Wetherby – How Stean Gorge via Masham, Thursday 16th September 2021, 80 miles

As every local lad used to be able to tell you, Yorkshire has an acre for every letter of the Bible and some over. Steve’s route into Nidderdale, taking in some of the county’s lumpier and picturesque acres, had attracted ten riders: Bill, Steve B, Steve W, Geoff, Mark, Mike B, Mike (Knaresborough), Chris, Nick and me Michael.

Rolling out in good weather and two groups we took the usual route to Knaresborough then Ripon and the road up to Grewelthorpe where we encountered jaywalking ducks and some nice smooth new tarmac. After descending into Masham’s market square for coffee and cake at Border House Mark told us he’d been stung in the back of the throat. After visiting, in order, the chemist, the GP surgery and the chemist, he popped some antihistamines and declared he’d carry on. This stoicism was nothing compared to patience had had to show in the face of both reasonable and half-brained medical advice from his clubmates. Fortunately, the incentive of retaining the tourist trophy kept him going.

Bill and Steve B left us after coffee leaving a group of eight to take the lovely rolling road to Lofthouse up and down Trapping Hill to lunch in How Stean. Following lunch, we rode into Pateley and turned RIGHT for the joys of Greenhow Hill including traffic signals halfway up. After regrouping in Greenhow village to recover and/or throw up, we clipped down into Otley for a final coffee before rolling back via Harewood Bank, Creskeld Lane or Kirkby Overblow depending on our destinations. A grand day for seeing the broad acres.

Michael Br