After a washed-out week-end, Monday dawned bright and clear, giving forth the promise of a glorious day, and seeing that our run was to a place that is seen to its best advantage in sunshine, we were duly thankful.
Our usual meeting place at Langrovd was not so crowded as it might have been. only about a dozen being present, but strange to say our leader was amongst them. At 8-15 the usual quarter of an hour’s grace having elapsed, we moved off in the direction of Skipton. A back wind to help us, we maintained a steady pace and soon arrived at this town, which we found to be all hustle and bustle in preparation for the day’s market. We did not tarry long here as we had far to go before lunch, and hunger plays havoc with a cyclists mileage.
Our route lay by way of Bolton Bridge and up over Blubberhouse Moor, the descent of the other side was marred by an unfortunate incident. One of our members taking a corner sharply cut in front of another member, who, in trying to avoid the one in front, was forced into the edge of the road where he ran into a heap of chippings. Fortunately, except for a badly bruised arm, no serious damage was done. After bathing the arm at an adjacent well we were soon speeding on our way again towards Harrogate. Three miles from this famous spa we turned to our left, and proceeding by way of Killingshall and Ripley soon arrived at Ripon and lunch.
Immediately after dinner we paid a brief visit to Ripon cathedral. Some of our members went to the top of the tower, counting the number of steps as they went. When they came down they amused the rest by trying to calculate how much each step had cost them.
Leaving Ripon by the main road to Pateley Bridge we climbed up in easy stages to Studley Royal, where leaving the main road we turned left down a by road to Fountains Abbey, our objective. After parking our cycles under a nearby hedge, we went to the gates of the grounds, but on finding that we had to pay a shilling to enter about half of our members showed their Scottish descent and turned back. The rest of us paid our shillings and passed into the grounds.
Who can truly describe this beautiful old ruin? Nestling there in that beautiful parkland, it almost seemed like a jewel in an emerald setting. To explore this ancient ruin one needs a week or so at least, but we did our best in the time at our disposal. We marvelled at the time it must have taken those pious builders to build such a place that has stood the ravages of centuries. A walk through the Grounds was worth the visit alone. The walks were bordered with clusters of primroses, violets and forget-me-nots, whilst the lawns were well kept. The River Skell winding leisurely through the grounds completed a perfect picture, but it was somewhat spoiled by the raucous sound of a portable gmmophonp blarting out the latestJazz music.
The afternoon was well advanced when we at last left the spot and returning to our cycles once more sallied forth 1n the direction of Pateley Bridge. A passing shower drove us to the shelter of a neighbouring wall from which we watched a skylark soaring heavenward and heard it pouring out its beautiful melody. We passed on again, and on arriving at Pateley a threatening thunderstorm drove us to the shelter of the Talbot Arms, where we filled our 'innards'
Tea over we began our homeward trek, climbing out of the town by way of Greenhow Hill, we pushed on past the Stump Cross Caverns, across Craven Moor and by way of Appletreewick to Barden Bridge. From here the road climbed steeply up over Halton Moor, bringing us to a swift drop down Eastby Brow to Embsay and Skipton onceagain.
The market town was crowded, the fair being in full rwing behind the cattle market. We did not stop as the hour was getting late, but pushed on, and soon arrived home, so ending another glorious day awheel.