In his pre-ride briefing Dave Burton made it very clear that he had stolen the ride to Malham from Tony Burns, adding that he had received with Tony's full permission and blessing. An honest start I thought, I would not say it was a verbatim copy but still a cracking ride we all agreed.
Luckily the weather was very agreeable and 10 intrepid bikers set off from Squires for the Dales adventure, and as per the ride of the original author it was an adventure with many features like challenging country roads and cyclists featuring along the way.
Dave had explained that in order to get on our way we'd whiz up the A1 first, peeling off at Junction 45 for Collingham, reminding us that the 2nd person marker could not stop on the motorway or slip road, this is more of a memory challenge for some! Anyway obviously everyone did remember 'cos as we road down the slipway the marker was just off it, visible too all. All good then, through and out of Collingham and joining the Sicklinghall road, I thought oh yes this has to be on of the good fairly quick and interesting roads in the area, and indeed a favourite of Tony's too ;-)
If you follow this road to the end you join the A61 back to Harewood but if you hang the 1st right you carry on country like reaching the A658 towards Pool, B6161 through Farnley and another of Tony B's routing, curiously urbanised housing estate to miss toiling through Otley.
This accomplished it was a short hop to.......of course the Cockpit Farm tearoom, just remind me whose favourite this is?
The team piccy was captured here before some of our number had to leave the ride, but not before taking refreshment in the garden resplendent with picnic benches and shades. Apart from good quality food & drink the staff are just lovely :-)
Those of you who know the route turning right out of the farm will remember the constant changes of direction and elevation combined with the narrowness of the lanes that take us skirting Ilkley up to Bolton Bridge on the A59, excellent! You may also know the number of cyclists on that route take some care to allow for, never mind other vehicles appearing around the tight bends on our side of the road, overall it doesn't sound like much fun, oh but it is and just what our IPSGA training has prepared us for!
Up over the tops on the B6160 and a brief skirmish with Skipton leads us up the B6265 across the most wild and beautiful country for the final sweep down into Malham; obviously one of the most popular spots in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and a bit tricky to park and find some grub but our resourceful leader did just that to find a pub, new to some of us, that satisfied our lunchtime requirements very well.
This was the OD route and most excellent it was, thanks to Dave for piloting and for some old giffer for sweeping up ;-))
The ride back for some through the amazing limestone pavements was another story, unfortunately I seem to have lost the route for that and you know what my famous memory is like ;-(
Here is the route to Malham: