Wetherby to Barnoldswick, Thursday 22nd June 2023, 88 miles and 5784ft

8 Wheelers (Nick, Graham, Glyn, Shaun, Phil, Steve P, Mike and Fred) met in Wetherby on a warm sunny day for an inter-county ride to Lancashire. I met the group in Otley where Fred peeled off and then Mike who was tapering for an Iron Man and understandably wanted to make sure he was fresh for the big day. Mike has raised a lot of money for charity and we wish him well for Sunday! So glad I’m not running a marathon in this hot weather, or any weather at all come to think of it! Kudos to Mike for putting himself through it.

From Otley we followed the back road to Ilkley and then stopped for coffee and cake in Addingham at The Joyful Deli which was a lovely cafe with tables outside in the sun, delicious homemade cakes and good coffee. Phil treated us all as it was his birthday the day before. Thanks again, Phil.

After coffee and all warmed up from sitting in the sun we plodded up the hill towards Slisden taking a right turn at the top and descending on some quiet little roads into Farnhill and crossing the mainroad to Cononley where the serious climbing started. Up onto the top of the moors we could see for miles around. Was that Ingleborough and Whernside in the distance?

A long descent into Earby and then to Barnoldswick where we stopped at the Cafe on the Square for lunch. Very generous portions of beans on toast on doorstop slices of toast! Another good cafe even if the people there did talk a bit funny compared to what we are used to in Yorkshire.

The route home was thankfully not as hilly and we stuck to the valley floor wherever possible, cycling through the grounds of a stately home to avoid the main road. We made our way through the center of Skipton and back to Addingham where the owner of the Joyful Deli waved to us as we rode past! We stopped in Ilkey hoping for a much-needed ice cream by the river only to find that we had just missed the ice cream van which had left at 4 O’Clock!! Luckily we found a kiosk nearby where we could purchase some, although they were not as good.

I left the group at Askwith to make my way directly home and the others continued on back to Wetherby via the back roads. No rain and lots of sun and hills, a great day out!