FLAT imperial century (metric century option) from Garforth, Saturday 23rd March 2019

Kestevan

Last of the Summer Winos
Location
Holmfirth.
Cracking ride as usual Colin. I think all the non cyclechat hangers on I turned up with were happy campers.
Surprised you managed to arrange some decent weather despite my attendance.
 
OP
ColinJ

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
Well, yes - a good day out on the bike!

@Littgull and I arrived at Garforth station on time to discover a much bigger group of riders than expected. @colly, @Slioch and @Kestevan were there and so was my pal Carrie. There were also 6 other riders who had come along with Kestevan. One was (presumably!) his wife, although I didn't really find out who they were - we just rode along together and I had short chats with some of them, but I wasn't going to start asking for ID! :laugh:

I was pleased to see so many riders on what turned out to be a better than expected day for cycling a fairly long distance. It felt warmer than forecast, it stayed dry and we got sunshine for a few hours. We did get a fair amount of wind, but it wasn't horribly windy as it sometimes can be in those flatlands, and since we were doing a big meandering loop the wind helped as much as it hindered.

The ride up from Aberford was easy and safe - a lot of it was on cyclepaths or quiet roads closely parallel to the A1(M). Unfortunately, as expected, our proximity to the motorway meant that there was a lot of traffic noise along that part of the route.

We left Wetherby on a cyclepath on a dismantled railway line to Spofforth. I think most of us liked it though there were one or two grumbles about the quality of the surface. I can imagine that it might have been muddy a week ago in the heavy rain we had then, but it was dry packed soil yesterday, with just a little embedded gravel. It honestly was not a problem and I would happily have ridden it on my best bike shod with my narrowest tyres. I suspect that some of the riders had their tyre pressures way too high for anything other than smooth tarmac! :whistle:

Speaking of smooth tarmac - most of the roads were surprisingly well-surfaced. Littgull and I mentioned late into the ride how a patch of rough tarmac there was the first one we'd had all day.

Carrie had intended to leave us at Spofforth and ride home but I had suspected that she would stick with us. The sun had come out and she was enjoying the ride so she decided to do the full route after all.

We looped round and headed back towards Bramham. Somewhere along there we were intercepted by @Afnug*** who had managed to find a few free hours to spend with us. We were soon reduced to 12 riders again though because colly had to get home to spend time with his family.

The rest of us rode through Stutton and then turned south on the A162 (Tadcaster Road), which was busier than we liked but Afnug came to the rescue with a nice diversion through Grimston Park to the village of Kirkby Wharfe and then down a quiet lane to rejoin our original route on the B1223 through Ulleskelf. That road is very close to the river Wharfe and had been flooded a week ago, but it was clear yesterday, as in fact were all of the other potentially flooded roads except for one, more about which later.

We were soon at our cafe stop at Cawood Park. I had phoned them the day before to check they were open so they were expecting us. I had guessed that there would be 8 - 10 riders rather than 12. We waited a fairly long time for our lunches, but it was a nice stop. I'm sure that we will go there again another time.

Cawood Park cafe crowd.jpg


I took the photo, so I am not in it. Slioch is the nearest left, Kestevan furthest left. Carrie is nearest right, then Afnug and Littgull.

We enjoyed our break but it was a bit longer than I'd hoped for and our average speed was slightly lower than target too. It wasn't a huge problem, but it meant that there was no chance of a second cafe stop later and I realised that we would finish the ride in darkness.

I completely forgot that Kestevan et al were only doing the 100 km main loop and turned left at Gateforth and abandoned them! I was called back and went to say goodbye. Everybody seemed pretty chirpy, which was nice.

That left me, Littgull, Slioch and Carrie to continue on the southern loop to complete an imperial century.

The Trans-Pennine-Trail between Pollington and Topham crosses fields but it was fine. The soil was smooth and dry apart from a few easily-avoidable puddles.

We continued on our route as far as Beal where Afnug and colly had reported flooding earlier in the week. It was completely clear yesterday, which was fortunate because the alternative route is a big diversion on some nasty looking A-roads!

The sun was setting and without its warming rays it was becoming distinctly nippy. Our route was supposed to go on road as far as Allerton Bywater where we would take to The Lines cycle path. I was thinking that it would be better to just ride up the road through Kippax instead and decided to consult my fellow riders. Just then Carrie decided that she needed to dive behind some bushes for a quick pee so we went on and waited at the junction with the Kippax road. While we were there another rider came up and asked if we intended to continue along to Allerton? If we did, be warned, the road had still been deep underwater in the morning. 'Bywater' - that's a big hint about what it is like along there... Definitely Kippax then!

Carrie rejoined us and we turned towards Kippax. I had been doing well on my singlespeed bike considering how little riding I have done since early December, but I was getting tired. I also realised that I hadn't had enough to eat and drink so my energy reserves were running low. The climb over to Kippax felt harder than expected and I was getting very light-headed by the time we descended to the town. So much so that I took us left at a roundabout instead of right. I hadn't bothered putting the diversion on my GPS because it was 'too simple to get wrong' - pah! (I'd just like to say this though - why are there no bloody road signs in Kippax!)

We plunged down towards Garforth and then climbed up a steep slope on the other side of the dip. Only it wasn't Garforth, it was Great Preston - in the wrong direction!!! I couldn't think straight so it took some faffing about before we eventually turned round and went back the way we'd come. My legs finally gave way on the climb back up to the roundabout so I had to walk the bike a couple of hundred metres. We took what must be the correct turn but I accosted a local to make sure! "Is this the road to Garforth?" "Yeah mate, just go over the top just there, then it is downhill all the way." Super. Brilliant. Just what I needed. My legs were shot, my head was gone - a nice downhill run was exactly what the cyclist doctor ordered. And then we got this...

Kippax Garforth downhill.png


Listen, I admit it isn't exactly an Alpe d'Huez climb but when you are cold, tired, hungry, stiff-legged and single-speeded, then someone tells you to expect what you can see in the first 800 metres but you suddenly find a climb looming up out of the darkness, it sure messes with the head! :stop::eek::banghead:

We finally did emerge into Garforth but even then my scambled head managed to cock up the easy run back to the station so in the end we got back onto The original route along The Lines for a short distance to regain our sense of direction.

Littgull, Carrie and I said farewell to Slioch and went up to the platform for our train back to Leeds. Carrie got held up in Leeds but Brian and I were soon on our way back.

A young drunk started talking to us just before I got off the train at Todmorden and asked where we had been riding, how far we had gone. He was impressed when he heard that it was over 100 miles and held his mates back to allow me to exit the train first with my bike - I felt like royalty!

This was my first qualifying ride in The Annual Lunacy Challenge. My target of 161 km was exceeded by 4 kms by the time I eventually got home.

I slept well last night ... :smile:

PS A hillier forum ride is coming up in a couple of weeks time - 100 miles from Todmorden, 100 kms from Whalley (near Clitheroe). If you are free and fancy it, you are :welcome: to join us.


*** For those of you who, like me, have wondered about the origination of Afnug's strange forum name ... it has a suitably odd origin! When he were a lad, he and his school pals watched Car 54, where are you? One of the characters in that show was named Gunther Toody. Afnug got the nickname (Gunther ->) Gunfa. Obviously, when faced with the onerous task of choosing a forum name half a century later, the logical thing to do is to go back to a schoolboy nickname taken from the misspelt name of a character in an obscure American sitcom... :wacko:

... and then reverse it! :laugh:
 
Last edited:

Jontyski

New Member
Steve
Don't know if you can help!
To encourage my wife to cycle with me I have bought quite a nice e-bike in Brighouse - but I live down in East Sussex and so have organised a box and a courier to collect it - all paid for.
The lady who is selling it is very nervous about taking the handlebars, pedals and front wheel off despite me showing her it only taking a couple of minute using a 4mm and 6mm Hex key or a 15mm open ended spanner.
I wondered if you could suggest anyone I could put her in touch with to give her a helping hand this weekend to pop it into the box ready for picking up.
 
OP
ColinJ

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
Steve
Don't know if you can help!
To encourage my wife to cycle with me I have bought quite a nice e-bike in Brighouse - but I live down in East Sussex and so have organised a box and a courier to collect it - all paid for.
The lady who is selling it is very nervous about taking the handlebars, pedals and front wheel off despite me showing her it only taking a couple of minute using a 4mm and 6mm Hex key or a 15mm open ended spanner.
I wondered if you could suggest anyone I could put her in touch with to give her a helping hand this weekend to pop it into the box ready for picking up.
I think that you may have posted this in the wrong place!!! :whistle:
 

Julia9054

Guru
Location
Knaresborough
I need to put my distance head back on. Been spending too much time on my mountain bike
 
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