Having an Easyriders ride proved to be very popular. Simon and I were joined at Denholmgate by Mick Collins, Martin Gargett and Damien, the latter having recently returned from Spain where he he's been putting in his final preparations for the social season. At Keighley we found Nigel and Richard sat on the bench by the roundabout sunning themselves. We dallied there a while acknowledging passing cyclists and enjoying the esprit de corps our sport enjoys before we gave up any hope of Ian turning up; although, once again, as soon as we got the pedals turning I caught the sound of his deep section carbons drumming along the road behind me. It seems we're all easyriders now.
It was a beautiful early autumn Sunday morning as we sped through Skipton, the church bells heralding our passage and the slight incline up Grassington Road a pleasure that only Easyriders can appreciate. No one dropped off the back and all took their turn at the front. We were up to Buckden, round the triangle and back down to Madame Zarina's by 11am having been joined by Mel on our return journey to Kettlewell and having covered about 45 miles at an average of just under 18½ mph.
I thought the timing of the café stop had been well planned, between the breakfast & lunchtime busy periods, however others had obviously been thinking along the same lines and it was bursting at the seams. We were accommodated in the back garden where bacon, sausage & egg sandwiches of average - not bad but not great quality and size were eventually delivered.
The return journey was made down the back roads through Conistone, Grassington, Hebden and Appletreewick to the Cavendish Pavillion and Bolton Bridge where again our new easyriding approach kept the peloton together.
Being unable to face Keighley twice on such a lovely day we took the back road through Beamsley down to Ilkley where we sampled a pint of Mary Jane at the Bah't At. Keighley Gate had been discussed for the route home but with Damien being concerned for the welfare of his expensive Zipp's and Mick having cracked yet another frame (bb on his Van Nick Ti) we erred on the side of caution and went up the Cow & Calf and on to Dick Hudsons - and an error it was, these roads being used as racetracks by weekend motorists eager to keep within a few feet of the car in front ignoring the narrow roads, blind dips and bends.
Mel said goodbye at Burley Woodhead, the rest of us going over to Bingley and Harden and up Bents Lane to Harecroft where Damien showed us just how successful his social season preparation has been by blowing up big time, however in the true spirit of easyriding we waited and offered encouragement rather than the usual tactic of just riding off.
More of the same next Sunday ? How Stean Gorge has been mentioned.