Wetherby – Easingwold, 11th April 2021, 55 miles

Just three riders out today – Simon, Gareth (potential new member) and me, Mark. Cold, bright and sunny with light but chilly winds.

An inauspicious start to the ride for me today, as I discovered I had a puncture when I went to get my summer bike from the garage. The choice was to swap the inner tube or switch to the winter bike and since changing bikes would mean changing shoes as well I opted for a swift tube change. I never found the source of the puncture but I manged to set off roughly on time.

I was expecting to meet a potential new member, Gareth, in Wetherby, though he lives near me in Scarcroft. On the A58 I overtook a well turned-out older gentleman, who I assumed would be Gareth. However on the approach to Collingham I was overtaken by another rather younger rider who was clipping along swiftly. Never one to pass up the chance to draft I grabbed his back wheel through Collingham and restored some pride by getting ahead on the hills out of the village. I arrived at the Market Square in good time only to be joined a couple of minutes later by the quicker of the two riders I had met – Gareth. Shortly we were joined by Simon and after some preliminary chatting and waiting we concluded that there would be just the three of us.

I had a wide selection of routes in my Garmin to cover most eventualities so I plumped for something in the middle – up through Knaresborough to Boroughbridge, across to Easingwold and back over Aldwark Bridge. We set off through Kirk Deighton and rounding a corner were greeted by the sight of a road full of sheep. Not something you see in Barnet, I agreed with Gareth. Meanwhile, Simon had the good sense to take a picture (below).

The weather was cold but bright with light winds so we made good progress and were warm as long as we were moving. Up through Knaresborough, Farnham and Staveley, across to Aldborough so Simon could check the properties and then through Boroughbridge. There were plenty of cyclists out and Plenty was open but we didn’t stop, going up through Helperby and Raskelf to Easingwold. We stopped for coffee and cake at Tee Hee – in fact they had almost sold out of cakes – and enjoyed the sunshine in the market place with dozens of other socially-distanced cyclists.

The road home called so we set off – Aldwalk Bridge, Whixley and Cattal. We waved goodbye to Simon in Tockwith and rode down to Rudgate to Boston Spa, aiming to go through Bramham to Scarcroft. However, Clifford Moor Road was closed for much-needed resurfacing so we continued to Wattle Syke and down the A58 to home. Only half a day but plenty of exercise and a good time was had by all.

Alec – Gareth would like to know if there is an option to pay in installments 😁😉😁

Mark