“Heathcliff it’s me I’m Cathy, I’ve come home, I’m so cold oh oh oh let me in your window oh oh oh” - Kate Bush.
Fridays first stop, some gravel training around Gisborne forest. Nice laps of gravel roads and a few runs at some of the single tracks, there may have been a couple of runs on some of the more technical tracks to show some of the fellas with big bouncy bikes which way to go. No scrapes and myself and Sarah are feeling faster round the berms. We home based the campsite at a lovely Wuthering heights pub near Haworth, yes Kate bush was played on the stereo regularly. The first camp of the season so it was cold but we were prepared, thankyou Sarah with the foresight for an extra blanket, very cosy, it felt great to be in the tent again.
Thick fog, cold morning, coffee on the gas stovetop and off on the straight and hilly route to Ilkley for breakfast and a shop stop at the Alpkit store. Through the fog down the fast Ilkley moor gravel roads we were greeted with a kind welcome from store manager Adam. He showed us their latest Alpkit foundation projects such as Re: Down, recycling used bedding and jackets and the Continuum project, collecting old equipment for adventurers in need. We left our bikes with the store and went on the hunt for a good veggie breakfast and charity bookshops. A hilly reversed route to a completely different day, sunny blue skies and our morning layers tied to the bike. We wanted to get back to the campsite in good time for dinner and a concert in Leeds.
On a corner in North Yorkshire, nearly back at our site, there on the side of the road on their bikes with his buddy is my housemate. Now I didn’t know he would be there, he didn’t know I would be there, but there we are, on that road bend at that moment. Sometimes the world’s cogs just line up.
Another calm country morning with the strange House of Commons banter of sheep passing bills. Here, here. Another hilly and beautiful ride over the moors, unfortunately in the middle of nowhere with nowhere to be, there are still the world’s worst drivers with classic side swipes, overtakes and breaks, and oh yeah he’s pulled over after some arm signals. Here we go. Came at him hot with the facts, he backed down and gave the bumper sticker slogan “I’m a cyclist myself”, He apologized and moved on. Put it to the back of our saddles and enjoy that huge downhill towards Hebden Bridge for hippies and hot drinks. Lucky for us there was an Easter market on for some delicious savory and sweet treats, filled our panniers and bellies. A beautiful rest stop along a brook to read and energize with bakery goods when we stumbled across a couple of playful lizard friends joining us in the sun, later where signal returned our phones told us that they are native to the UK the Viviparous, common lizard.
A weekend of good routes and roads without many google improvisations and some good pub stops in small middle England towns, fabulous fells, a lack of wind and a bit of sunburned cheeks.
"Out on the wily windy moors we’d roll and fall in green" - Kate Bush, Wuthering Heights