Day ride to Pateley Bridge – 15th February 2024 – 55 miles

On a dampish but mild spring morning ten riders assembled at The Shambles: Graham, Mike, Greg, Pete, Phil, Dave, both Seans, Nick and myself (Tim). We headed west towards Sicklinghall past several major potholes. At Sicklinghall the group split into two but the ‘faster’ group were soon hit by technical problems (Greg’s loose rear mudguard) just outside Kirby Overblow. Roadside repairs were undertaken and Dennis arrived just in time to avoid needing to help 😊. Now back as one larger, somewhat straggled, group we headed down to the A61 and across through Burn Bridge and Beckwithshaw slowly climbing over into the Washburn Valley. Conditions were definitely quite warm and I was regretting wearing my rain jacket. Three riders had opted for shorts which wasn’t that outrageous.

We stopped at Fewston Farm Shop café and new member Ian also appeared shortly before, so we were now 12. Over coffee Phil suggested to me that we would be doing 4000ft of climbing, which as it turns out wasn’t a bad guess. After the café (massive cakes) the group began to splinter. Nick and one Sean bailed out, then after we got onto the Greenhow road Dennis also headed off. We turned right towards the Nidd Valley and rolled over a few climbs across the tops before a steep descent down Nought Bank Road into Pateley Bridge. Sean #2 and Ian left us here and the remaining seven stopped for lunch at the Willow café. Their credit card machine was out of order but after a quick scrabble for cash and a cashpoint run, we had enough to pay our way with no need to wash up.

After lunch we enjoyed the fact that there are no easy ways out of Pateley Bridge on a bike, but we probably took the easiest before then climbing through Smelthouses up to Brimham Rocks. The reward for the climbing was a long descent of several miles to Ripley where a left then right turn took us across the A61 again and past Nidd church (where I got married 32 years ago next month). Happily the forecast heavy rain never arrived. The roads were fairly quiet through Scotton and into Knaresborough, and then it was the usual run down to Wetherby. Cheers Graham and all for some decent winter mileage and climbing.