Day 1 18 April 2014
This week we’ve enjoyed reasonable weather but yesterday was overcast with a strong northerly wind. Oh good thought I, just what we need, another easter with bad weather. Well, I was totally wrong. Today, Good Friday when we remember the death of our Saviour Jesus, really was a good day.
We left home about 6.50am and rode to the appointed start point , the Cambridge hotel, to find that our cycling companions were all assembled. We lived closest and were last to arrive! Keith had cycled from Saltburn and others from various parts of Teeside.
The sun was up but it was decidedly chilly, but we could tell it was going to warm up. So we set off. DH had fixed up the Xtrawheel so he could carry his normal amount of gear on the mountain bike which has no front racks. Simon was also pulling a trailer, while DS1 and I had a full set of panniers. Others were cycling unencumbered as they had sent their stuff with other people.
We set off through Thornaby and then through Preston Park on the way to Yarm. From here, there’s a gentle climb and the road through Kirklevington to Worsall toll bar corner. DH had set a cracking pace but we regrouped here.
A lot of the party had never been so far and it was all new to them from here on.
We cycled along through Appleton Wiske, Deighton, Brompton and into Northalleton. Here we stopped at the supermarket to use the facilities and have a bite to eat.
Then, off again on the A167 towards Topcliffe. This road is relatively good because lots of traffic uses the A1, and so its fine to cycle on. Once in Topcliffe, we stopped again and regrouped.
Now , we were within 10 miles of our campsite. So despite it being a little more hilly, we still made good time passing through Norton le Clay, where the road surface is very potholed and into Boroughbridge. The campsite is about .75 miles up the Roecliff road. We were there by about 1.30pm.
The site were very good , allowing us to pitch before settling up. We enjoyed sausage sandwiches all the more because there were 10 instead of 8 in the pack. Then a few of us rode to another supermarket to restock with bread and treats.
It is now 8.00pm and the sun is dropping and with it the temperature. A super day of 47 miles but 60 for Keith.
Day 2 19 April 2014
The day dawned very cold.
See the frost on these bikes. Lots of people said they had never such a cold night but we’ve camped at Easter many times and were prepared using both our self made quilt and our commercially made sleeping bags. We use Exped downmats and these are wonderfully comfortable. We did have problems with them but the company replaced them without any difficulty.
Here we are making breakfast outside our tent.
Today’s ride was to be to Brimham rocks via Ripon , so our group of 8 set out at about 9am. We followed the Way of the Roses route, which stays on minor roads, up through Bishop Monkton to Ripon which has a lovely cathedral.
Here we are just outside it.
Then it was through the town where we stopped briefly for DS1 to buy some medication as he had developed a bit of a sore throat. A few of the others said they felt the same way too. We rode past the spa swimming pool and on into the estate of Fountains abbey. There is a long swooping climb up to St Marys church which I am assuming may be connected to Studley Royal but I am probably wrong.
Once outside on the road , there’s a steep climb and M slipped her chain and there was a bit of a bump causing her derailleur hanger being bent. S came to the rescue with his toolkit and was able to get it working again and later got on line and ordered a new one for her. What a star. Thanks S.
While waiting, we got these photos of both the house and abbey.
Then it was onwards and upwards to Brimham Rocks. It is years since I have been here and as it was a lovely day , it was heaving with families. The National Trust was also running an Easter Egg hunt. We set up the kettle and made hot drinks while M and her son L joined the long queue at the kiosk for sandwiches. S made himself chilli and mash.
Brimham Rocks is an area where the limestone and grit stone has weathered into shapes more akin to those seen in cowboy films.
The rocks look like they would fall over but are remarkably stable and there is a lot of climbing over them.
To get back to the camping site, we came back using a route we made up ourselves swooping down minor roasds to Burnt Yates and then turning down through Shaw Mills to Bishop Thornton. We could see a sharp uphill and we all laughed as we thought we didn’t have to go up it, only to find that the road looped back round and we did have to climb that hill. We all made it up, me grinding away in my bottom gear. We regrouped at the top , at Cut Throat Lane!
Then it was on through Markington and across to cross the A61 at Wormald Green, Burton Leonard, Bishop Monkton and into Roecliffe village. Outside, one of the pubs are these pair of dummies.
One of our party said this was one of his best rides ever. About 40 miles, some on roads that will be used for the English sections of the Tour De France.
Day 3. 20 April 2014
Easter day is important to our family so we had decided to cycle to Harrogate so we could attend church there. Others were having rest days or with families.
Our family left the site at 8.30am , and as the roads were very quiet at that time, we were able to use a fairly direct route riding the short section of the A168 and turning off through Minskup and on the A6055 through Ferrensby to Knaresborough. We went a little wrong and had to backtrack to find the B6163 through Calcutta. I was pleased with myself because I managed the climbs. Yes!!. On through Starbeck, we picked up a cycle track to the show ground but it isn’t marked too well. We arrived at church with just a couple of minutes to spare, sweating profusely too. I quickly changed and really enjoyed the service and then meeting friends too.
We decided to return a different way because of the time of day and increasing traffic. We found the cycle track to Starbeck and then down the hill to Knaresbrough. At the river, we crossed the bridge and took a track I have ridden previously. This is traffic free but it was great to see families enjoying riding here too. Some of the old trees have been carved .
Aren’t these beautiful.
We rode on through Scriven, Farnham, Ferrensby and after Arkendale crossed the A1M. Here DS1 decided decided to ride the A168 directly to the campsite but DH and I went through Martin and Grafton where we had a brief stop in the sunshine while I had a bit of refreshment. Then through Aldborough into Boroughbridge where we met K and his wife out strolling with their dogs. Another lovely day and another 30 miles.
Day 4. Monday 21 April 2014
Apparently, it rained during the night but I didn’t hear it. We intended to set off about 8.00am but it was actually 8.45 am due to various things, the most serious being L kicking over a kettle of boiling water. Fortunately he wasn’t hurt but it could have been much worse.
The wind had risen and was from the north east so we had to ride into it all day. It was tough but we all managed it. K was staying in his caravan with his wife so had to take it home so we missed his company .
We retraced our route, stopping to regroup as needed. When you ride in a very mixed group, you have to be prepared to do this. We ranged in age from 15 to 65 so you can understand the differences. We had a very welcome break sat in the sunshine outside the supermarket.
Once back in Preston Park, Eaglescliffe, we started splitting up to go home. S left to go to Billingham and then in Thornaby, M and her son L and P left to ride up towards the Nunthorpe area avoiding main roads into that persistent headwind. Our family continued on homewards tired but very happy to have enjoyed this break in great weather.
In total, we cycled 160 miles.