Bransdale Loop Saturday 30 July 2016
A really good turnout for the lovely ride around the Bransdale Loop from Helmsley comprised (in no particular order) Lyn, Pauline, Peter, Melanie, Anth, Maxine, Pete, Paul, Bernie, Barbara, Jenny, Mark, Roy and, leader, Steve.
James was going to be there but went back to hunt for his 'phone and met us on our way back. Most got a caffeine fix and bought a snack (seeded flapjack was popular!) in the Ryeburn café before the start and we set off up the hill at varying speeds.
The sun shone with enough headwind to keep us cool and there were little bits of heather in bloom. Perfect!
Avoiding the hazards (rutted road, gate, etc) we reached the top of the loop at Cockagne where we turned up the testing little climb to the church. Some managed it, some walked, some nearly fell over but it was fun so who cares?
Coffee was made in the church and snacks were eaten sitting on the grass bank admiring the view and Melanie doing press-ups (for charity www.22kill.com/22-honor-pushups/ )
The return "down" other side of the valley was hillier than I remembered but we soon enjoyed the long straight descent at 20-30 mph on perfect tarmac, picking up James en route. Everyone decided to do the extra climb and miles to the tea rooms at Hutton-le-Hole.
The service there was very slow for some but the food acceptable and welcome (scored 26 out of 35). The busy road down to the A170 was trying because of a few idiotic, impatient drivers but we survived. The amble back through quiet and flatter lanes to Helmsley was accomplished more serenely and rewarded, for some, by a delicious ice cream. Ride statistics - 35 miles with 3,000' ascent at 10.8 mph.
It's two years since Martin Burgess died and I dedicated this ride - one of his favourites - to his memory. It would be good to make this an annual memorial, particularly as it is such a lovely route to remember Martin fondly.