It’s here! It's here!
Come and enjoy it ! Come and enjoy it !
Spring! Spring! Spring!
So heralded the throstle from the topmost bough of a hawthorn. Spring had come and no doubt about it: I could feel it in my bones. Everything was in accord, I felt like giving a pound note away to the first person I met, and would have done had I had one — a sure sign that the glory of the nmorning had intoxicated me.
Slowly I pedalled up Greenhead Lane to Fence, and with quickened progress I passed through Wheatley Lane, Barrowford and Colne, to Langroyds, arriving here at 10 o’clock prompt, the time appointed — a thing almost without precedent. Fully a dozen cyclists were gathered there; they had actually arrived before time; ladies, too, mind you. Others began to arrive — some in shorts, some in the latest cut of plus fours, and a few in the proud possession of sweet young things ornamenting the rear seats of tandems. There were cyclists returning from their winter's retirement, others whose faces I could dimly recollect through the mistiness of time, were returning to the fold, after an absence of years, Quite a number were venturing out with us for the first time, and I hope for their sakes not for the last.
In fear of congestion, a start was made in the direction of Skipton, the riders forming little groups. Everybody and everything seemed to be gay, and as each remarked to the other, it was a fine day to be out and about; birds sang, lambs bleated, and sunlight sparkled. It was good to be alive, Skipton was soon reached, and what a sight! Cyelists here, there and everywhere. Clubs from Yorkshire manufacturing districts and clubs from our own districts. bound for who knows where? Happy cyclists — they know how to enjoy themselves!
Warm was the climb out of Skipton to Draughton; a gentle breeze from the rear and a strengthening sun opened many a clogged pore, and soon ties were removed and shirt necks opened. The long descent past the reservoir to Addingham was soon accomplished, and we found ourselves in Ilkley, where it was necessary to find accommodation at three different establishments, owing to our number.
A walk around Ilkley after lunch is an interesting diversion. Its tree-lined avenues the open moors above the town, and the peaty Wharfe below are attractions worthy of repeated visits. A feature that was noticeable was the number of ramblers, many of them ladies — all wearing a happy smile. Happy ramblers, happy cyclists, enjoying much in common, and all are children of the great outdoors.
Leaving Ilkley, we climbed up the winding road to Ling Park, where on the open moorland a lot of our members stopped to play football, etc., whilst we hardier ones went on towards Beamsley Beacon. Leaving our mounts against a wall, we proceeded on foot towards our goal, but we had not gone far before our runs secretary found a frog pond. Here he paused and became so interested in the creatures that he would persist in heaving half-bricks at them to see them move. It was with great reluctance that he left that pond, and in fact, we had to threaten to throw him in before he would leave. We soon reached the top of the beacon, and here we were rewarded by magnificent views: Away to our right stretched the fertile plain of West Riding to lose itself in the mist, Before us was Blubberhouse Moor with the main road to Harrogate cutting across it, and in the background Simon’s Seat reared itself in the sky.
However, the breeze was cold up there, so we did not linger long; we regained our cycles and soon we had descended to Bolton Bridge. As it was early for tea, we paid a quick visit to the Abbey, and here by the river we passed a pleasant half-hour.
Leaving here, we proceeded past. the car park and along an unfrequented lane to Halton East, a pretty village, which like Pisa in Italy, has a leaning tower. Here we found a lot of our members aiready finishing their tea.
Dusk was failing as we left there, and soon we were in Skipton. again. Here like as in the morning, the market place was crowdesd with cyclists - some just going, and others just coming. However, after leaving Skipton we found a strange contrast to the morning. We ran into a mist which became thicker as we neared the home town, and everything was cold and sodden. 1t was just a trick of fickle March; a May day and November night.