Sunday, 26 June 2011

The Arrival of Summer

This is my first blog entry in nearly two months. The recent inactivity is mostly due to a new hobby of mine called blipping, which has consumed almost all of my spare time - in a good way I like to think! There is a link on the right if you are interested in seeing what this is all about. I also picked up a nasty bug at the beginning of May which scuppered my Fred Whitton and meant that I struggled around the Etape du Dales with a chest infection and not exactly firing on all cylinders, getting home in just under 8 hours. In the meantime a new cycling club has been formed in Ilkley and has grown to have over 400 members already. Uploading my blip for the day, I was late arriving for the inaugural meeting and missed out on acquiring a job! The success of the club and its phenomenal growth has a lot to do with the power of social networking. This story deserves a post of its own, which I really must get around to sooner rather than later. Note to myself!

This morning I joined the Club A ride heading out to do the Buckden Triangle, but planned to leave the guys at Kettlewell to do my very favourite circuit in all the Dales, a 76 mile roller-coaster with every single one of those miles through the most scenic countryside imaginable. I've not completed a long ride since the Etape du Dales, so I was expecting it to hurt ... and it did! It probably wasn't the best strategy to do the first 22 miles to Kettlewell at such a brisk pace with the club, but it was a lot of fun.

I only need to report that once on my own I made a lot of stops to take pictures on what was a breathtakingly beautiful day. The weather forecast predicted a return to summer weather, and they were spot on. It did indeed get positively warm in the afternoon. I had to dig very deep in the last 20 miles, which was into a freshening southerly wind. Ideal conditions for dessication! There wasn't much left in the legs at the end. I clearly needed this ride to remind the leg muscles how to store Glycogen. It's a damn shame they forget so quickly!

No more words really necessary. The pictures tell the story ... (Click on any image to see a larger version, then click on the back button in the browser to return to this page)

Looking down Wharfedale from Kettlewell towards Barden Fell

The second section of the climb of Park Rash

Looking back into Wharfedale from the top of Park Rash

Stream feeding into Coverdale

Coverdale Hill Farm



Dales Barn

Cut and Uncut fields at West Grafton

West Witton

Muscovy Duck at the pond near Ellingstring

Mallard cooling off?

Leighton Reservoir

Who pulled the plug out?



The clouds are building to the East ... but almost home!

As I post this tonight I am feeling completely jiggered, but I really wanted to put up my photo account of such a great day. I know if I hadn't done it tonight it would never have happened!

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