Rescued from Freewheel disaster

I haven’t done much cycling this year, but a trip up to Yorkshire, meant an excuse to take the bike. The roads from Bolton Abbey to Burnsall are amongst my favourite.


I never tire of the rolling countryside, even if the slight uphills, feel more like serious hills these days. I was descending towards the river at Barden when something went amiss. I pedalled and nothing happened. The freewheel had gone. The worst kind of cycling misadventure, there’s not much you can do. I walked up to the B road and tried to ring the taxi of Mum and Dad. But, no signal at all. Apparently, the Yorkshire Dales still resist the encroachment of the modern world. I’m all for that, but it was a bit inconvenient.


As luck would have it there was a phone box literally at the top of the hill. I didn’t know they still had things. It didn’t accept coins. Fine. I had a credit card. But alas it was too good to be true, the phone didn’t work and so I was in a bit of a bind. The only thing I could think of doing was running up the hills and freewheeling down the hills. It might be a long way to get a signal (Bolton Abbey apparently).


However, no sooner had I set off on my walking/freewheeling journey than a kindly gentleman stopped his car. He was taking his 90 year old mother for a drive in the Yorkshire Dales, and offered a lift. The car was even equipped with a custom bike rack. I gratefully accepted and John offered to drop me off at Ilkley Station, near where they lived.

John of JD Tandems

It was perfect for me. As it happened, they both had connections to Otley CC. I recognised the Hargreaves surname from my time with the club. (see Sunday Club Run)

John used to run the excellent JD’s cycles in Ilkley. I definitely used many years ago, and always got good service.

Nowadays John is running a custom tandem shop in Gargrave.

A potential banana skin turned into a very nice experience. Most grateful and if you fancy riding a tandem do check out their shop!


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