Wetherby-Foulridge, Thurs 23 June 2022, 140km, 1750m of climbing

The weather gods were smiling favourably once more as twelve of us rolled away from the Shambles. There isn’t really anything to report en route to our first repose at the Ginger Plum café in Addingham. I sat outside in a shady nook, whilst Steve P did his utmost to convince me of the merits of a forthcoming weekend away in the Peak District. However, the two days would involve riding with Greg, who climbs like a scalded whippet; and apparently, there are some hills in that there Derbyshire!

Post-repose, we pootled along a myriad of little lanes to drop us into Airedale, and onwards towards Lothersdale. Lothersdale is a lovely village per se, but there is a 200m climb whichever way you attempt to leave it. I wimped out and circumvented the dale, dropping into Foulridge from Colne.

Foulridge could be considered an oxymoron, for it is neither foul nor on a ridge. The café by the Leeds-Liverpool canal is superb, and they were dispensing iced water infused with mint and strawberries; they’d just forgotten to add the Pimms!

After lunch, which included envious glances towards Sean’s bespoke ice-cream creation; we tapped with belly’s full through Barnoldswick, home of the sexy Hope componentry. (If you want blue hubs …). I sensed that the ride was getting a bit jittery as we were still in Lancashire.

On leaving the county palatine, the retour was also enlightened by a wonderful few km through the grounds of Broughton Hall, and also by ice-creams in Ilkley, where a woman on a cargo bike breezed past with little’uns in the carrier on their way home from school. I have a dream, that almost all school runs could be like this.

Thank you to all my riding companions, and thanks also to Graham for devising the route. He’s not around next week, so perhaps we’ll go somewhere with a little less undulation!

(Flat Earth) Bob (with photos from Steve P)