Ride Reports

Saturday 22nd April 2017

B2 Ride to Bowland Knotts by Steve Hopkinson
The weather was glorious, with blue skies, light winds and dry roads, when nine B2 riders set off from the Cobbles, heading towards Scorton. Within a mile my Garmin had just locked up so we stopped whilst I reset it and did a head count, to choruses of “Are we lost already?” Through Scorton we had one of riders poached by the B1s then on to Quernmore, Caton and Wray, where I had planned a brief stop to refuel, as our café stop was at 40 miles. They were obviously expecting us in Wray because they had the bunting out for us, although I suspect it may have had something to do with the annual Scarecrow Festival. This started yesterday and runs through to Bank Holiday Monday, with numerous events, including a 100K bike ride.
We then had a few more miles of very pleasant undulating road to the hamlet of Keasden, where we turned right for the climb up to Bowland Knotts. This is a steady climb of around four miles, nothing too steep but it is long. There are several places where you think you are at the top but then you see the next rise stretching away upwards. Thankfully there are several section where the gradient relents a little, allowing you to recover a little before the next ramp.
At the top we were treated to a display by a chap on a trials motor bike, who was zooming back and forth. A little rested, we set off down the wonderful descent into Gisburn Forest, fully forewarned about the steep sections and sharp bends. Down past Stocks Reservoir and up the horrible little climb (rough steep road with potholes) to the Slaidburn Road, then down into Slaidburn itself for the café stop at the Riverbank Tearooms. Here we up met with Gwen Ainsworth, who had done the more difficult route over Cross o’ Greet and who joined us for the return trip.
Then came the bit I was not looking forward to – the sharp climb (with café legs) out of Slaidburn, then on to Dunsop Bridge, Whitewell and Chipping. Out of Chipping we found we had dropped Luke, but I called a halt at the top of Parsonage Lane to wait for him. When he didn’t arrive after a while, I cycled back almost to Chipping to look for him, but there was no sign. I suspect he may have taken a wrong turning, so I returned to rejoin the group. I trust you got back safely, Luke albeit by a more hilly route.
The return to Garstang was via Whitechapel, and Lydiate Lane.
This was a challenging ride of around 66 miles, 3700 feet of climbing at an average speed of 13 mph. The weather was perfect for cycling, and the company even better.

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