Bramham – Copmanthorpe, Sat 7 August 2021, 40 miles

An early – well, earlier – start at 8:30 was agreed for the Saturday ride, using the power of WhatsApp. This was to avoid the heavy showers which had been forecast for the morning, which was actually quite bright but rather windier expected. Three of us assembled at the war memorial in Bramham: Keith, Darren and me, Mark. Keith set out a proposed route that had the useful property of never being too far from home if the heavens opened. It also fitted with his need to get back by 12:30 to help out a friend. Darren and I were jealous that Keith had a friend but didn’t let it spoil our day.

We set off at a jaunty pace across to Boston Spa and through the centre of Wetherby, keeping an eye out for Simon who we picked up at the turn for Kirk Deighton. Pushing on northwards and then east we took the turn for Cowthorpe, up the cheeky little hill, past Simon’s house and then through Tockwith, with the nagging blustery wind making its presence felt.

Just before Long Marston we turned left and then right on a pleasant lane which avoided a chunk of the main road to Rufforth. Turning right (south) in Rufforth we headed through Askham Richard and hopped over the A64 to drop into Copmanthorpe. A quick time-check showed that we had enough in hand to stop at Little Acorns for coffee, plus a well-packed bacon sandwich for Darren. We were joined for a cameo appearance by Graham, who had just popped out for a quick forty-miler and was stopping for coffee, a bacon sandwich and a read of the paper. He took the wise precaution of delaying ordering his food so he didn’t have to ride back with us.

Leaving Copmanthorpe Keith managed to take the wrong left turn, one of only two in the entire village, but soon caught us up. Through Acaster Malbis we found reasonable shelter from the wind provided by the hedges and the twists of the road. We continued south to Acaster Selby, an infrequently-visited place I suspect, then turned west through Appleton Roebuck, Bolton Percy and into Tadcaster. Here Darren and Simon headed towards Wighill – the former to get in a few extra miles and the latter because that is his way home. Keith and I took the Boston Spa road and then forked left up Bar Lane and back into Bramham.

The pace seemed to have picked up since my last Saturday ride, which perhaps shows that I was slowing the group down previously… A very pleasant route, good coffee stop and not a drop of rain.