Many years ago there were lots of Clarion Houses. Now there are just a handful; but we are lucky enough to have one in easy riding distance at Roughlee, just outside Burnley. For those who want more information you can find it on this link http://www.clarionhouse.org.uk
The clocks had just gone back, and it was a dry Autumn morning, but I think even Ride Leader Graham Joyce was surprised to find 18 riders ready to set off on the ride from Mytholmroyd Community Centre. As well as the regulars, we had 4 Imps (Holly, Joe, Lewis and Sarah), two refugees from Huddersfield (Carl and Steve), and even Mike Darke put in an appearance. All welcome !!
The outbound ride itself is nothing to write home about, along the A646 to the coffee stop at Towneley Hall. We could have gone up to Slack and along Long Causeway, but many of us had been that way before earlier in the month on the Season of Mists Audax, and we had some big climbs to face on the way back. We kept together throughout, though an escort was provided for the slower riders so they (he) did not get lost or left behind.
Clarion House was lovely as always. A shrine to the early Socialists, replete with slogans, tributes to Keir Hardie, and other lefty ephemera. It is now open only on a Sunday, but the huge mugs of tea and coffee, and the sweet jars full of Kitkats and Mars Bars were as welcome as ever. Today it was very busy, we brought 13 (the rest peeled off after Towneley Hall) but there must have been as many others there at the same time as us.
The journey back was a lot more strenuous and interesting. Only a short distance after setting off we picked up the Season of Mists route, which we stuck to religiously, through Nelson, up the climb past the golf course to Coldwell, before tackling the shocker climb that is Thursden. We took this easily, and regrouped at the top so we were more or less together all the way back to Mytholmroyd. Forty miles in total, back for 3 pm.
Thanks to all who came out, it is nice to see such a level of interest in a “destination” ride at the beginning of what hopefully will be a successful season of winter rides.
Lots of people posted their photos on Facebook; here are mine.