Road Ride – Golden Acre Park to Burnsall

The Leeds posse had suggested a ride out their way for a change. It’s about a year since the last one so it was time to make the effort and get out there again.

We planned a route from Golden Acre park just north of Leeds out to Burnsall in Wharfedale and back by a different route, the total distance being just over 50 miles.

It meant an early start. I was up at 06:00 to eat my usual porridge breakfast in a relaxed mood, rather than getting up later and having to rush about. I’d given myself plenty of time but I completely forgot that I’d noticed a slow puncture on my rear wheel the last time I rode my Basso. I remembered just before setting off for the station but I didn’t have time to mess about so I just pumped the tyre back up and set off.

I met longers on the 08:00 train and we got to Leeds just before 09:00. Colly had kindly offered to pick us up from the station in his van. We didn’t fancy the 6 mile ride on busy roads through the city to Golden Acre park. Colly was waiting for us at the back of the station so we loaded up our bikes and headed north.

When we got to the park, Bokonon was waiting for us. I made a beeline for the toilets in the park on the other side of the busy A660. Be really careful crossing that road folks – there is a lot of fast moving traffic. I only noticed later that there is an underpass from the car park to Golden Acre park itself.

By the time I returned, Zacklaws had arrived. I first met him a couple of weeks ago on one of my CycleChat forum rides.

That only left Andy, from Otley, a.k.a. andyfromotley for some reason – how do people think up these weird forum names?

It wasn’t long before Andy turned up. I’ve only met him once before, on a forum ride of mine round the Forest of Bowland which had to be cut short due to bad weather conditions (the only time that has happened). He told us that he’d had a chest infection over Christmas and was still suffering the after-effects. The cool damp conditions were aggravating his asthma so he was to find the going tough at times on the ride.

We headed north on the A660 to Bramhope and then turned left onto quieter roads up onto Otley Chevin. Unfortunately the weather conditions were disappointing today. The forecast up until yesterday had been for a sunny day but all we got was low cloud and drizzle. Visibility was poor so there aren’t many photographs from this ride, I’m afraid. It was so murky at times that we decided to do most of the ride with our rear lights on.

We got spread out on the climb up to Ilkley Moor but regrouped before the descent of the Cow and Calf. Will (Bokonon) warned me to watch out for a cattle grid towards the bottom but I’m afraid that I didn’t see it in time to slow down and hit it travelling at 75 kph (47 mph)! 😯 Fortunately the grid is in very good condition…

We passed through Ilkley and got onto a nice quiet road round to Beamsley.

A short stint on the busy A59 took us to the B6160 through Bolton Bridge. We continued past Bolton Abbey and up deeper into Wharfedale.

My rear tyre was feeling a bit soft so I stopped to pump it up with my new Halfords ‘mini track pump’. I really like it – it is easy to get your weight down on the handle rather than having to rely on arm stength. There is a flexible pipe to attach to the valve so there is no danger of ripping it out of the tube, the way there is with push-on pumps.

We did take a few photographs on the way up the B6160. Here’s one taken looking down over Club Nook Farm at the Wharfe.

Murky Wharfedale
Murky Wharfedale

We crossed the Wharfe at Burnsall and headed back down the valley on the splendid little road through Appletreewick.

For some reason, everybody seems to miss the right turn about 1 km after the village. I did it on my first Spring into the Dales (SITD) and most of the other riders rode straight past it today and had to be called back.

Another 7 km of scenic undulations took us to Cavendish Pavilion where we had our lunch stop. It wasn’t too busy today, but by the time that SITD comes round it is usually heaving with people.

It’s a bit expensive in there – for example, it was £3.50 for a cheese salad baguette – but there is a wide choice and it is in a lovely location.

We took our traditional group photo just in front of the tearooms…

CycleChatters, L-R: colly, ColinJ, Bokonon, longers, andyfromotley, zacklaws

The real catch with stopping there was that we had to go straight into the stiff climb of Storiths with cold legs. How longers was doing that kind of climb on a fixedwheel bike, I don’t know!

After Storiths, we emerged onto the A59 and a quick 1 km descent took us back onto the lane we’d come down earlier, but this time we turned left up the hill to Langbar. Now this one has a fearsome reputation. A local sportive event takes riders up it late in the ride when legs are tired and many riders are forced to walk it. No such problems for us today.

Longers was winching himself up the climb on his fixie ahead of me. I saw him stop and bend down to pick something up at the top of the steepest section of the climb. It turned out to be some gels that had come out of the pocket of another rider who had ground to a halt and fallen off his bike in front of longers. We met up with the other riders who were waiting at the summit for a friend who came whizzing past me as if on the flat – sickening, huh? 😕 One day… Actually, I will never be young again and I’m not built for that kind of climbing, but I can certainly get a lot better than I am at the moment.

I found Langbar tough, but not that tough. I have low gears on my bike and can cope with that kind of thing. It’s not in the same league as Park Rash, Fleet Moss or even my local beast – Mytholm Steeps. Having said that – my legs ache now, as do my arms and shoulders from pulling hard on the bars!

We took a nice undulating road round to Otley, where Andy said farewell to us.

We climbed round Otley Plantation and ended up on the B6161, then A658 to Pool. Wanting to avoid the steep climb out of Pool on such a busy A-road, we headed towards Arthington on the A659, and turned right to climb up a quiet lane through the woods to Bramhope.

From there, it was a quick run back along the A660 to Golden Acre Park. My Etrex GPS clocked the ride at 82 km or 51 miles

I recorded a tracklog on the ride and have posted it here on Bikely in case you fancy tackling this ride yourself.

Colly dropped longers and me back off at the station in Leeds and we didn’t have long to wait for our train back.

Despite the disappointing conditions, it was another great day out with my cycling pals. I ache a bit this evening and can feel that I’ve lost some fat from round my waist. If I did a couple of these rides a week and a couple of shorter rides or walks, I wouldn’t have any problem with my weight!

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4 Responses to “Road Ride – Golden Acre Park to Burnsall”

  1. Sounds like a lovely ride!

  2. Great company. The scenery was fantastic too – just a pity we could hardly see any of it! 🙂

  3. There is no little thing to tick for comments to be emailed so I miss any responses. Can’t seem to subscribe to comments on my rss reader either. Any ideas?

  4. You had me for a moment there! I don’t tend to subscribe to comments so I hadn’t noticed that this WordPress theme doesn’t have a comment subscription icon down here. If you look further up though, you will see a text link in the block of text between the social bookmarking icons and the Google ads.

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