After the washout of a couple of weeks ago, I still had my eye set on the Buckden / Horton loop. 36 miles of wonderful Dales lanes so I check the forecast for Sunday and all was well.
Woke to a nice cloudless sky and crisp frost. Out of the house for 8am and the drive over was ace, mist slowly clearing the valleys and white over fields basking in the new sun. Got to Horton and kitted up, was riding for 9.15!
Not a soul about as I took the road over to High Birkwith. It was however, bloody freezing and I stomped on the pedals to try and get some heat up. Off road climb to Old Ing where I picked up the pennine way. The track was typcial Dales terrain, smooth slippy limestone but the views as the road started to climb were sensational. Stopped at Ling Bridge to have a shufty around and noticed the stone plaque, 1762 the thing was built.
Instead of following Julbag's advise and blasting straight down, I took the BW on the right to head to a small summit without a name, odd. There followed a cracking little descent to Countersett, combination of steep grass and limestone.
From here started the long long climb up to Stake Moss. This really did seem to go on forever, up up and more up. and into a headwind that had picked up. I was pretty glad to get to the top and was rewarded by a wonderfully rough rocky and fast descent to the road at Buckden Causeway. The fun wasnt over either as I took the BW into Buckden, a classic little run, finishing right in the centre of Buckden.
The run up the valley to Beckrmonds was all tarmac and gave my legs a bit of time to recover. I was keeping lookout for a spot up the valley where, 28 years ago, Me and the Old boy Camped by the river while we were walking the Dales Way. All I could remember was it was by the foot bridge and next to the river. Anyway I found it and just how I remembered.