On the 4th June 2012 the Queen’s celebrations gave the green light to South Craven’s finest to cycle round the spectacularly beautiful and quiet Forest of Bowland.
Setting off ay 9am from Barnoldswick Peter G, Steve K, Martin H and Paul F headed West and after an early morning chill, the day exploded into a beautiful day for cycling.
Villages and picturesque hamlets decked in flags and bunting became remarkably commonplace and each bend and summit crested invariably provided a stunning view, the top of Waddington Fell being a typical example. Moving out of Slaidburn we headed north towards Bentham and hardly met a soul and despite a fast pace (ahem!) time was found to stop and take in a panoramic view of all Three Peaks… (and the Langdales or was it The Howgills!!)
Time constraints went out of the window as we stopped at a fantastic Farm Cafe at Wray and indulged ourselves under warm sunny skies. Eventually we managed to drag ourselves away and headed for the climb back towards The Trough of Bowland. This section provided a fantastic view of Morecombe Bay with Blackpool Tower in the distance. A death defying descent towards Dunsop Bridge came and went in a flash and then onto the quintessentially “chocolate box” .. Inn at Whitwell. As we soldiered on bums were beginning to ache and legs growing a little tired and all except Peter G forgot how much of a rollercoaster the route home was.
Despite the bumps the team managed the ride comfortably and enjoyed a well earned 99 ice cream at the finish. The ride was a testing 78 miles and as each Wheeler headed home the smiles were nearly as long.
Due to varying commitments other Wheelers were unable to come along but it is hoped that the ride becomes an annual fixture on the Club calendar. (Have we got a calendar Paul G ?)