Vineyards, Wallets and Dogs. Tuesday & Thursday Ride Adventures

John Wrigglesworth topping Royd Moor Hill
on return from langset

Spring like weather and growing interest has swelled the numbers on the Midweek morning rides in late February with 14 cyclists out on Tuesday 21st February on the run from Havercroft crossroads to Askern via the lanes through Brierley, Clayton and Hooton Pagnell. Four Wakefield CC riders, Geoff Crosby, Peter Mell, a new lady rider and former professional roadman Bernard Burns were at the Lakeside Askern Cafe and the two groups came back to Wakefield together. They even stayed together and waited for James Colley who punctured on Spittlerush Lane between Norton and Little Smeaton.

James Colley punctures near Little Smeaton

Thursday’s rides always head west from Wakefield, seeking out a few hills and on 23rd February the group left the Barnsley Road end of Agbrigg Road to locate a cafe, new to them, in the hills above Holmebridge which is used by the fellow Clarionistas of Saddleworth on some of their forays into Yorkshire. 

‘In the Lanes’, Heading for Clayton

After Wooley Edge, West Bretton, Denby Dale and Upper Cumberworth, we climbed steadily over Crowe Edge and Tinker Hill and up along the edge of Harden Clough with Snailsden Fell in front of us, the Pennines at 1400 feet were typically dark and brooding, to the North, our right, were Hades and Hade Edge. We were pushing into a chill February wind under threatening dark cloud, a most surreal experience, our destination a vineyard!!!

Ken Pickles chases near Hooton Pagnell

The cafe was a delight. Perched above the vineyards on the land of an old sheep farm there were panoramic views north across to Black Hill and Holme Moss. The cafe was full of walkers and tourists, some of whom were there to have a guided tour of the vineyards. Food was good, if a little more expensive than our normal “fuel stops”, but it’s followed by a technical plunge down to Holmebridge and the way back towards Holmfirth.

Held up at Level Crossing near Thorpe in Balne

On the 28th, the Tuesday ride to the Fulham Farm Cafe at Whitley used some back roads to Wintersett, Scharlston Common, Pontefract, Baghill, Darrington and Wentbridge before Ken Pickles punctured near Kirk Smeaton. He repaired it in a Farm Lane entrance festooned with warnings not to Park or turn around in the entrance. At the cafe, Ken and the rest of the group suffered a puncture to their wallets. The cost of a breakfast bap and pot of tea had gone up by 25% to £6:10 which makes it the most expensive cafe we use, or is that used.

2nd crossing delay between Moss and Askern

Wallets were on the adjenda on the first ride in March, Thursday’s pedal to Langsett. The plan had been to head out towards Marsden and John Clayton’s favourite place, Upperthong, but Steve Burton had lost his wallet at Langsett Cafe on the previous Sunday run and after a phone call established that the Cafe owners had found it. 

Ken Pickles misuses Farm sign near Kirk Smeaton as Tony
 Anderson and Steve Burton offer advice but no help

So the run was to Langsett to  retrieve the wallet. The route took in Woolley, Cawthorne, Silkstone, Silkstone Common and Oxspring before climbing over Snowden Hill to drop 400 feet in just over half a mile down Mortimer Hill to Midhopestones. Here,after crossing the busy A616 Sheffield Road we climbed through the village then right onto a lane which includes a wicked little climb away from a reservoir before Upper Midhope. This stretch of road is featured on the video on Calder Clarion Club Run web page with John Wrigglesworth taking the starring role. Along here a Jack Russell terrier charged out of a farmyard and tried to get it’s teeth into Tom McGhie and Steve Burton, before giving up and waiting for Richard Hancock and John Wrigglesworth who were 30 yards off the pace. They also narrowly missed an ankle mauling. At the top in Upper Midhope it was right and downhill to Langsett cafe for a reunion between Steve Burton and his wallet. 

Holmfirth Vineyard Cafe Holmebridge

While we were tucking into bacon and tomato sandwiches and mugs of tea, Ron Roberts and his wife (Wakefield CC) arrived on their tandem. They’d also had an incident with a dog on the way. This one had taken a dislike to the tandem front wheel and charged into it. The bike didn’t budge, but a spoke was broken. Not sure about the dog’s teeth.

Calder Clarion Ride Details

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