Boston Spa – Thirsk, Tue 20th July 2021, 66 miles

On the 20th July, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human ever to walk on the surface of the Moon. Fifty years on to the day 9 intrepid cyclists, from Wetherby Wheelers, met in Boston Spa to embark on their own voyage of exploration into the stunning scenery of North Yorkshire.

The cyclists involved were, initially, Sean, Frank, Bill, Nick, Michael B, Steve W, Pete Dack, Fred, Nick and yours truly, Steve P.

Before departure though, Pete C’s wife appeared and kindly gave an update on the condition of Pete, following the previous week’s accident. Pete has been given the option of surgery or not to have surgery. Coincidentally, the surgeon who examined Pete told him he had operated on Mark Cavendish a few years earlier when he crashed in Harrogate on the Tour de France.

Towards Cattal, met up with Nick and Steve B (a big, welcome return after lay-off due to several reasons)
Onwards and upwards through Whixley then over the Ure through Aldwark. Soon after, the crew passed Tholthorpe and Frank pointed out that there used to be a WW2 RAF base there. The airfield was the home of both Halifax, Wellington and Lancaster bombers in the war. On the right of the road the old Control Tower could be seen and, in Tholthorpe itself, the old hangers now appeared to be warehouses.

After Raskelf and Hustwaite, a toilet stop was followed by several photoshoots as Kilburn approached. One of these was an attempted novel and dynamic upwards shoot of Steve W and Frank approaching. This initially created some consternation, then relief, as some ride though I’d suffered an accident.

Sean left for important business near Boroughbridge.

Shortly after, and entering Coxwold, a traditional cafe stop had closed down However, the club discovered a new and delightfully rustic and friendly cafe, called the “Moonshine Cafe”, open Mon-Weds. The manager chatted at length to us about WW activities and her own history, especially with Nick. WW put a very favourable review on her website and was thanked for this.

On to Thirsk along Sutton Road and lunch was taken outside in the Market Square. Bill and others indulged in a Gregg’s special tuna panini, which may have explained an impressive later burst of energy. By this time the temperature had risen to 26+ degrees Celsius. It was the hottest day recorded of the year in the UK, 32 deg recorded in London.

The route home was as usual, via Dalton, Essay and Brafferton. The pace was beginning to pick up and included an explosive interval session after Brafferton, through Milby to Boroughbridge.

The group then decided to stop at “Rabbit Hill Cafe” for a welcome last drink stop, though Pete D carried on.
Steve B declared that he would be getting a good shower as soon as he arrived home and then would be sitting in his underwear for a while. It wasn’t totally clear to the group if this was a threat or a promise, or something else.

After this, the group headed home completing a very hot, but enjoyable day’s cycling.

Special bonus: A short video from Steve Booker of the mighty WW peloton coming out of Kilburn

Steve Pearson