Twelve riders assembled at The Shambles, but regrettably, the high turnout was not a reflection of warmer conditions as the temperature stayed below 5 degrees all day. After a brief route change discussion to reduce recent hedge-cutting puncture risk, the group headed off through Collingham – where one member got a puncture…. Splitting into 2 groups, folks made their way up to Alwoodley and on to the twin-café coffee stop at Bramhope, following which Cathy, Dennis and Pete bid farewell due to other commitments.
The remaining nine riders headed up towards the Chevin but then dropped down into Guiseley and up to Hawksworth. After a quick chat, an advanced party of myself, Michael, Mike and Steve W were despatched over the tops to Silsden to try and secure lunchtime accommodation. There were great views beyond East Morton up Airedale to Cross Hills despite the grey weather. After a hair-raising descent into Silsden, there was no room at the Old Post Office café so we pressed on to La Stazione at Ilkley where Graham, Sean, Glyn, Phil and Steve P soon joined us for a late lunch.
Then it was a chilly spin back down Wharfedale via Ben Rhydding, Askwith, over Farnley, Weeton, Kirby O and home. 60-odd miles and almost 5000ft of climbing for most.