Wetherby – Bolton Bridge, Thursday 15th September 2022, 70 miles

A good turn-out this Thursday. Eleven Wheelers (Graham, Glyn, Geoff, Micheal, Mark, Steve W, Steve P, Pete D, Bill, Phil, Greg) set off on Graham’s lumpy ride to Silsden and Bolton Bridge.

First up through Sicklinghall then a gear shift for a swift descent of Kearby Cliff to the A61 and on through Weeton and Castley to the A658 where Bill left us to do a shorter route. Through Pool in Wharfedale with pre-steep-hill nerves, we set off in pursuit of Graham to tackle Old Pool Bank. Now Graham may be fast on the hills but he couldn’t have disappeared out of sight before we’d even started, so we were off course, and of course, he had told someone (was that me?) that he’d planned to take the easier climb up Creskeld Lane. Uncomplaining and some relieved we turned and found Graham waiting patiently (for his class) at the bottom of Creskeld. The hill done we continued through Bramhope to the top of the Chevin and on down into Guiseley where we stopped for coffee at Mi Sucré cafe. I wonder how they arrived at that name, perhaps it sounds better than Semi Sweet? Anyway we filled all the chairs in the small but very fine cafe, the croissant looked good and the staff wished us well for our ride.

On through Hawksworth, East then West Morton and a steep descent down Holden Lane with an alarmingly sharp left-hand bend and on into Silsden. Then the ‘best’ climb of the day up Bradley Road and Horn Lane to the T junction at the top – 2.2km and 6.8% average gradient (beat 5.56 mins if you want to be Strava King of the Mountains). Another little lump or two and we swooped down into Draughton and sprinted to Bolton Bridge for lunch. The usual good fare at the Abbey Tea Rooms then home on the low road, West Hall Lane to Ilkley and back roads to Otley where Micheal, Pete, Glyn and myself split off for Leeds, another meeting with Creskeld Lane and Eccup Reservoir, while the rest made their way back to Wetherby via Armscliff Crag for a photo shoot.

A grand day that I’m sure we all enjoyed; I did.