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Tony Burns's Ride to Malham on 17 July 2021

Posted on 18/07/21 |

A hot sunny day. Too hot to be wearing biker gear! The starting point was Wetherspoons in Otley. Sitting outside having a coffee and watching the world go by. And one by one the attendees arrived; both of them. Tim Andrews first and then Brian Lydamore.

No point hanging about as we had a full complement of three so we saddled up and headed north out of Otley over the moors passing Blubberhouses, Thruscross, Johnny Vegas's Glamping Site, Greenhow and on to the T&P stop at Stump Cross Caverns. We decided that, despite our age and enlarged prostates, we didn't need a stop so we got back on the bikes, negotiated the gravel car park and carried on to Malham via Grassington, Hetton and Airton.

The roads were quiet and clear and we made good progress. Only things of note on the way was the encounter with an Airedale Cycle Club outing intent on blocking the narrow roads between Hetton and Airton. The cyclist in front of me took a 90 degree right-hander too fast and ended up in the scenery. A pained expression on his face as I (sympathetically) passed noting that his cycling shoes were still anchored in his pedal clips and the cross bar was firmly attached to his groin. Ouch! No point in us stopping to help; his mates could get him out of the ditch and attend to his delicate and bruised injuries.

A bit of melted tar on the road as we rode into Malham for lunch at the Old Barn Cafe. Bikes parked in front of the cafe we sat at a table and ordered bacon sarnnies - and an ice cream for Tim. Tim was on cloakroom duty and unintentionally (?) put my jacket in the water bowl left out for thirsty dogs. We had all brought a packed lunch just in case we couldn't get a seat at the cafe. Brian and I were fretting about our pork pies in the melting heat as they remained on the bikes. Were they upright? And would the jelly have melted and run out of the pies? And what about Tim's cheddar cheese sandwich, would the cheese have become an orange coloured melted brie?

No time to worry about the packed fodder, it was back on the bikes (with a soggy sleeve) and onward over the limestone scenery of Malham Cove and Tarn, opened and closed the gate (gated road) and descended down into Arncliffe and on to Burnsall for an ice cream. Whilst getting back onto the bikes, some Yorkshire wag shouted ' You old guys have some nice bikes'. Bloody cheek, he could just said how nice the bikes looked!

After that, the back road to Appletreewick, Pateley Bridge, Norwood Edge and home for a shower.

PS My jacket had dried out by the time we got to Burnsall.



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