Wetherby – Bolton Abbey, Thu 5 August 2021, 64 miles

This week’s Thursday ride, on another gloomy August day, was a race against time to be back before heavy rain set in. There were 8 wheelers in the Shambles to start the ride and despite Mike Graham and Sean having just received their coffees we set off roughly on time.

Sean led the way out of Wetherby at a brisk pace as the rest of us, including me, Dennis, Geoff, Nick, Michael Brawley and Mike Bosomworth trailed in his wake. The first destination was the farm cafe above Fewston. The pace had now calmed down and we took a route via Kirkby OB, Burn Bridge, Beckwithshaw and Little Almscliffe. At the cafe we sat outside enjoying the last of the morning sunshine before heading out on a hilly route through the reservoirs. up the narrow lane to Timble and then over the moor to Askwith. We then turned right and along the back lanes to Bolton Bridge. Here we had lunch outside and were delighted to see Bill, accompanied by his son, arrive to join us.

The return journey was planned to be the normal basic wheelers route, with no added climbs or cafe stops because it was going to rain at 4.00pm and I had more or less promised to get everyone home before the heavens opened. Mike Bosomworth decided to leave us at Beamsley and solo up Langbar to add some climbing and miles to his ride. In hindsight, we might have all done the same.

The rest of us took the roads along the north bank of the Wharfe all the way back to Wetherby. Michael left us at Pool, and Geoff, Dennis and Mike Graham departed at Kirkby OB. That left Nick, Sean and me to arrive in Wetherby in the dry having completed 64 miles. When I got home, I waited for the rain to start. I was waiting all evening. Pleased to report that of course nobody was dropped on this ride although at one point I was sorely tempted.