Wetherby – Easingwold – Helmsley – Boroughbridge, 1st April 2021, 80 miles

A cold, dry, grey day with a nagging north north-easterly wind greeted the return of the Wheelers club rides but the weather couldn’t spoil the joy of group riding again. Helmsley was the destination, out via Easingwold and back via Boroughbridge.

Nine riders met in socially-distanced assembly in Wetherby – Bob, Pete D, Graham, Greg, Geoff, Sean, Steve, Mike Bo, and me, Mark. Steve had a bit of a false start by subtracting air from his tyre instead of adding it, which required a tube
swap in the car park before he could set off. Graham and Geoff stayed to watch Steve change his tube while the rest set off to Easingwold in two groups.

The not-so-hidden agenda was to get to the cafe well ahead of the chasers, so the pace could be described as sporting into the headwind. Having arrived in good time Sean and I went straight to the cafe at The Fika Room but the rest of the group split off to find somewhere with worse/cheaper coffee. Graham, Geoff and Steve eventually turned up and joined us, with a special guest appearance Chairman Nick who could only join us for the morning.

Refreshed and recovered we meandered purposefully, if that’s possible, through Crayke, Hovingham and Harome to enter Helmsley from the east. The town seemed quiet, perhaps bracing itself for reopening, but Auntie Anne’s Bakery was open for take-away and provided a good selection of freshly-made sandwiches – prawn mayonnaise for me, since you asked.

Bob got a jump on the rest of his group who were too busy talking to notice so we had a long chase up the draggy hill of the A170 Cote Lane to catch him. We regrouped at the top of Wass Bank and discussed the route until Graham arrived and set us right. A steep plunge into Wass was followed by passing Byland Abbey, on into Coxwold and continuing on the quiet, rolling, well-surfaced road out through Carlton Husthwaite, north of Helperby and into Boroughbridge.

The front group – Bob, Sean, Pete, Greg and I decided it was probably time we gave up trying to melt the tarmac and stopped for coffee at Cafe Chez Nous. Greg decided to push on without coffee and Sean was disappointed that they weren’t serving milkshakes but easily found a willing volunteer when he asked for help with his oversized chocolate cookie. We were soon joined by the second group and all rode towards Wetherby on the featureless but oh-so-convenient A168. Bob and Geoff peeled off to Knaresborough at Arkendale leaving five of us to say our fond farewells in Wetherby until next time – see the Club Runs calendar for details.