Final details from Mike about his ride scheduled for next Saturday - 15th September 2012
I plan to leave the start point at the old quarry at the top of Orton Scar (GR 628098)at 10:00am, (on the left just before the cattle grid on the B6260) north of Orton. From here we will descend through Crosby Ravensworth, The Meaburns to Bolton, Colby and onto Appleby (15miles). Most of this first part of the route is downhill on good roads, so we should be in Appleby well before 11:30 for tea. There are several tea rooms to choose from.
We leave Appleby and follow cycle route 68 past Burrells and Rutter Force, turning left in Great Asby (up the only arrowed climb of the day) through Soulby and into Kirkby Stephen for lunch (25 miles), again there are several cafes, three chip shops and two Co-ops selling food to choose from (including the cycle friendly Pink Geranium who sell inner tubes and energy gels and have a good selection of cycling magazines).
If the weather is fine I plan to slightly extend the intended route to Hartley and along the cinder surfaced old railway, crossing Podgill and Merrygill viaducts to emerge onto Nateby Road (if it rains we will go straight up to Nateby without this loop).
From Nateby we will continue to Pendragon Castle then turn right up across Wharton Fell and onto Easgill Head then Smardale. From here we cross a ford (which is very slippery, crossing the footbridge is advisable) and fairly steep uphill to Crosby Garrett (very slippery climb if wet). We then retrace our steps to Great Asby (tea, coffee available in the Three Greyhounds) and then the final leg up to Bank Moor and then back to the start point.
The ride length is 50 miles (47 avoiding the Hartley loop). There is some significant climbing, but mainly gentle gradients.The ride can be shortened for those who don't fancy the whole route by returning directly to the start from Great Asby and avoiding the Kirkby Stephen leg.
I rode it on a particularly windy day last weekend and found the drag up from Great Asby to the finish a bit of a slog, but it was a 30mph headwind! Given a calmer day, it's a great ride.
Hopefully this preview won't frighten too many members off!
Telephone Mike on 07557-982522 if you need any more information.