Boston Spa – Askern, 15th June 2021, 70 miles

A lovely sunny morning saw nine Wheelers gathered by the church in Boston Spa – Nick, Pete D, Pete C (welcome back !), Frank, Bill, Geoff, Ken (also welcome back), Steve P and me, Mark. We also had a special guest appearance from Pete G, sporting rock star locks and sunglasses and in search of a barber. Some time ago he told me that he wasn’t going to get a haircut until Leeds United were playing in Europe but under the circumstances we’ll let that pass. He was in good form, not ready to get back on the bike just yet but putting in plenty of walking miles. We also had a visit from the vicar of St Mary’s who told us that there is a toilet in the church which we can use – worth remembering.

We split into two groups, Frank, Pete C and Ken taking a gentler course to help Ken get re-acquainted with the way of the Wheelers. The remaining six of us set sail for Askern, riding through Bramham to the oddly-named Paradise Way and through Aberford and then Micklefield. We turned to cross the river through Beal and then through Kellingley, Cridling Stubbs (great name) and Womersley before dropping in to metropolis of Askern.

The warm weather (in the sun) and light breeze meant that the model boat posse were out in force, with only one shady table free at the café. We grabbed the table and joined the one-at-a-time queue to enter the café and place our orders. Time could have been saved by having a menu which was visible from outside and the kitchen knowing what was on it but we were in no hurry and the food and drinks were fine.

Saddling up for our return Bill reminded me that I had led a swift return from Asken in the past but I couldn’t remember the route so gave way to those that had a clue i.e anyone else. Heading north on the main road through Eggborough we took a turn into Kellington and found a sign at the junction which had suffered badly at the hands of a passing truck or tractor. It showed the places we wanted to go to but none of the pointers aligned with the roads, let alone our expectations. Nick popped down a turning and asked a local plumber for assistance, who told us to continue down the road and it would lead to Beal. This turned out to be plain wrong, the road was a crescent (or U-bend) and we soon emerged back on the road we had started on. I hope for the sake of his customers that he is a better plumber than a navigator. Technology was deployed and within minutes we were in Beal where once again we crossed the river and were back on course – Birkin, Monk Fryston, Sherburn, and Tadcaster. Steve P cut loose just before Tadcaster and Pete D turned in town, the rest of us continuing to Boston Spa. Nick had to endure the close (in)attention of a car attempting to pass him on Boston High Street when he was on the right-hand side of the lane and clearly indicating right. Bonkers.

Mark Lawrence