Heading out of Grinton, we rounded a corner at what looked like a back street to be confronted by a vertical wall of a lane. There was a tiny reprise before another steep section emerged that kept rising and turned from a smooth track, to a bumpy one, to a fully lumpy one. We stopped a couple of times to 'admire the view' and nodded hellos to mountain bikers who were also climbing up Fremmington Edge.
|Nick pushing his bike is a rare sight|
|Amanda & Ged almost at the top|
|Ian showing off with his sensible gear ratio, suspension & tyres|
Atop Marrick Moor the wind was still fierce as we climbed further albeit a more gradual incline. We met some land rovers who were off up the tops for motoring fun and also some scrambling motor cycles. But we carried on beyond the tracks and towards a grassy descent where it took a little while to figure out just where the bridleway was. Soon we were enjoying some smooth descent, but this soon turned in to a technical rocky downhill section. We all lined up awaiting our turn.
The cold winds had frozen my hands and I interspersed riding with pushing since my raynauldsy fingers made effective braking impossible. But everyone else fully enjoyed that descent.
Passing some beautiful landscape, we were soon at Langthwaite & the pub.
Those who ride with Simeon were well prepared with packed lunches. Alas the Red Lion was lacking much food choice, so a couple of us cycled up to CB Inn heading up towards the Tan Hill Rd. The view up Arkengarthdale was amazing and the sun was trying to break through.
We enjoyed a really nice lunch & this place lives up to it's reputation. Amanda left the ride here to spend the afternoon with her husband and the rest of us enjoyed some more climbing up the other side of the valley along the side of the wonderfully named Cringley Hill.
This was a really fun bit of moorland followed by a fast descent to Nova Scotia, so fast that we managed to miss our intended turn off, but instead found a steep bit of tarmac to enjoy that brought us to Healaugh where we took the road and then the greenway along the riverside to find a perfect afternoon tea stop in the form of a beautiful view whilst flasks and rations were pulled from saddle bags.
Ian, Nick, Eileen, Stephen & I went to the pub for halves and brews and it was mild enough to sit outside. Ged headed back up to the hostel for his lift home with Dave. A lovely way to end a brilliant weekend of cycling.
The map for the route can be seen here.
I had thought I'd take the monday morning commute by car to rest my legs after three challenging days in the saddle, but I was greeted by such glorious weather that I couldnt resist a cycle commute and I havent had any days off the bike yet. And my legs are telling me about it!
It was lovely to meet up with riders that I see so rarely, but the usual suspects turning up was as always greatly appreciated - you know who you are ;-) Thanks for your company & making the trip brilliant!
Special thanks to Gerald (in his mid-70s) who was the only person to complete the full three days with me & was great company. On Sunday morning at breakfast, he'd asked if I was feeling fit this morning, to which I replied 'of course', his reply 'I was worried about that'.
Planning and leading rides for a group of well seasoned cyclists can be a little bit of an intimidating experience. Our club certainly has some massive personalities and some very strong views are held & I think that the history of past rides & leaders can sometimes get in the way of new people trying out those shoes with confidence. Since I didn't know this area at all where others did, I had been filled with trepidation at the start of each day, but by the end of each day I was buzzing with the success of the routes and the enjoyment that everyone seemed to have had.