Autumn Riding - Sun, Mud and Cake
Yet another lovely autumn day for our Saturday ride from Masham and we had a good turnout of nine riders - Alan, me, Yvette, Jenny, Mel, Janet, Graham, John and even Richard turned up as it was so nice. We headed up the road past Swinton Park and then gradually up the long track over Grewelthorpe Moor to the top. A snack/lunch stop sitting in the sun was a good time to admire the views over towards the North York Moors and have a natter before we whizzed down towards Ilton. Graham suggested a detour up to the Druid's Temple so we climbed up the road and had a look around, took some photos and sacrificed Mel on a large stone. The trees were looking particularly lovely as we finished the last section along the Ripon Rowel trail and back into Masham. A long tea and cakes session followed in the cafe and thanks to everyone for playing - a fun day out (and not too muddy).
Jenny and Graham turned out again on Sunday to join us for a ride from Aysgarth Visitor Centre - the weather was fairly cloudy all day with a hint of sunshine and a hint of drizzle. We headed up through West Burton and climbed up onto the fell overlooking Coverdale. We had a vague sense of foreboding from doing this route with Emma many years ago and on the way down we discovered why - a grassy ride/plod through a bog was followed by a rather unrideable descent of a gill on luminous green and slippery boulders. Jenny and Graham were philosophical as we ate lunch but I was hoping the rest of the ride turned out to be more fun. We headed up on to Pen Hill via another unknown bit of track but that turned out to be excellent so we arrived at the top quite easily. Then a very good descent down the rocky, grassy singletrack and a whizz back to Aysgarth on the limestone tracks below Pen Hill. We got back to the cafe just in time to snaffle all the cakes before a crowd of walkers turned up. Overall a good day out, tiring as it was quite wet and muddy in places but Pen Hill is definitely worth doing. Thanks to everyone for a very good weekend of riding.