Wetherby – York, 16th May 2021, 50 miles

The torrential rain and thunder of the two previous days meant that the WhatsApp line on Saturday evening was full of good reasons for not riding a bike on Sunday. Surprising how many people had just cleaned their bikes. Over a bit of bike maintenance on the afternoon, Simon and I had reckoned it was worth having a look in the morning and a positive response from Graham, along with a decent morning took us into Wetherby to meet him and find that Geoff and Bob had also turned up in nicely matching, (but non-Wheelers) jerseys. Even they didn’t think that the destination on the runs card, Fridaythorpe, was a goer and being just slightly cautious of the weather we decided that bacon butties at Crockey Hill were very desirable. So off we go ,still in sunshine thro’ Tadcaster, Appleton Roebuck, ( what a nice name) to Naburn and Crockey Hill. The Café has been slightly extended and decorated with rather scary pictures of strawberries on motor bikes,* ( don’t ask me!) but the Wheelers cultural chat was only slightly interrupted by the revving of 1000cc engines, and the bacon and eggs etc. were good so we will no doubt continue to support them.

Still enjoying fine weather and the dark clouds keeping their distance we opted to cross York for Beningborough. York is attractive by the river and the Sustrans track is useful, if not ideal for our style, so we stuck on it for a bit before joining the pedestrian free route just before Overton. Approaching the Farmhouse Café in Beningboro’ Park, no-one complained when Bob and Geoff in the lead swung in there for another coffee. Thinking of the weather and the now not so distant clouds I knew we would pay for dawdling but I thought it was worth it. And it was. Coffee came with cake this time before we headed towards the “ Sacred Planks of Aldwark.”( D. Moorhouse), where the clouds were looking a bit nearer. Sure enough, just after Geoff and Bob had split off for Knaresboro’, the rain came down, nothing much at first but getting heavier as we went along. Simon and I were nearest to home and turned in fairly wet but we hadn’t been in it for long. Graham and the others had a few more miles to go but I think we would all agree that our decisions at breakfast time had turned out right. ( Lucky! ).

* Memo to self. should have photo’d the strawberry. These pics are boring. Do better next time.

Nick Hopkinson