Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday 24th Novenber Ride Report

Only the stalwarts out today.  I met Damien, Richard and Pete Smith at Denholmgate at 9am and Mel and Oakworth Steve at Keighley. I'm not sure why but there was a bit of grumbling about my suggestion that we go to Slaidburn but, as that is what had been blogged, thats where we went. Pete Smith, who was out for a non-stop blast turned off to Crosshills. The Paul Milnes group came with us as far as Vietnam Bridge where we turned left to seek out lanes more demanding than the A629.
Although overcast the temperature was mild, the breeze was light and the roads were dry so there were none of the problems caused by low sun reflecting off wet roads that we have had to endure most of the week. We made good progress over to Gargrave, Bank Newton and Halton West. We then went to Tosside via the little used back lane through Grunsagill. Richard has been in semi retirement recently and so far I had been impressed by his riding but Grunsagill was a hill too far and he adopted the rarely successful tactic of riding 50 metres off the back of the bunch. We regrouped before Tosside but I had forgotten just how undulating the road is from there to Slaidburn and he again slipped off the back, a jumping chain adding to his woes.
At Slaidburn we enjoyed excellent bacon butties in the upstairs restaurant (table cloths and waitress service) -the bacon being as good as any I've ever tasted.
Our return journey took us to Bolton by Bowland via Threap Green and then to Gisburn. There had been much discussion about which route to take from Gisburn and we eventually settled on on the road over Greystone to Blacko, not everyones choice though as Richard had the presence of mind to do a U-turn half a mile up the 1st climb, return to Gisburn and stick to the main roads for his return.
Mel set a cracking pace on the long climb up to Greystone with myself, Damien and Steve just about hanging on - boy, was I glad when the summit was reached !    At Blacko,we turned left managing to avoid the easy riding through Barrowford and Colne and made our way to Laneshaw Bridge up the longer and steeper lane up to Colne Edge.
I was relieved when Steve lost contact up the Herders as this gave me an excuse to take it easier as Mel romped away in lone splendor, Damien, who had initially chased after him, eventually adopting a similar tactic to me.
We had decided that The Lamb Inn at Leeming would be our day's watering hole. Damien set off up Penistone Hill from the reservoir at Stanbury determined to set a Strava record before Nairo Quintana gets there next July, unfortunately his saddlebag held him back and once again Mel danced away to take the honors.
The Lamb Inn proved to be a good choice for re-hydration driving Steve to resort to his credit card to keep the beer flowing (at least he hasn't resorted to Wonga)  
Whilst we were enjoying the Pennines poor old Paul Daly had to risk permanent damage to his skin on Tauranga Beach in New Zealand. He only arrived on Friday but he's already getting the miles in. He's there till March and will be returning in time for the Todmorden Loops Audax (23/3/14) when I'm intending to give him a hammering after too much easy living has softened him up.

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