Ilkley Cycling Club hit the road for the first time in more than half a century with support from 75 cyclists of all ages.

The club set out from Ilkley Old Bridge last Thursday evening (May 5), after a welcome by club chairman, Katherine Pimlott, who had to take to the bridge wall to be heard.

Joining the ride was Brian Sweet, one of the riders from the original cycling club, back in the 1950s.

Katherine reminded riders of the three principles of club rides – safety, respect and fun.

Three groups set out, each with leaders, one pedalling all the way to Grassington and back, the second heading dor Burnsall and the third to Barden Bridge.

Secretary Paul O’Looney said: “We were all back before 9pm and then managed to fill the Ilkley Moor Vaults to bursting point as we swapped tales of our adventures over a drink.

“For many it had been the first time they had ridden in a group, and the feeling of teamwork and communal enjoyment was a new pleasure for their cycling.”

Organisers are confident the club will become a firm fixture of Ilkley life again. Thursday evening and longer Sunday rides are now being planned as regular events.

The club will celebrate its launch with a public Pedal in the Park event on Sunday May 22, from noon to 3pm. Anyone is welcome to attend, bring along a picnic, and find out more about the club.

Refreshments and ice-cream will be available and there will be a mini-skills course for children.