Dales Autumn Escape: Day 3/4

A full day of cycling but not a particularly strenuous one. If you remember, I have purposefully switched off Strava and the like for this trip to the Yorkshire Dales. The only things measuring my distance are the CatEye ‘computer’ (the word seems a little grand for the basic functions that it offers) and my own internal geographical intuition. I’d guess at no more than 50 km. The computer is nudging 100 km since I set off (on the train) from hone but it did spend a bit of time asleep this morning so a few kilometres have gone unmeasured. But who cares?! Kilometres are not the point of this trip.

There was lots of filmmaking today. You’ll have to wait to see the results until I get home, download the mp4 files from the camera and edit them into a film (that could take a while…) but I’ve finally embraced all that faffing around that involves setting up the camera, cycling past the camera, going back to retrieve the camera etc… There are numerous variations on this theme (cycling past camera as it points at a distant mountain, pointing camera at bicycle and cyclist as they eat egg mayonnaise sandwich in Clapham, cycling back towards camera in the opposite direction in the hope that anyone watching resultant film will not spot the continuity error… You get the idea.) These shots will be intermingled with the iPhone videos to make a film worthy of a special prize for ‘non-perilous expeditions in the north of England’ at the Banff Adventure Film Festival. Perhaps…

Today’s route was basically as follows. Cue bullet points:

  • Youth Hostel to café in Malham (not very far at all)
  • Malham to Kirby Malham to poke around the church, especially in the box of books left for exchange in the porch. Bill Bryson used to live in Kirby Malham and the residents are clearly keeping hold of their signed copies. Lots of Jilly Cooper etc… (wonder what the bishop thinks of that), an original Life on Earth book (probably worth something) and an interesting tome based upon a Channel 4 programme from 30 years ago about Bernard Levin journeying up the Rhine. I imagine his style was somewhat different from modern-day TV travellers. The travel theme continued in an edition of Saga magazine with Michael Palin on the front. Bill Bryson clearly left the locals with a passion for travel.
  • Kirby Malham to Settle via the route that I didn’t take a few years ago when I stayed at the campsite in Gordale.
  • Kirby Malham to Settle via exactly the same route that I followed a few years ago. I only realised this when I looked back towards Malham cove and the view was very familiar. Here’s a tweeted video of the journey over the moor and into Settle:

Back to the bullet points:

  • After coffee and cake at 3 Peaks Cycles, following the instructions in the leaflet from the Dales Information Office picked up yesterday, a bucolic cycle in the afternoon sunshine to Clapham via Austwick. Another tweeted video coming up:

More bullet points? OK, if you insist…

  • Late lunch in Clapham; the aforementioned mayonnaise sandwich, a can of Coke, a small tube of Pringles and a large oat cake smothered in chocolate for only £4.42. I queried at the village shop if they had missed something but they hadn’t. So, if you find yourself in the pretty Yorkshire village, you now know where to buy lunch.
  • Short cycle to Malham train station in time for the 15.23 to Leeds. I hasten to add that I got off at Hellifield and… what’s going on there??? I need to visit Wikipedia. One moment. Talk amongst yourselves…
  • …I’m back. Well I have news. Which is that… there is no news. Bizarre. Hellifield station is large, beautiful, ornate. It’s almost as if Queen Victoria had a holiday home nearby and the forning sycophants of the day decided to build her a big station for her occasional visits. That doesn’t seem to be the case. Should you ever want to remake The Railway Children, Hellifield is your station. Jenny Agutter et al take note.
  • Cycle back to Malham via Otterburn (nice video of me cycling past the ‘Yorkshire Dales’ sign…), Airton and Kirby Malham.
  • Pootle around the mean backstreets of Malham before a return to the Lister Arms for a pint.

As yet, no sketching but the night is yet young. Tonight it could be the Youth Hostel to be on the sharp end of my fibre nib. As for tomorrow, a return home. That will be a long cycle and for most of the trip I will be joined by friend-to-the-stars Craig Dodson. Well, our local MP Craig Whittaker. It’s the closest they get to ‘celebrity’ in Brighouse… Another pint I think as I contemplate the view…

Categories: Adventure, Cycling, Travel

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