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10th to 13th August 2006: Lancashire Group Dent Weekend

- Ride report -

The ride photos of the Saturday ride

At the cafe stop in Dent

Regrouping stop on the road up Deepdale.

The view looking back down into Dentdale.

The view looking back up Dentdale on the climb up the bridleway to Little Combe Hill.

Regrouping stop to look at the view at top of climb.

Heading along Green Lane

The view looking across South Lord’ Land down to Barbondale Road.

Brian crossing the ford in Barbondale.

John Kemp and view looking up Dentdale.

Following the bridleway through the woods down to Barbon.

Ken on the bridleway around Holme Fell.

Ride Report by Rob Burrow

Thursday

Fifteen members had arrived by lunchtime at Dentdale YHA to start our Dent Break. Charlie from Preston, who was camping in his van, rode up to meet us for the ride. Brian kindly took Val’s Daughter (who was unaccustomed to our type of riding) and Danny on a lane ride into Dent village whilst I led the rest of the group up the Artengill Beck bridleway. This bridleway is a stony pull up until the Dent Fell bridleway joins it about 2miles up the valley. The Dent Fell bridleway is ridable for most parts, and has a grassy descent down to the old coal road from Dent Station to Garsdale Station over Garsdale Common. This quiet tarmac road is extremely steep and brakes where full on for the drop down to the village. Here a strategic decision was made to make the short diversion east to the Moorcock Inn for liquid refreshment. After a good recuperation period we made our way on the A684 towards Sedbergh. On reaching Dandra Garth we turned onto a bridleway and into a wooded copse, following the track for a short distance before heading out across peaty moorland where I took the wrong line only to be confronted by huge peat hags, which we had to haul the bikes over. John and half a dozen others meanwhile had followed the wall a little way and rediscovered the bridleway route. We all regrouped to continue our journey. Michelle at this point offered to carry my bike, which I of course, after a few minutes of mind wrestling had to decline. (Such is the spirit of the Lancashire group). It was on the track over Thorn Wold that Don had his second puncture of the day. He completed the repair in minutes, showing his vast experience in cycle maintenance. We won’t mention the previous patch. (Oops!). At least he chose a picturesque spot to stop. We all took advantage to absorb the view across to Dent Station and the upper reaches of Dentdale and the viaducts before continuing our journey into the valley below joining the road at Cowgill, then continuing on to the showers coffee and our evening meal at the hostel, before walking off our excess on the mile trek down to the Sportsman Arms to finish a great first day.


Friday

This morning somebody said that the gent’s dormitory had sounded like Whipsnade Zoo the night before. (I can’t think what they meant).

Don once again had cycled down to meet us, and Geoff and Lynne also joined us for the start this day. John Kemp had kindly agreed to set off with and advance party at 9:30am on the ascent once again up over Artenbeck Gill, but instead of taking the Dent Fell track we were continuing onwards over Widdale Fell. My party set off at 10am after waiting for any other members to join us as Charlie did once again. We met the advance party at Dairy Farm as agreed before heading on the lovely undulating road down Widdale, taking a small lane left to Appersett. This lane is a much prettier route down into Hawes than the main road. On reaching the busy market town of Hawes, Brian went with Danny to try to get some new brake pads for Danny’s mountain bike. He tried a bike shop only to be told they did not stock that particular type. The old fashioned blocks clearly have advantages over the new style disc brakes in that all bike shops stock the blocks.

The rest of the party spent their time in the cafe or walking around the shops.

After lunch we headed out towards Burtersett and the lane up to the old Roman Road turning right at SD905883. We followed the Roman Road, which gave wonderful views of the northwest end of Wensleydale and the valley around Hawes. We eventually met the tarmac again at SD863854 dropping down to SD860846 before rejoining the old Roman Road taking us over Cam Fell to Cam End and on to Gearstones then heading north on tarmac towards Newby Head and the lane on the left that dropped us down to the Hostel and a well deserved recuperation before our evening meal.

Saturday

Dave Howgate joined us this morning, having cycled over from a wild camp, setting off at 5:30 (now there is dedication for you). After a refreshing cup of tea he headed down to the campsite opposite to the Sportsman Inn to set up his tent before joining us for the ride at 10am. Don once again joined us and Simeon met us as we stopped for coffee and snacks for lunch in Dent. We headed out of Dent on the Deepdale road turning right onto the bridleway at SD719854 to meet the walled track at SD710845 here we turned right and continued on this high level track passing the right turn down to Flinters Gill and Dent continuing on until the Barbondale tarmac road was reached. Here we turned left on what is my favorite downhill in the Dales. We never touched our pedals until we reached the lunchstop at the bridge crossing Barbon Beck. Here Dave showed true rough stuff drum up, brewing up on his primus stove with stream water. After lunch we continued on the bridleway on the opposite side of the Beck down to Barbon. After a short detour to the village shop we continued on the newly tarmaced but little used leafy lane through Applegarth and Middleton to meet the B6256. We turned right here and headed towards Sedbergh, turning right again at SD630890 to follow the minor road to Holme Fell. We then joined the bridleway that follows the dismantled railway, cutting a corner off the minor road. This bridleway proved tougher that expected with a fallen tree blocking our track, shortly after negotiating this we came to a boggy patch, and I trusting in Brian completely followed his track only to end up thrown by my stead as the forks sank down into the boggy peat. Ken who was following in my slipstream also took a tumble completing it with a forward roll just for entertainment value. (Sorry Ken didn’t mean to block up your bike lock). Eventually we met the minor lane to discover we had only saved about 1/2 a mile. At least it was another Bridleway bagged. (Thanks Simeon). The road back to Gawthrop saw the party get split. As I said goodbye to Don who had parked in Sedbergh an advance group set off for Dent some of that group found the pace a little to fast for their liking and started to drop off the back, fortunately I picked them up on route whist the rest of the group were already seated in the cafe in Dent when I arrived. After refreshment some stayed in Dent to look at the craft fair, some rode with Brian on the north less hilly side of the Dale whist I took the remainder on the south side of the valley back to the hostel and our evening meal. Even those who were tired somehow found the energy to make the trip down to the Sportsman, and John even rode down. It nearly was not such a good idea as it was pitch black outside the pub when we left and he had great difficulty in getting the numbers in the correct order on the combination lock. He blamed the darkness, I however think that the bottle of wine he shared with Sol whist cooking his tea and the extra strong native brew he sampled in the Inn may had been the real reason. He did however light our way back to the hostel even if the beam did keep wandering into the trees every now and again.

Sunday

Our last day saw Anne leave us early but Ken’s son joined us for the day. It was nice to meet him and he is a true chip off the old block (if Ken will excuse me calling him an old block.) The weather had closed in and the tops of the fells where shrouded in mist.

John and Sol wanted to leave early and decided to ride the road to Ribblehead, Danny and Brian took the track through Mossy Bottom into Little Dale, and arranged to meet us for lunch at the pub at Ribblehead. I meanwhile wanted to do the bridleway from Whernside Manor over Great Wold to Little Dale and down into Ribblehead. Dave and Don joined us once again for the ride, and we were surprised to see two huddled bodies waiting for us on the track up from Dent, it was Geoff and Lynne (it was great that they could join us again). The track is a steep pull up from Dent totally unridable until it levels after about one and a half miles. It then becomes a ridable green lane just below the summit of Whernside over to our right. We could not see it however as the tops were still shrouded in cloud. The peace of this green lane was shattered as three off road motorbikes came noisily past. As we dropped down from our high level route we where past by large parties of ramblers making their way up the recognized route to Whernside. This is the most popular mountain to climb in the Dales and also the highest. One lady, if you can call her that, struggling up the route with a pair of alpine ski sticks, gave Ken a mouthful of abuse about bikes should not be allowed on mountains, threatening to put her sticks in his wheels. Ken informed her that we had every right to be there as it was a recognized bridleway, and she was most probably causing more damage with her sticks than we were. After this short altercation we continued down the bridleway to Ribblehead where we met up with Brian and Danny for lunch. It was nice that John and Sol called in on their way back home after their ride to say their goodbyes.

After lunch we struggled up the road to Gearstones. Michelle claiming that she had eaten too much. Eventually we reached the track to High Gayle Farm, which led us over Gayle Moor to meet the road to Dent at Mossy Bottom (I do love that name). Here we said our goodbyes to Don who had joined us for all of our rides traveling out from his home to meet us. (Thanks Don you were great company).

After leaving Don the ride finished with a super downhill to the hostel where after a last cup of tea we said goodbye to each other and to the hostel as it is the sad end of an era as the hostel is now up for sale, and we will not get the opportunity to revisit it again. It holds a lot of good memories for the Lancashire Group and no doubt many Whipsnade Zoo nights.

Thanks to all who attended the four days of rides and also those who made the decision to join us for the odd few days.

You can click here to see ride photos of 20th August ride around Little and Great Langdale or you can check out forthcoming events on the Diary of cycle club Events. Also checkout the What’s New Page to see what’s new on the site and you can also signup for site’s free weekly newsletter.



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