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Bike Ride and Walk, Grassingtonsunday, 13th July 2003

Wimps Group Report

from Dot Relph

On one of the hottest days I can remember, Trudy, Joy, Brian and myself set off ahead of the main group of bikers because the ride started up a huge hill in Grassington.

Our small but select group only stayed with the "hard men" for a short while and then went at our own pace. Unfortunately at one stage, our map reading led us down a hill to the wrong village for lunch - and then after discovering our error, back up said hill to meet up with the main group for lunch. Unfortunately, due to our delay, they were just about to set off again.

We met the walkers briefly, whilst negotiating a narrow river bridge - and lucky we did, as Mitzy (Steve's dog) retrieved a water bottle from the river for Trudy. Three cheers for Mitzy! At about 4.15, after 17 miles, a weary and hot group of cyclists got back to Grassington and enjoyed tea and brownies and a well earned sit down on a soft seat.

It was a lovely ride, wonderful views, but we all suffered from the extreme heat. My skin is still itching days later with prickly heat.

Roll on the ski season and some colder fresher air!

Main Ride Report

from Tony Keates

The main group of 9 riders, led by John Lymer, set off up Moor Lane from Grassington, before turning right on to a bridleway, which wound its way through the extensive remains of the Grassington Moor lead mining area. From here the route took us down Hebden Gill on an enjoyable descent, through Hebden, and eventually bought us out at a footbridge and stepping stones over the River Wharfe. Here we met the walking party with several dogs, who were having a great time cooling off in the water (the dogs that is!).

After an interesting exercise getting our bikes over the narrow footbridge, (with hindsight we would probably have been better off carrying them across the stepping stones!), we pushed them up the very steep grassy bank opposite to join the bridleway which would take us, via lanes, to the Fountaine Inn at Linton for lunch. As we reached the top of the bank we looked back to see the easier ride group just appearing at the bridge.

The Fountaine Inn has an idyllic setting by a beck with a ford, and we all took advantage of the shade provided by the trees to eat our lunch, despite having to fend off the attention of incredibly pushy ducks, which were determined to take our sandwiches out of our hands. After lunch we set off across the ford in great style, with spray flying in all directions, just as the easy group arrived for their lunch.

The afternoon route took us via lanes almost to Kilnsey Crag, where we set off for the major effort of the day - the ascent of Mastiles Lane. This is a steep, loose track, which climbs about 600 feet vertically over a distance of about 4 miles, and was a considerable challenge in the heat and humidity. From the high point, we then descended to Street Gate near Malham Tarn. This track has been severely damaged by 4 x 4 offroad vehicles and is now the subject of a voluntary restriction order. However, the very deep ruts need to be filled in to allow the track to recover. From Street Gate we turned northeast, with another 300 feet of climbing, this time on grass, to pick up the Monks' Road, an ancient trackway, which leads to Arncliffe, the village where "Emmerdale Farm" used to be filmed. This was an exhilarating descent, tricky in places, but very welcome after all the hard climbing! The final part of the route took us back to Grassington via quiet lanes.

All in all, a challenging but enjoyable day, and I would like to express my thanks to John and Trudy for organising yet another great day out.

Walk Report

from Maurice Taylor

The recent club walk around Grassington, North Yorkshire, organised by Dave Taylor proved a great success passing as it did through some stunning countryside and matched by the weather, which was gloriously hot and sunny.

As Dave's brother, I came on the walk as his guest and, not being blessed with skiing talent but a keen walker, I nevertheless soon made a lot of new friends with around 18 brave souls taking up the challenge alongside me.

The walk started from the main pay and display car park located just outside the centre of Grassington and followed a path along the river Wharfe via a must-stop-to-see series of water falls. The walk then passed through well kept park land owned by the Earl of Devonshire keeping close to the river. We eventually left the river at an Iron suspension bridge just outside of Hebden, but not before taking a well earned breather at this particularly attractive spot. Here we met up with the cyclists who were engaged in their own separate toils, and we gave them raucous vocal support as they attempted to get their cumbersome machines over the narrow bridge.

At one point a water bottle fell from one unfortunate cyclist into the water below, everyone wrongly assuming it lost for good, but Mitzy the cross-bred belonging to one of our group, had other ideas and at the command of her owner she dived into the waters and swam to retrieve said bottle, swimming back to shore to rapturous applause from all sides. Thoughts of a Hollywood inspired collie sprang to mind - the two collies belonging to another member of our group could only look on admiringly!

Our walk then took us away from the river, through woodland, and via a trout farm to the village of Hebden where the group had lunch, dividing into those who wished to sample the delights of a local hostelry and those like myself who had brought butties! After lunch we pressed onwards and upwards on the first real climb of the day through long abandoned lead mines. At the top of the valley we turned back towards Grassington, passing through gently rolling farmland, and when the village came into view in the valley below us we made our final descent passing through a series of stiles eventually reaching the village once again mid afternoon.

The village was bustling with activity and the many pubs and tea shops were doing a roaring trade. Actually life doesn't get much better in my opinion than the Sunday afternoon we spent in the confines of this beautiful Yorkshire outpost, outside one of the many inns with a cooling pint, listening to live music provided by a local brass ensemble, especially as I felt we had all earned it through hard graft.

I would personally like to thank Dave for organising such an imaginative walk providing something for all ages passing as it did through such a variety of settings, and I am sure all who took part would agree with me - more of the same soon please!