back into Bramham.
54 miles, and unknown (due to a technical error as someone forgot to turn the computer back on) yet significant amount of climbing completed. This was also my 1st 100+ mile week, finishing on 112 miles. From a steady, 1 ride per week rider, Keith, Phil, Mark, and all of the Saturday riders have supported me to this stage. I aim to kick on and do 100 miles in a day by the end of the summer – so huge thanks and a big shout out to Wetherby Wheelers.