The Club Weekend for 2010 was based at Cloughton, just north of Scarborough in September. A total of 30 riders were signed up but an unfortunate injury ruled out Ian and Tracey P at the last moment and Bruce was glad to take up the late offer of a place.
With the usual format of a minibus and van plus three cars, we picked everyone up on Saturday morning and headed for the first stop at Hartshead Moor. Heavy rain and fog on the M62 did not bode well for the day but by the time we reached the start of the first ride at the Designer Outlet at York, the rain had more or less ceased. Once everything was unloaded, we were ready to go on what proved to be an eventful ride. Before we started we needed to fix a loose headset then it was out via Fulford toward York.
Leaving the main road, a pleasant track took us along the river and back to the Racecourse. Disaster struck immediately as the crank fell off Des’ bike. Temporary repairs were effected as the heavens opened and we all got soaked before sheltering under a bridge alongside the busy main road. The rain eased and we joined the Solar system ride along the old railway to Riccall. This route has all the planets on statues at scale distances as we rode supposedly at 10 times the speed of light. Along the way Ian and Des managed to find a nearby house with the tools to fix the crank permanently. Into Riccall for an excellent sandwich platter at the Hare and Hounds as Clare announced a slow puncture. Puncture fixed then an enormous bang as Julia’s tyre exploded. More emergency repairs and we left lunch in two groups. Soon, however, Andy C suffered problems with his gears and mudguard resulting in more repairs. Jim, however, hadn’t noticed the back group was not with us at a junction, resulting in an extra four miles for them as they went the wrong way.
The return run was on flat roads but the rain had one final surprise as the back four got caught in another downpour within sight of the finish. A quick visit to the local bike shop for a new tyre and we were off to Scarborough.
The choice of Cober Hill Conference Centre proved a huge success with very helpful staff providing us with the games room to store the bikes and very comfortable accommodation. Dinner was acceptable and the breakfast was excellent as well as having our own private lounge to relax in. The after dinner challenge this year was held by floodlight as everyone took part in the teddy bear challenge racing wooden teddy bears up strings. It became apparent that one string was faster than the others so the later rounds became a race to get the best string. Des was the eventual winner in a close fought final with Alison. Then, whilst a few relaxed in the lounge, most went off to swell the coffers of a very pleased publican and “hustler” Andy C beat his challengers at pool.
Next morning, the weather was much more pleasant as we rode from the Centre, starting out along the old railway down to Scalby. A short, flattish section did not really prepare us for the heavy climbing which was to follow to reach the hills above Harwood Dale. A very swift descent followed down Silpho Brow before we started a steady climb through Harwood Forest to the Falcon Inn for lunch. Pre-ordered sandwiches helped to get us swift service sitting in the pleasant garden before it was time for the afternoon section.
This started with a path through the woods which had not been previously recced.
We were soon faced with swamps, logs, slippery climbs, single track sections, true mountain bike sections except we were steadily climbing. Leaving the forest, everyone was smiling after the challenge and once across another swampy field we were back on the road and descending to Ravenscar. The final section was a return along the railway again, five miles of steady descent with no need to pedal for the first three miles.
Back at Cober Hill, the sun was shining and the Centre provided us with well-deserved tea and coffee so no-one really wanted to leave the terrace for home. Reluctantly it was time to leave and make our way home after another excellent weekend in good company.