Wetherby – Helmsley, Thu 15th July 2021, 81 miles

Bill, Fred, Dennis, Mick, Sean, Michael, Steve and I met in Wetherby and at 09.35 set off for Helmsley via the White Horse Bank at Kilburn. A fairly stiff pace was maintained, against an at times fairly stiff headwind, to Easingwold where Bill kindly bought the coffees (it’s his birthday on Saturday). For once I did not have cake or toasted tea cake, but others did! Perhaps the high point of the coffee break was seeing Fred without a helmet. Although on reflection maybe not!!

Bill and Fred decided to leave the group after coffee and the six of us headed for the White Horse Bank. Always a good climb, at the top of which both Dennis and Mick headed for home.

That left the four of us to peddle through the delightful valley past Rievaulx Abbey. Whilst the climb out of the valley was a bit of a pain, it was worth it for the descent into Helmsley.

A good lunch was had at the bakery next to the castle. Unfortunately, the positioning of the large waste bins next to the low wall on which we sat to have lunch was less than ideal!

Perhaps predictably the wind began to change direction as we headed back towards Husthwaite and so became a headwind again by the time we reached Boroughbridge, where most of the cafés appear to close by 3pm. Fortunately, we found one still open (sorry can’t remember the name).

Suitably refreshed we abandoned my route and took the back roads towards Little Ouseburn etc so that we could include Boston Spa in our return leg. Steve left us at Walton and Sean at Boston Spa. Michael and I carried on to Bramham (some of us just don’t know when to call it draw), before finally parting company at the A58 in Collingham. I crossed the A58 and headed up Syke Lane before turning for Bardsey. I checked the village duck pond (one of my Parish Council responsibilities) where I can happily report that the Moorhens appear to be raising a second clutch of chicks!

All in all the weather was pretty kind, some superb countryside and hopefully the ride was enjoyed by all.

Mike Bo