Saturday 25th March 2017
A Ride to Malham...ish by Paul Whalley
*A Ride Report. Or perhaps more accurately: a ride, reported.* The first sign that spring has truly sprung is the sight of pasty limbs sprouting from lycra-wrapped turkey dinners. This, mixed in with a few late bloomers keeping their tights, jerseys and long-fingers on just in case, heralded the first sunny A-ride of the year, to boldly head off uphill to Malham and take the long way back via Bentham. It was a testing route and the ride soon strung out as the increasing undulations took their toll on fair-weather legs. A first regroup atop Bowland Knotts, the Prof and yours truly crushing the tarmac ‘neath their mighty thighs, and a second for the obligatory junction photo-stop, yielded an agreement that perhaps an early café stop in Settle was No Bad Thing. Particularly as Adam Tubeless Hindle was flagging on the physical stress of a soft tyre and the psychological stress of a hard ribbing. After beans at the café, the ride split. The proper cyclists (n=4) went up the cliff face east to Malham; the rest: who cares? The ride then continued to be rather attritional, as the last time the Chairman and Dave Brook were seen alive was on the last hill out of the Malham loop headed towards Settle. (Next time anyone is out there, would you mind quickly poking a stick in a few ditches in case you find anything?) Rick Wiggins and yours truly made the brave decision to abandon fallen comrades and soldier on, also bravely ducking out of Roeburndale Road but gritting their teeth for the full Littledale treatment. At this point, the aforementioned thighs of yours truly were feeling slightly less than mighty, so I called it quits before Jubilee Tower in favour of exploiting the fine weather forecast for Sunday, leaving Rick as Last Man Cycling and the only one to complete the planned route. Well done Rick, now please leave us all alone.