A mighty band of 8 riders assembled outside St Mary’s Church for a 9:15ish start – Frank, Pete C, Pete D, Bill, Alec, Sean, Steve P and me, Mark. Frank had told us to expect showers so mudguard-equipped bikes were the order of the day, though in turned out that we had a dry ride. The destination was declared to be Easingwold via Raskelf, with an option for a longer return – which nobody took in the end.
Rolling out over the river and up Rudgate we picked up Nick at the crossroads with the Wetherby road and continued to Cattal at a pleasant and social pace. Up through Wixley, over the wobbly wooden bridge at Aldwark then through Aldwark village and up to Raskelf and into Easingwold. Spoilt for choice we chose The Fika Room for our coffee stop – strange name but nice coffee and an excellent (and large) slab of rocky road for me. Towards the end of our stop we were treated to the welcome appearance of Dennis, looking fit and ready to join us for part of the ride, making a total of 10.
The restart was preceded by a discussion of possible return routes but there was no significant appetite for an extended loop to Coxwold so we plumped for a Boroughbridge option via Brafferton. When we reached Boroughbridge three rides split off: Dennis towards home in Knaresborough, Pete D taking an alternative through Roecliffe and Frank going direct on the A168. The rest of us went around the usual loop through the Dunsforths and Ouseburns and then Whixley and Cattal. Sean picked up a slow puncture along the way but pumping up the tubeless tyre once was enough to get him home, despite the hole not being located. Nick turned off at Tockwith and Bill at Walton leaving four of us to carry the Wheelers flag home into Boston Spa.