Bainbridge: The Best Bits
Our rides from Bainbridge normally end up with us either riding all the way up the Roman Road (masochistic) or screaming down it at warp factor ten at the end of the day (a waste of hard won height) so I decided to plot a route that took in the best bits of singletrack on the southern side of Wensleydale whilst only using the Roman Road when absolutely necessary. As there are very few bridleways on the northern side of the valley a group of nine of us started with a pleasant road ride on the back road to Hawes before a steep plod up the Cam Road to the junction with the Pennine Way. We then had an excellent and reasonably dry descent down the grassy track into Sleddale. Simon was back on his bike after breaking his collarbone in the Alps and muttered about taking it easy on the descents, however this pledge was forgotten halfway down the first hill as he swerved past me and disappeared out of sight. I made the mistake of holding open a gate at the start of the next climb thus allowing everybody to miss the next turning and some agitated shouting was necessary to get people back on track. By now heavy drizzle had set in so we stopped for lunch low down before a seriously unpleasant climb into the wind and rain up to the start of the Roman Road. Thoughts of cafes were now interfering with our plans but we turned towards Wether Fell and enjoyed the fun singletrack around the top of the hill before dropping steeply down into Burtersett, this descent has been 'improved' recently so is now less amusing than it used to be! By this time the rain had stopped so we decided to stick to plan A and carry on back up a short section of the Roman Road (still too long though as Graham pointed out) to get onto the bridleway above Semer Water. This was excellent, Judith and I muttered gloomily about slippery wet limestone but in fact it was grippy and excellent sport. At the bottom Mat suggested another climb to descend the last section of the Roman Road, I said ok but don't blame me for yet another climb and before we knew it we were down in the café in Bainbridge, eating cake yet again. A great ride, thanks everybody for playing.