Report by Paul O'Looney ICC Club Secretary
So after an absence of 50 years, and 4 weeks in the planning, Ilkley Cycling Club returned to the road on Thursday 5th May.
After several weeks without a drop of rain, as the riders began to amass by the Old Bridge in Ilkley, there was a little light drizzle in the air.But undeterred by this, the riders of Ilkley came out in force to join the group. And what a group, as 75 cyclists on bikes of all shapes and styles came together under the Ilkley Cycling Club banner.
With such a large crowd to address, the club’s chair, Katherine Pimlott, had to stand precariously on the bridge wall to be heard.
A big cheer went up as she welcomed everyone to the first ride of the new generation of the club.
An even bigger cheer went up as she announced Brian Sweet was riding with us, one of the riders from the original club in the 1950s.
Pictured here, Brian Sweet with Mandy Chapman.
Katherine reminded the group of the three principles of the club rides – Safety, Respect and Fun. The routes were then announced with the “A“ ride going out to Grassington, the “B” to Burnsall, and the “C” to Barden Bridge. Each ride had a leader, with the three groups tonight being led by George Siatos, Simon Warren and Hayley Hunt. Each group also had a sweeper to ensure that no-one would get lost and to help with any problems. This ride was further blessed by Nigel Mallinson who had kindly offered to drive round the routes to help with any problems.
As the drizzle abated, the A ride set off leading the way, followed in turn by the B and then C.
I rode on the C ride and we rode out along through Nesfield and then past Bolton Abbey and crossing the Wharfe at the Cavendish Pavillion. Turning left over the bridge we then tackled a tough section culminating in the “old oak tree” climb which had many of us walking on the steeper sections. But the effort was worth it with glorious views across the Wharfe at the top. The bluebells were out in their full glory and the smell of wild garlic was invigorating. We saw no cars as we rode along through the Bolton Abbey estate, but plenty of wildlife was out to greet us.
Upon reaching Barden Bridge, we turned back across the Wharfe again crossing the beautiful old bridge and heading for home.
As we passed the Strid wood area, the B group racing past with lots of cheery greetings being swapped and quick conversations of how their ride had been. This faster group eventually moved past and we enjoyed the beautiful countryside around us. Many in the C group had never cycled this far before, but were delighted how the support from the group helped them round what was a testing route. Before we knew it we were passing the Cavendish Memorial again and then back onto the “back road” that runs through Nesfield.
Along this road the A group caught and passed us a great speed, with an even shorter set of greetings as they flew past in tight formation.
We were all back before 9pm and then managed to fill the Ilkley Moor Vaults to bursting point as we swapped tales of our adventures over a drink.For many it had been the first time they had ridden in a group and the feeling of teamwork and communal enjoyment was a new pleasure for their cycling.
All in all it was an incredibly successful evening, and after a 50 year absence, the club has become a firm fixture of Ilkley life again.
Richard Hartley ICC Media Officer
Despite the forecast of rain, riders where undeterred and the first Sunday ride saw a great turnout. Ride leader Chris Lumbard, took Group A on a brisk 45 miles, taking in the challenging climb of Norwood Edge before passing the reservoirs of Swinsty, Fewston and Thuscross, and finally dropping down into Pately Bridge. Group A’s homeward journey took in the scenic villages of Summerbridge and Dacre Banks, and returned via the Askwith.
None the less challenging was the B group ride. Ride leaders, Lee & Josh Horton, took the ride out to Embsey and then tackled the steep ascent of Halton Heights before dropping down to Barden. Group B then rode on to Greenhow via, Appletreewick and Skyreholme, returning home via Blubberhouses and Askwith having done a hilly 36 miles.
Group C enjoyed a more leisurely ride out to Burnsal returning via Appletreewick. The group C group consisted of riders of all abilities, including children, and for some this was the longest ride they hadever ridden. Ride leader Andy Asquith said, it was great to see some of the more experienced riders in the group supporting the younger riders, and helping out by giving advice to some of the less experienced riders’
Monday 9th May 2011
Stephanie Millward - ICC Website Manager
Great first ride turnout this morning on a lovely sunny day .
We split into 2 groups at the Cavendish - Those wanting a faster longer ride carried on to Barden , the rest of us sat in the sun at the Pavillion enjoying a coffee before returning back at a steady sociable pace. ( yes it's a hard life!!)
Some women had never ridden on the road before and quite a few never in a group so everyone got something out of it . Thanks to Anna Nolan for leading the ride.
We'll be posting up two ride options for next Monday morning along similar lines so please come along.
Anna herself also adds
"What a great turnout for the club’s first womens daytime ride. 20 budding cyclists set off from the old bridge towards Bolton Abbey in bright sunshine – what a treat!
The group naturally split in two with one group peeling off at Bolton Abbey and on to Barden and the other taking a more leisurely ride to the Cavendish for a well earned cappuccino. Everyone had a good ride and it was great to see new and more experienced cyclists setting off together. The plan for next week is to split into two groups again with Steph taking out the B ride and I will take out the A ride. Routes to be posted shortly."
Richard Hartley ICC Media Officer
The evening sun was shining for the first ever ICC mountain bike ride led by John Roberts.
Five riders set off towards Nesfield with the hum of knobbly tires against tarmac quickly swallowed up by the whoosh of the A group passing us as we headed out past the golf course. We then travelled up through Addingham, following the roman road over the tops to Skipton. Tackling the tricky decent down through the old quarry we hit the road again as we dropped down into town, and made our way out towards Embsay. The sun continued to shine as we climbed the steep grassy track from Halton East towards Black Park.
Pausing for breath at the top, we took the opportunity to admire the view across to Simon’s Seat.
The dry conditions made the next section across the fields unusually fast, and as we blasted down through the woods the fading light demanded focus and concentration. Joining the road at Bolton Abbey, we formed a neat little chain gang for the final leg along the back road to Ilkley, before enjoying a pint of the good stuff back at taps.
A fantastic first mountain bike ride for the club!
Ilkley Cycling Club Tackles the Mary Towneley Loop
Richard Hartley ICC Media Officer
Ilkley Cycling Club’s mountain bike section tackled the demanding off road Mary Towneley Loop on Sunday, led by mountain bike ride leader John Roberts. The loop takes in some of the best scenery and off road biking the South Pennines have to offer, traversing the hillsides and crossing the valleys between Rossendale, Burnley, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden and Rochdale. The route crosses high exposed moorland and is a strenuous, demanding day out covering some 47 miles in length with over 6300ft of ascent. Heavy showers and high winds for the majority of the ride made the epic journey particularly challenging for the riders. Weather conditions improved towards the end of the day with the afternoon sunshine making a welcome appearance. The ride was completed in a respectable 7 hours. Mountain biker, Richard Hartley said "the Mary Towneley Loop is a fabulous day out over very remote moorland areas and really tests the skill and stamina of even the most experienced mountain biker"
The Mary Towneley Loop, part of the Pennine Bridleway, was opened in 2002 and is dedicated to the memory of Lady Mary Towneley, who rode from Derbyshire to Northumberland to highlight the state of the country's bridleways and campaigned for The Pennine Bridleway for many years