Burnley and Pendle

Cyclists Touring Club

Ewe Moor - c1930

Bumpity-bump! Crash! Here we are again, the same old crowd on the same old bicycles, pursuing the same old way over the same old cordially detested setts towards the same old meeting place at Higherford. Phew ! The time was about 10-15, as we rolled up to the forms there situated, to find a good number of members performing the weekly assault on their tyres with their usual panting and groaning. One member (no names; no pack drill) was luxuriantly lolling at his leisure on said forms, looking a veritable picture of old age. But cease this drivel; on with the business. Having rested long enough, the leader crawled off up Blacko, and we all trooped along in the rear. We had reached Blacko Bar, when a sudden April shower caused us to take cover in the lea of a barn, and J.H.G., being unable to worm his way under the shelter, had the audacity to purloin my cape. "The deluge finally subsided, my cape was restored, and we rode on. From the top of Coldweather, a glorious view of Ribblesdale was obtained, the air being very clear. Pendle reared itself on our left, and in the far distance, our old favourites Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough, were easily discernible. The whole view was set-off by huge cloud-banks, fleecy-white, mass upon mass of them piling up like cotton-wool, with occasional breaks, revealing glimpses of blue sky beyond. Then, we were shooting swiftly downwards, our tyres screaming a high crescendo, and the wind whipping past our faces viciously. Gisburn soon hove in sight, and as quickly, dropped astern; we were on the Settle road, with the pace resolving itself into a gentle potter. Gliding smoothly on, everything was in accord; the sun shone brilliantly, and the wind, creeping softly through the new budding trees, seemed to whisper "Spring is here.” Even the birds had caught the tremulous message and were giving voice; a blackbird chattered in a coppice ; rooks wheeled to and fro, while numerous small birds skimmed the hedge tops, intent on their own business. The road wound on, as roads with which we are very familiar, yet which never fails to fascinate, now rising, now falling; at times alongside the placid-flowing Ribble, turning and twisting, it led us on to Settle, where we stopped for lunch. Most of us had disposed of lunch, when two of the "disgraces” put in an appearance, bringing with them the "Womanhater,” very haggard of mien. I will not comment further on this, save to say. that they had come by way of Hunter Bark, a rough detour away from the main road. To pass the time away waiting for this trio, some of the members went touring Castlebergh, while two others, aided by a lady member, proceeded to demonstrate their hill-climbing abilities on Constitution Hill. When at last we were all ready, and the wanderers had returned, we took the road again, over Constitution, through Langcliffe, passing on to Stainforth. Here, Sarkikus decided that we should go his way, having not a bit of consideration for the ladies present. His way, of course, necessitated the carrying of our bicycles over some stepping stones, finally breaking out into an arduous and stony path, which, as “Womanhater" put it, looked like the side of a house. Laboriously we traversed our hilly path, breaking the journey for a welcome peep at Catterick Force, a small but pretty waterfall nearby. From here, the path petered out into a mere track, blossoming out later into a rideable road, and glad of the opportunity, we mounted and rode on. Soon, glimpses of Malham Tarn were caught, sparkling in the sunlight, and shortly afterwards we passed on to Ewe Moor, the official destination of the run. A stone tower caught our eyes, and as we had plenty of time 'to spare, it was inspected. It turned out to be a dis-used kiln, and great excitement was provided when J.H.C., Willmay, and I tried to climb it. Under the able direction of Sarkikus, who thoughtfully stood at the bottom, telling us how it should be done, we succeeded like Tarzan of old, in gaining the top. Thoroughly pleased with our little selves, we descended, and rejoined the others who had wandered away, to find that Sarkikus was now childishly engaged in damming a little brook that wound over the moors. And now comes the day’s titbit, that sent us into paroxysms of mirth. Two members were finding the widest places across the brook, and egged on by Sarkikus, who stood watching, a look of hopeful expectancy on his face, waiting for them to fall into the water, they endeavoured to jump across. Each time they were successful, so Sarkikus in disgust, went back to his former occupation of damming the brook. He was working industriously, when he put his foot on an insecure piece of banking, and in an heroic attempt to recover his footing, he slipped, plunging up to the ankles in muddy water, thus being hoist with his own petard. This proved too much for us, and shaking with laughter, we rolled on the grass in agony. Oh, Sarkikus! I shall never forget the dismayed look on your face as you gingerly extracted a sodden foot out of an equally sodden shoe. To crown all this, we obtained his shoe, and sailed it down the brook, where it was chased by an irate owner, hopping on one leg. He recovered it, dried it with tufts of grass, and we pushed on. The moors soon gave way to the road, which drops steeply into Malham, and here we had tea. Tea over, we were subjected to half an-hour’s exquisite torture, namely singing. At least, that’s what the chief torturer called it. When our shattered ear drums could no longer stand it, we repaired outside, where two members gave an exhibition of how to jump a hump-backed bridge at speed, providing a few thrills. We eventually tired of this, and turned homeward, passing contentedly along, as the sun, in dying splendour, stained the western horizon with vivid streaks of crimson.

- BOOKOSS

News

Return to Group Rides (amended)

Only last week we wrote that with the (then) current restrictions, and exemptions for organised group rides, we felt able…

Bridlington - May 2020

The current situation with the Coronovirus pandemic is very unlikley to be other with by May, so it's extrememly unlikely…

Quiz Night - 17th February 2020

Our Annual Inter Club Quiz will be held at Boyce's Barrel in Colne on Monday 17th February 2020 - 7:30pm…

David's 90th Birthday Party

On Sunday 1st March we will be celebrating David's 90th birthday. David has been a life long cyclist, and is…

Christmas Lunch - 2019

Our Christmas Lunch and awards presentation, this year, will, once again, be held at Rolls Royce Leisure in Barnoldswick, on…