A day in the Dales

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Both Matt and I had the week off last week and with a new car we thought we’d take advantage of the rare glorious weather and venture further afield than Ilkley with a trip to Burnsall, North Yorkshire in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

My idea was to have a leisurely stroll and take in the stunning scenery, Matt’s idea however was for me to get some much needed practice in and “get a bloody move on”. After I threw a bit of a strop a 1/4 of a way in I like to think we met a mutual understanding at the tea shop – right Matt?

The ride was shorter than my usual distance at 45.6km but after a few weeks off the bike and well a few extra pounds around my stomach I did struggle for the first half even though by Yorkshire standards it was “pretty flat”. (Top Tip – NOWHERE in Yorkshire is flat).

Buckden marked our half way point and we stopped at a quaint tea room/B&B called West Winds Tearooms which had a garden so beautiful you felt you were in the secret garden.

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After adjusting my handle bars and seat to make for a more comfortable ride, a slice of lemon drizzle cake (highly recommend) and can of full fat coke we made our way back to Burnsall, this time much quicker. The sugar rush clearly kicked in and I felt much more confident navigating the country lanes (arguably tracks in some locations), practicing some bike skills and I even managed to keep up with Matt – until we got to the hills.

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I’d say the two real hills we went up (or at least I attempted to get up) were pretty disastrous on my part. I had a nightmare with my gears and ended up having to get off half way up on both which was extremely frustrating when I knew I had done harder and longer hills on longer bike rides in the past. The few extra pounds gained recently were definitely apparent so I seriously need to up my game and concentrate on hills  which I’m pretty sure I’m going to hate but I’ll give it a whirl…

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Once the gear nightmares were over with the descent back down into Burnsall village towards the river was a breeze and the sense of freedom I felt with that stunning scenery around me just reminded me why I’ve started cycling.

What better way to cool down after a bike ride than a dip in the river ey? After we’d dipped our feet in and I’d washed the chain oil off my legs (really need to clean my bike) we soaked up the sun for a little longer and enjoyed an ice-cream. Perfect way to end!

I let Matt drive home as country lanes are not my friend and safe to say I was pretty terrified by the hills which Matt pointed out he regularly goes out on with the club. Safe to say I’m a long way off that level of fitness, but I won’t say no to a challenge…

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P.S – Thanks to this one for putting up with me.

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