Today’s route saw me popping over to Northallerton for a brew.
7am start, the roads were damp with cold night condensation and residual salt drawing up moisture to the surface. The low sun was struggling with the layers of cloud hanging west of me, occasionally popping out to reveal the twin wheel tracks worn into the road surfaces, as shimmering lanes of doubt.
From Kendal through Sedbergh, the A684 takes you just about all the way… but it’s a grand route, taking in classic biking destinations, such as Hawes, Bainbridge, Aysgarth and of course, the lovely Layburn. The valley sides, carved out over many years by what is now the River Ure, had a frosting of snow/hail up on the heights of Abbotside Common and Askrigg common… it were a la’le bit nippy. But I suspect the rain that came in after my passing returned them to beige grass tussock and limestone escarpments.
Café Nero seemed to be the best option in Northallerton, so a boatload of coffee and a pain aux raisins helped bolster the core temperature and encourage a laissez-faire attitude to the return journey. I didn’t want to retrace my tracks, but also wasn’t too bothered about the Harrogate or Barnard castle options… but looking at the wall of weather that now cut the eastern skies from sight… it looked like a bit south was the best option.
The road to Rippon (A61) was OK but a bit dreary in the light misting drizzle, but the B6265 to Pateley Bridge was OK and then continuing on to Grassington, the weather cheered up a bit again… in fact, I think it was around here I felt warmth from the sun! I didn’t fancy the Skipton option, so I spotted a circuitous northerly option, in a region I haven’t been… and the glorious limestone walled fields on the way up to Halton Gill even provided some lambs to see… which was nice! And then up and over the high moors by Pen-Y-Ghent and down into Stainforth, then Settle. This then puts you on the A65 past Devil’s Bridge and the blast back to Ulverston.
An alright day out, even if I say so myself!