A magnificent 7 left the Shambles (now have I got the right way round?) at a slightly late 9.15 – delayed a while by the riders who didn’t come. A slight chill in the air was tempered by clear skies and warming sunshine with a light breeze.
A168 (get that bad boy out of the way so we won’t need to mention it again) up to Walshford and off to Cattal through Wixley over the cobbles at Queen Ethelburga’s then on to and over the “Sacred planks of Aldwark”.
Frank and Steve showing Geoff, Simon, Nick, Mark and Dennis the way, early doors. Taking us most of the route to Easingwold, for coffee, passing through Flawith and Raskelf on the way, in some style.
A multitude had descended on our chosen coffee stop town, the “Big Easi”. Every size and shape of cyclist and bike on display, mostly the “lycra cladarati” lounging around. In the confusion of trying to find a cafe with room for us all we got split into two groups. The other group G, N, M and S apparently had stunning conversations about loads of the most interesting topics ever. Myself, Steve and Frank talked about hills, hills of all sizes and shape. Mainly Yorkshire but not exclusively. Lots though of which we had some grudge against.
Frank left the group here and the rest headed for Sherrif Hutton out by Stillington. Just out of Easingwold we got some abuse from a red car – twice! By the same driver!? The group had split into two, a few hundred yards apart. This car cut both groups up, passing both times purposely and dangerously close at speed, on an otherwise empty carriageway. Nick managed to get the reg. and will be reporting to the police, thanks.
Onwards to Terrington (lunch) via what some of us realised is another hill with a grudge. Simon, Steve and Mark went for the KOM spots, not sure who prevailed I couldn’t see the summit for the clouds surrounding it. Lunch at the post office, excellent food etc. sitting out front and admiring the village stone buildings. Some talk about the possible Air Ambulance sponsored ride to Beverley on June 27? Other conversations about the Welsh for the New Snowdon and something about “a land for free fathers” from G?
On the way back along the ridge to Crayke we had a photo call at Europe’s smallest and least interesting “Turf Maze” some suggestions for its existence were offered – 1/ left by 70’s hippies who couldn’t find any corn to circle? 2/ Dumped by an Irish turfing crew? 3/ Mole with no sense of direction? 4/ Left by little aliens to guide there future mini invasion? We belted down Brandsby bank and on up to Crayke castle to admire the position and view. A quick story about the missing millionaire owner from Nick – think the owner’s wife took one look at the foreboding pile and cleared off back to Marbella?
The once light breeze had picked up into a strong Westerly block head wind and by the time we cheeried off N and S at Topcliffe ominous clouds were threatening. Rain jackets were being donned by the time we split again at Little Ribston M and S south, G and D in the opposite direction.
Thanks Frank, Nick, Steve, Geoff, Simon and Mark and thanks for the 79 miles (from Knaresborough) to the Howardian Hills.