Ribblehead: Tour of Ingleborough (or mud, hot dogs and a spot of caving)
Twelve riders turned out for our tour of Ingleborough, meeting at a gloomy Ribblehead. We managed to get past the bacon buttie van and under the viaduct without mishap, then headed up the rather 'soft' bridleway towards the limestone pavement and Twisleton Scar. Fun was had as we negotiated the limestone, weaving in and out of the cracks and crannies. We paused at the top to fiddle with James' new suspension set up and then 'whooped' our way down the descent. Great fun, apart from one bit where the trail had been purposely blocked by big boulders - Steve had a quick stop, braking with his shin rather than his disks (luckily not too much blood)! At the bottom we turned right, stopping for hotdogs and soup at the ice-cream van (it had 'diversified' due to the distinctly autumnal weather). Along the road to Yordas cave, where the more intrepid among us went caving and were rewarded with wet feet and a huge underground cavern, complete with hidden waterfall. Then a steep climb and muddy push up to the Turbary road. Judith had a good attempt at bog snorkeling here - testing the mud absorbing properties of leg armour to the full and only extracting herself when two trial bikers threatened to share the puddle. The loose rocky descent was fun, despite Lucy managing to collide with a gate (who shut it???) and a 'whoosh' of air as her tyre went flat. Not to be outdone Phil promptly pinched too! Punctures fixed, we headed down to Ingleton, before a blast along the road to Clapham and the famous tunnels - riding on slippy cobbles, uphill, in the pitch black has it's moments! Then up and up to the beautiful views around Slubber (we should be so lucky - we could see about 10m in the mist). We descended to the road and decided to head quickly back to the cars on tarmac, just as the proper rain started.