Wetherby – Beverley Charity Ride, 27th June 2021, 105 miles

This week’s Sunday ride was a charity ride in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance who were called to assist with Pete Galley’s recent accident. You can donate either by getting in touch with Alec or via the JustGiving page which Nick has set up (https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nick-hopkinson). The club will also be making a donation and we hope to hand this over to YAA with Pete once we have collected everything together.

A dozen riders gathered at the start in the Shambles: Nick, Simon, Graham, Michael Br, Pete D, Geoff, Bob, Dennis, Frank, Steve W, Bill and me, Mark. In an uncharacteristic moment of organisation we stopped for a group photograph outside the Town Hall before starting to ride.

The destination was Beverley, one of the longest rides of the year but the weather was dry if a little cool and the wind wasn’t too bothersome. A certain amount of jacket/arm-warmers on/off would be required during the day though. Nick had sent out a detailed route suggestion (586 words) ahead of time but having printed it I decided that the overhead of getting the route out of my pocket, putting on reading glasses and figuring it out at every turn would be too much but luckily the two groups each contained enough geographic skill and experience to ensure that nobody got lost, although a few turnings were overshot.

So off we went, heading east through Wighill and Healaugh, dropping into Copmanthorpe after some shouting to save one rider from disappearing down the A64 slip road. Then it was over the Ouse on the cycle path between Acaster Malbis and Naburn and through Crockey Hill and Wheldrake to cross the Derwent. Our return journey would be the same up to this point but on the outward leg we went south through Sutton Upon Derwent and Melbourne to meet the Market Weighton road near Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, a place with a name longer than its main street.

We made our morning stop at the Beechwood Café on the main road, which had a slightly “vintage” feel but it was popular and they had made good use of their three windows to provide a covid-safe service. Part of the vintage feel was provided by the £5 minimum spend to use a card for payment. Pete was frustrated but Steve benefitted by eating the cake which Pete bought to increase his bill to £5.01. Bacon butties were good apparently, the coffee was not.

We rode on through North and South Cliffe, glancing nervously to our left where the only major climb of the day awaited. In South Newbald we turn on to the delightfully-named Trundlegate to start the climb up and over to Walkington and then into Beverley for lunch. There are two similarly-named cafes in Beverley which are just round the corner from one another: Café Velo and Café V. Needless to say one group went to each so we didn’t meet up until after lunch. We lined up by St Mary’s Church – unfortunately shrouded in scaffolding – and a kindly local took a picture, despite Dennis trying to steal her flowers.

With time marching on and a nice little tailwind we set off on the return at a purposeful pace through Market Weighton, up the hill through Londesborough then Burnby and the edge of Pocklington. From Pocklington we rode into Elvington to stop at the shop for refreshments. There was a slight delay while another customer tried every single card in his wallet to make a payment but we got there in the end. While the first group were just finishing their snacks the second group arrived so we loitered just long enough to say goodbye before getting back on the road.

The last leg was retracing our steps across the Ouse and towards Wetherby, with the Knaresborough Three splitting off in Askham Richard and the Scarcroft One in Walton. Post-match analysis reveals that everybody had a good time and, unusually, everyone rode the whole route – hooray.