Wetherby – Skipton, Sunday 19th September 2021, 68 miles

Hey – low turnout. What was wrong? Skipton? The weather forecast? The company?

Simon couldn’t do the ride but in a neighbourly way, he accompanied me into Wetherby where we met Steve B and were soon joined by Frank. Nobody else arrived so Simon went for a short spin and Steve, Frank and I got going. Steve had announced that he would be leaving us for home at Bolton Bridge. The forecast rain met us shortly before Otley and stayed with us for some way after but it wasn’t heavy and soon stopped when Frank and I put on our raincoats, as we thought it would.

Everything was going on at Ilkley with the Ilkley and Bradford Triathlon and a nearby Gymkhana. We passed all this to arrive at Bolton Bridge café with its usual assortment of fine bikes propped against the walls. We stacked Steve’s on the outside of Frank’s and mine so that his was the one that showed. Over coffee, Frank and I tried gently to get Steve to continue with us but no luck. It sounded like he had a good dinner being cooked for him at home so we could see his point. He went back, we went on ,stopping just for a photo en route to Embsay and Skipton.

The usual café was open and welcoming. In the absence of the Wheelers craic, we exchanged a few words with two Scottish motorcyclists and soon headed back thro’ Addingham. By now the Ilkley and Bradford Triathlon was in full swing. I don’t think anybody mistook us for competitors, in fact, I’m dead sure they didn’t, but some of the spectators cheerfully gave us a round of applause. Just for riding our bikes, I suppose. Tea at Pool and an uneventful ride back finished a good day- pity there weren’t more there to enjoy it.