Wetherby – Malton, Sun 5th September 2021, 81 miles

With the possibility of good weather, Simon and I ( Nick) turned up at the Wetherby rendezvous just before 9.00 to find Fred on his own and wondering if he was going to stay that way. ‘Relax,’ we said. ‘they’ll be here’.  Soon, along came Graham, Steve Ward and Geoff.  Frank messaged to say he couldn’t make it so in his absence I admitted that I knew the way to Malton and back and became direction finder although it only dawned on me mid-afternoon that they were still looking at me for the next decision. To York  we went  ( Fred turning back at Askham Brian), with some dense traffic along Holgate before  Lendal Bridge and the lovely Minster, and out to Sutton-on-the-Forest. Long name, long village.  First coffee stop at Dales Garden Centre. We nearly went on to a place that Steve had researched but Geoff had a puncture.  Some helped him and some meandered off to the café where, after getting lost among the cacti and gardening tools we met up and lazed in the sunshine before going thro’ the maze back to our bikes. The others kindly pointed out that I was still wearing a mask as we set off- thanks- I would probably have noticed before Malton.

 We explored the other café, Breazy Knees, without stopping and it looks worthy of more investigation.

 Taking the quiet road through Bossall we had to wait a bit at the railway crossing. The Bridge and ruins at Kirkham Priory looked idyllic but we went straight up the hill, left signed Malton and later, left again signed Menethorpe for a nice cycling road, considerately resurfaced not long ago by NYCC. Hence to Malton. There wasn’t much choice so we went to the café by the lights which some of us remember the club using many years ago. They rose to the occasion by opening a back garden for our bikes and providing good beans on toast.

We returned via Castle Howard and Terrington with a little discussion about options at the top of the bank. There was no point or time to deviate far and we didn’t fancy the steep drop and gravel in the Dalby dip so we went for the thrills of the steep downhill towards Sheriff Hutton. It’s a good enough road but one we know well and I was pleased when Graham suggested a detour thro’ Whenby. In fine sunshine this gave us a very happy few miles of smooth road and gentle scenery with cornfields and woods eventually bring us to Brandsby, then Crayke , then Easingwold for tea. The predictable last few miles were disrupted by another puncture, on Geoff’s back wheel. Graham and Steve had to move on- something about an appointment in a pub, leaving Simon, Geoff and me to cruise back down the lanes together. A classic days cycling.