When I looked outside on Sunday morning there were several inches of snow on the ground and a hard packed icy surface on the road. Simon contacted me to give his apologies saying he dare not risk his recently repaired shoulder in these conditions. I was in two minds myself but I knew that Chris would be battling his way up the Valley from Tod so I dragged my heavyweight Croix de Fer out of the garage to meet him in Brighouse.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the roads were clear and well gritted and I was even more surprised when there were 6 of us assembling in Brighouse, Ian, Chris, Pete Whitely, Richard, Martin Gargett and myself, for the proposed ride out into the flatlands to the east. We had intended taking refreshments at Selby but as Ian was on his 3rd new inner tube before we got to Castleford and Pete was having to reinflate his rear tyre at regular intervals, we modified our ambitions and aimed for Fairburn and Squires Café at Sherburn. A good decision as we all enjoyed the lunch hour spent there and it gave Richard chance to get some blood circulating into his feet once again after we had ridden through icy flooding on the (officially closed) Fairburn Ings road.
After lunch we came home via Lotherton Hall and Aberford, making an unintended diversion to Harehills before 'playing it by ear' navigating the outskirts of Leeds to find Harrogate Road and the welcome lanes round Eccup Reservoir to Bramhope, Esholt and a skirt round Bradford for what had turned out to be a very enjoyable days cycling at a much more relaxed pace than the previous few weeks.
On Monday evening our AGM was held at the Travellers, Hipperholme. I'm not going to put the minutes on here now but it was a successful get-together with 15 members being in attendance. It was decided that, as last year we would have our Annual Presentation in the form of a ride-out Sunday lunch. Sandy volunteered to explore the possibility of holding the event at the Robin Hood at Cragg Vale again and details will be posted here as soon as they are available.
Early Season Reliability Rides & Audax's
This coming Sunday the 24th, Chris and I are riding the Mere 200 Audax from Cheadle, entries are closed now and no entries are being accepted on the day.
On Saturday the 30th Jan. Grimpy and myself have entered the Evans Cycles MTB Challenge from Wardle High School near Littleborough. Entries are still open for this event and entries on the day are being accepted.
Saturday 20th February - North West Passage Audax - see AUK website
Sunday 21st February - 3RT Reliability Ride, 60 miles from Ritz in Brighouse 9.30 start, finish Clough House, Rastrick, £3 to enter, food at finish.
Sunday 28th February - Imps Reliability Ride, another JK special from the Ritz - further details to follow.
Saturday 5th March - Evans Cycles Leeds MTB Challenge, Harewood House.
Sunday 10th April - Spoilt for choice, Spring into the Dales and Ronde van Caderdale