Google+ Followers

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Easy Abbey Exploration (12 July 2014)

This again was planned as a short ride. We decided to explore Easby Abbey just outside Richmond. I rode the trike out and did an extended ride to the east back. The road out to the Abbey was quite an easy ride and the Abbey was worth a visit. However, riding east, you quickly reach the A1 and its heavy traffic volumes. I had to ride up a stretch of it or return the way I had come. I decided to ride up to the next road. However, the heat and fumes from the traffic made it uncomfortable riding. I was pleased to get back onto country roads with less traffic and clearer air.

Exploring Richmond (9 July 2014)

This wasn't really a challenging ride but I went out on the mountain bike to explore Richmond. Marilyn had walked a lot of this when I did my ride through Hawes. Since I had the morning to fill in, I decided to go and see what she had told me about. I went out the back gate from the Natural Retreats lodge site down some very rough bridal paths. I headed down to the river bank and walked along the path beside the river. I was clearly told that this wasn't a bridal path by a man walking his dog but there were no signs saying not to cycle. It was an enjoyable walk across open fields. The second part of the river path to station bridge was obviously less used and was less cared for. The castle dominated the view of Richmond from the river.
I rode up the hill from the river and then rode around the castle going down to riverside drive and back up to the castle gate. You can't avoid the hills around Richmond but it was still a pleasant ride. Richmond is a small market town with a number of interesting shops and places to explore. The castle seems almost nonexistent from the town with only the keep being visible. The castle is quite large and well worth investigating.

Richmond to Hawes Loop (7 July 2014)

The primary goal of this ride was to explore part of the route for the first stage of the Tour de France. I had been out to the Grinton Moor climb on the day of the race (5 July) so this was a chance to complete the top loop. I had ridden to the top of the Grinton Moor climb on the trike on the day of the tour stage passing through Marske and over three tough climbs that had relied on leg strength. So for this ride, I headed out to pick the stage route up at Aysgarth picking up the top loop of the stage there. I crossed the return leg of the route as I went through Leyburn but crossed through Wensley and West Wilton on the ay to Aysgarth. This proved an easier ride than the back route that I had taken to Grinton on the day of the race but still involved a significant amount of climbing although there was still a significant climb over the ridge to Leyburn. It wasn't like the barren moor land at the top of the Grinton climb. In Leyburn, I talked to a man who was interested in the trike and he was quite surprised at what I was trying to do.

It began to rain as I rolled out of Leyburn but had stopped just beyond West Wilton. The road through to Hawes was through rolling countryside making for pleasant riding. I reached Hawes with an average speed of 18 km/hr. I completed a loop through Hawes around its cobbled streets but I found it difficult to find a place where I could buy a hot chocolate and sit and eat my lunch. I headed up Buttertubs stopping on the lower reaches of the climb for lunch looking back over the valley and Hawes. I pushed on up the climb stopping again at the top of the steepest part to take in the scenery and look back over the climb. There was very little spinning on this climb as I relied on pure leg strength. However, that wasn't the top of the climb so I continued across the barren moor land until just before the step drop. Here I stopped and took photos before plunging down the drop reaching a maximum speed of 72 km/hr. The stability of the trike may the rapid decent enjoyable. From there the road ran through a valley to Reeth where I found an ice cream shop and enjoyed the rest before heading to Grinton where I left the Tour de France route to head back to Richmond. My average speed on reaching Richmond was 17.7 km/hr but the climb up to the lodge site proved a real struggle after 94 km so the final average was 17.1 km/hr.

Apart from the stunning landscapes through most of this area, the most notable feature was the grey stone buildings. Farms and small villages are all built from grey stone but they still manage to draw your attention. Over Buttertubs, there were quire a number of cyclists but most of the way it was cars that proved the greatest obstacle. At my lunch stop on the lower slops of Buttertubs, I talked with a German couple who were walking some of the public footpaths.

There are lots of interesting places to explore although I didn't visit any on the ride but we did a couple of days later. We found a candle factory shop in Wensley, visited the Aysgarth falls, and in Hawes, we visited a rope factory and the Wensleydale Creamery but some of their cheeses. A meal at the Wensleydale Heifer in West Wilton was really worthwhile. Reeth is well worth a visit with the local pubs serving excellent meals and of course the ice cream shop.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Have I stopped cycling?

Just for the record, I haven't stopped cycling or thinking about how best to write about my cycle journeys. In fact there is a backlog of journeys that I should blog about although they are less frequent than before. Since the last blog, I have ridden part of the grand union canal from Birmingham to the junction with the Oxford canal, and completed a ride from Shrewsbury into Birmingham. There have been a couple of long rides in Yorkshire around the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France route and the inevitable exploratory rides around Birmingham. Some catch up blogs are required but we hope to introduce a new blogging system that will make it easier to locate the location of rides.

I would love to do some rides in Europe or evan across the US but that requires funding and time. We cannot promise to keep you informed but we will try.