Author Topic: A hilly loop from Skipton via Malham and Arncliffe  (Read 911 times)

Kim

  • Timelord
A hilly loop from Skipton via Malham and Arncliffe
« on: April 22, 2019, 05:49:21 pm »
(I originally wrote this for print in the ALC bulletin, hence limited wordcount and translation to Firkin/Furlong/Fortnight/Fahrenheit units.)


A hilly loop from Skipton via Malham and Arncliffe, April 2019

Having cycled to the Easter meet on my recumbent touring bike, I decided to take the opportunity on the Friday to re-visit the area around Malham.  My previous experience of cycling in the area was of short MTB rides in the depths of winter, where the dominant feature was wind-chill.  This time, it would be all about the heat.

I set off from the Niffany Farm campsite and headed into Skipton, which was busy with the market in full swing.  The route out of Skipton on the B6265 was uphill, and my Garmin GPS 'helpfully' suggested a detour through a residential street that was even steeper, but thankfully less busy.  I rejoined the Grassington Road at the A65 roundabout, and followed it for a gently rolling few kilometres alongside the railway to Rylstone.  I took the turn-off to Hetton and followed the undulating lanes through Airton and Kirkby Malham, before descending into Malham itself.

Malham was even busier than Skipton, with tourists everywhere and marshals directing drivers to park in a field.  Fortunately the Muddy Boots cafe wasn't too busy, and I was able to obtain a generous portion of cake, and seat (indoors out of the sun) in which to eat it.  As I was chatting with a fellow cyclist who'd had the same idea, I noticed a crowd forming outside; eventually realising that it was people admiring my bike.

Suitably refreshed, I set off to tackle The Steep Bit: Having brake-squealingly descended Cove Road previously, I reckoned that the Malham Rakes route to the Tarn would be a less severe way to obtain the required elevation.  There was no shortage of encouragement from walkers as I winched my way to the top in my 19" bottom gear, stopping only for a photo of the Cove.


Malham Cove viewed from Malham Rakes

Eventually I reached the top, and was able to achieve a cooling breeze on the flat(ish) roads around Malham Tarn.


Malham Tarn viewed from the west

I then followed the road to Arncliffe, which featured the kind of high-speed descending that recumbent riders love - without too many wandering sheep!  Unfortunately what goes down must come up, and taking one look at the double-chevron climb at Nab End, I decided to stop in the shade and let a car pass before tackling it.  A hard sweaty grind later, and I was rewarded with a spectacular view of the scar on the other side of the valley, and a smooth descent into Arncliffe.


View from the cattle grid at Nab End towards Arncliffe

Clicky for panorama

The (relatively) flat route along the valley to Threshfield came as a welcome relief, as I was starting to feel the effects of the sun by this point, and it was good to be making decent progress.  Re-joining the B6265, I headed back to Skipton, this time without the residential detour, as motor traffic is so much less intimidating when you're able to maintain a decent speed downhill.

My Garmin reports 65km (40 miles) in a little over 4 hours, with a total of 1132m (3714ft) of climbing.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: A hilly loop from Skipton via Malham and Arncliffe
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2019, 06:59:46 pm »
Sound.
A nice read.

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
  • Help me!
Re: A hilly loop from Skipton via Malham and Arncliffe
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2019, 07:06:25 pm »
 :thumbsup:

Good write up, Kim.
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: A hilly loop from Skipton via Malham and Arncliffe
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2019, 09:33:06 pm »
Honourable mention (which didn't make the final edit) to the couple I passed on the descent to Arncliffe, who were twiddling up the hill on Bromptons.  One of my previous descents of Cove Road was where I learned to fear the combination of Brompton brakes and multi-chevron descents.  Hopefully they manged to stop before the gravelly right-angle turn into a closed gate, before doing it all again.  Chapeau!
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: A hilly loop from Skipton via Malham and Arncliffe
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2019, 12:36:37 pm »

What's a 19" gear in real speak?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: A hilly loop from Skipton via Malham and Arncliffe
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2019, 12:39:55 pm »
What's a 19" gear in real speak?

1.6.  The inches/metres/attoparsecs are misleading as the bike has 155mm cranks.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: A hilly loop from Skipton via Malham and Arncliffe
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2019, 12:41:41 pm »
What's a 19" gear in real speak?

1.6.  The inches are misleading as the bike has 155mm cranks.

What units?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: A hilly loop from Skipton via Malham and Arncliffe
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2019, 12:42:34 pm »
What units?

Gain ratios have no units.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: A hilly loop from Skipton via Malham and Arncliffe
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2019, 12:43:33 pm »
What units?

Gain ratios have no units.

Fair point, well played.

What's that in MoD ?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: A hilly loop from Skipton via Malham and Arncliffe
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2019, 12:44:18 pm »
What units?

Gain ratios have no units.

Fair point, well played.

What's that in MoD ?

1.5m, but it feels slightly higher on account of the crank length.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: A hilly loop from Skipton via Malham and Arncliffe
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2019, 12:52:42 pm »
Nice photos, good words. A pleasant way to pretend to be somewhere else for a short time.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Re: A hilly loop from Skipton via Malham and Arncliffe
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2019, 09:58:41 pm »
What a lovely report. Thanks Kim  :thumbsup:
Milk please, no sugar.