Myself (Simon) and Nick benefited from an extra half hour in bed as we agreed to meet the rest of the gang on the A168. Having deliberated whether to fit mudguards before leaving and choosing not to, Nick and I were rewarded with a sharp downpour on our way through Cowthorpe to the A168. Seamless timing enabled both groups to arrive under a bridge for shelter at the same time. Sporting wet derriere’s we were lead on our way by Frank along with Graham and Bill. Due to individual commitments it was agreed to curtail the planned ride slightly with a revised destination of Thirsk. We continued up the 168 (this is now becoming my favourite number) to Boroughbridge at which point the rain had more or less petered out. From here the road and conversation opened up as we proceeded to ride through Norton-le-clay, Cundall, Topcliffe towards Busby Stoop junction . Here we did a couple of laps around the roundabout as we re-evaluated the destination and elected to go to Northallerton. At this point Graham peeled off towards Thirsk to enable him to get home in good time and no hot water. The ride proceeded up the relatively quiet A167.
On arrival at Northallerton we struggled to find a suitable cafe but, after a bit of local advice, we retraced our steps to South Side Coffee House. This was a pleasant outside spot but for those of you with a disposition to grade the quality of beans on toast, the menu was rather disappointing. Nevertheless we enjoyed our re-fuel and following some further advice from a fellow cyclist, we proceeded to make our way along the most enjoyable stretch of the ride through Warlaby, Newby Wiske, Maunby, Kirby Wiske, crossing the A167 and on into Thirsk entering by the racecourse.
From Thirsk we wound our way back to Boroughbridge along the well trodden path of Sowerby, Dalton, Sessay and Pilmoor. At Boroughbridge the group split again with Bil and Frank opting for a speedier return along the beloved 168. Nick and myself took the Aldborough, Dunsford and Whixley route back to Tockwith.
In summary, an enjoyable day out and not back too late.