With the weather warming up and the rides increasing in length 2017 is now off to a flying start. After doing a number of multi day coast to coast trips in the past the Knights are endeavouring to complete the feet in a day this year, and are keen to get some decent miles in the legs to prepare us for the effort.
Waiting for bacon sarnies to arrive at Cranswick Garden Centre, discussions turned to what would be the invincible Beverley Knights’ next big challenge? The Fred Whitton Challenge in the Lake District was mooted and quickly dimissed. But what will it be? The answer was there on the wall of the cafe, right in front of our eyes…The mighty Way of The Roses’ cycle route from Morecambe to Bridlington. We all agreed, our next challenge was set:
Seventeen Knights, loaded bikes and bags full of resplendent shining lycra into the minibuses in Beverley and set off on the journey west. Did Mick, Polly and Kev, our fantastic drivers for the weekend, really know what they were letting themselves in for?. We left exactly on time, and this was an indication of things to come. Our first stop was the Armstrongs Fish and Chips in Prestwich, near Manchester about half way to Morecambe. This proved to be a wise move as they provided some of the best fish and chips tasted and huge portions for those much-needed carbs. It was a good job the order for the 15 lots of fish and chips (one with curry sauce) and the other portions of fish and peas (why no chips?) were telephoned through beforehand as the queue was out the door. We munched the fodder in the vans and set off back en route, feeling like happy bloaters. We finally arrived at our B&B in Morecambe by about 9pm. We offloaded our bags into the rooms and went in hunt of a beer. Beer was found underneath a hotel about half a mile up the road. I say underneath as the hotel wouldn’t let us in their bar. Instead, we were led to the cellar where a waiter with an eastern European accent suggested this bar had a good atmosphere. It turned out it was Karaoke night and the poor bar maid took about half an hour to serve the 20 or so pints of hand pumped beer. Thankfully the beer was better than the singing and after a few pints we headed off back to the B&B, wondering what lay ahead of us the next day. It turned out the answer was simple… hills!
We were all down for breakfast nice and early and tucked into our full English breakfast to help prepare us for the day. Ray and Matthew had other ideas and headed along the beach for a walk to take in the last of the sea breeze. We all unpacked our bikes, pumped up the tyres, and headed off down the coast only to discover there was a bike left there without a rider – it was Jim’s. Once he was rounded up, we headed off again to the start about 2 miles along the front. The weather was ideal, a bright sky, not too hot or cold and with a strong westerly wind. We stopped for the usual team photo and were off down the back streets of Morecambe, through a supermarket car park and onto a track towards Lancaster. At this point we encountered the only puncture of the weekend with Linda being the unfortunate recipient. It was soon repaired and we were back on the road.
After about 15 miles we were out in the countryside enjoying the tail wind and clocking up the miles. We learnt early on that the route was well marked out with clear signage. It was then that we started the relentless climbs and descents (these were the easy ones) that were all taken in good spirit. We stopped to meet the van for a snack in Clapham and Heather managed to meet and get a photo of Alan Bennett. Clapham is a bustling little town with a waterfall, as a few of us discovered when we set off in the wrong direction up a track that got worse and worse with bigger and bigger boulders, oh and a dark tunnel. After asking some fell runners the way they advised this was not the route for road bikes and we concluded it was the mountain bike route so headed back. By this time we were about 15 minutes behind the main group but the hills were rolling and still with a tail wind we plodded on to our first big climb just outside Settle which was relentless but do-able. We finally made it to our rendez-vous with the van again for dinner. Kev, the van driver for the day did us proud and put a spread on that was devoured in seconds, well done that man. From this point the group split up again and people were left to tackle the rest of the days’ climbs at their own pace, safe in the knowledge that the nights hotel was en-route. The route took in Fountains Abbey and some other amazing places.The views experienced today were memorable and more than made up for the tough hilly route.
Day 1 Pictures
The hotel was the Best Western at Boroughbridge and it was the ideal stop. The pool, Jacuzzi and sauna were amazing after the 8000 ft of climbing and 90 miles in the saddle. Our deal included dinner which was a dignified affair with good food and a more than adequate wine menu (sadly not included in the price). After dinner, we relaxed in the bar and relived the day’s events with a few Black Sheeps, safe in the knowledge that the next day was flat in comparison to today’s climbs.
Day 2 started with another hearty English breakfast and away we went again with a tail wind to drive us along and some ugly-looking clouds that meant no-one knew what to wear. The going was flat and we soon found ourselves in familiar territory around York and a coffee stop in the shadow of York Minster. The flat, familiar route soon rose as we headed out of Millington and up to Huggate. Again Kev did us proud with the lunch he provided and we ate up the dinner as quick as our miles. We were soon passing Hutton Cranswick which was the location where we first discussed the trip, only to head North towards Driffield and our final destination of Bridlington 170 miles later. The view of the sea as we rounded the corner was a wonderful site . Photos and champagne followed at the end point. The Beverley Knights’ awards ceremony followed: Sharrin was awarded the prize for happiest cyclist and Jim got the Mr Grumpy cup solely for the fact that he did the last 10 miles on his own. The polka dot climber’s trophy had to be postponed until the times for the climb out of Settle could be checked on Strava. James was the ultimate winner, of this coveted trophy.
All in all, the route is amazing, well signposted and tough. The trip couldn’t have gone better, this is partly down to the weather and the tail wind throughout, but mainly down to the team who organised the trip. Well done Neil! Huge, grateful thanks also go to those who supported us along the way – thanks to our minibus drivers Mick, Polly and Kev. We are particularly grateful to Kev for being our luncheon chef extraordinaire! One question remains, what is the next Knights’ challenge?
Day 2 Pictures
Ray asked me to share this article on cycling safety with you, it turns out Pat and Chris Boardman have something in common.
Following on from our summer solstice ride I thought I would write a quick post about our latest ride out to Hornsea. As you can see from the pictures (all 12 of them) there weren’t as many out on this ride as there was on the summer solstice one. We asked a local council worker to take a picture of us in the same spot as the last one and he took 12 so I though I would upload them all (some good photography work!!!). The ride did start off with 4 of us but a mechanical forced two knights to retire early leaving the two remaining knights the opportunity to sample the eggs benedict at Hornsea Mere.
What better way is there to celebrate the Summer Solstice than to go for an extra long cycle ride? Beats dancing naked around Stonehenge anyway… Oh, and throw in a hearty meal at Walkington’s finest hostelry – The Dog and Duck – for our return. Nineteen Knights in all partook in the fast (in places) and fairly flat ride to Hornsea, taking in the sea air and savouring the light June evening. A great ride was had by all, although one particular Knight disappeared and took a detour – maybe his SATNAV was pre-programmed to visit Mr Moo’s. Perhaps he was checking out the North Sea, looking longingly across the water to Belgium – a possible destination for the annual September Knights Adventure. Watch this space for more details…
The Knights took to the roads on a fine June Sunday for a flat(ish) 50 mile ride to Allerthorpe. It was a true test of cycling commitment that so many turned out the morning after a fellow Knight’s big birthday bash. (We won’t mention your age, Mike, but surely 60 is the new 50…) This ride marked a significant moment in Knight’s history – the christening of the snazzy new kit. A major flaw in the new kit’s design soon became apparent when a spectating child mistook us for a Tour de France team out practising for the big event. Erm, we certainly look good, but perhaps a little too good for our ability. Anyway check out the pictures below:
Beverley Knights’ third annual Derbyshire hill-climbing adventure was, once again, painful, exhilarating and…well…hilly! This year the motivation came from Le Tour de France, which is passing through the region to attempt the climbs of Holme Moss (on The Tour route) and then Snake Pass (not on The Tour route.) Much of our ride coincided with the route of the Wiggle Tour of The Peak, so there were certainly plenty of riders out on the roads. The ride started near Ladybower reservoir (up hill) and there was no time to get the legs going before we hit the steep deliverance climb that took the first cleat bashing victims of the day! From then on we knew what we were in for. Someone had come up with the bright idea of having a ‘King of The Mountains’ prize and also a fastest descent prize that encouraged speeds in excess of 50 mph. I don’t think that prize will be on offer again! The break of the day was in Sid’s Cafe in Holmfirth and as we were sitting around the back (it was a sunny day) I don’t think many of us realised the significance of the place. It was only when you went to the toilet and saw all the Last of The Summer Wine pictures did the penny drop. No wrinkly stockings or Norah Batties in sight! After refuelling, it was time to get back on our saddles and go straight over Holme Moss which was long and steady (at my speed) and then Snake Pass which was full of traffic and not the nicest of roads to cycle on (oh and long). The coverted ‘King of the Mountains’ prize went to Colin for the Holme Moss climb, I think he had been saving himself for this one as he was in a different class from the rest of us stragglers. Once we had got Snake Pass out of the way, it was back down to Ladybower reservoir and a few well deserved pints in the pub, again sitting outside in the baking sunshine. What a great ride. Rumour has is that Pat (alias Mountain Goat) was even tired when he got home. You can see details of the ride from strava below.
This was the second ride of 2014 to Hutton Cranswick Cafe and it started off wet, which was probably the reason why there were only 4 brave knights out. It soon cleared up on the way and we put a few extra loops in to add extra miles onto the ride (mistakenly).