Boston Spa to Masham via Ilton, Tuesday 21st September 2021, 70 miles

Vying for the position of Club Poet Laureate I am again your Scribe for the day.

Eight of us met up at Boston Spa church, they were Frank, Mark, Pete C, Bill, Steve P, John, Nick and myself Steve B. Warm welcome to John who we hadn’t seen for a while. He was sporting his new bright red Specialised electric bike, he certainly looked the part. Frank had planned a ride to Masham but with a twist

.We set off over the Wharfe and up Wood Lane to the Walton road to Wetherby where we avoided the town and joined the Knaresborough road at Kirk Deighton. The usual route took us onto Farnham and past Bishop Monkton to Ripon where the plan was to stop for a coffee at the Sun Spa cafe. Now you think the number of times we visited the place we would know it was closed on Tuesdays. What a useless lot we are. 😊 John needed to see if he could find this new table tennis venue so we all waited at the church for him to rejoin us.

While waiting Steve P had his second banana of the day and I noticed on his bike the sock covering his water bottle. See the pic. I inquired politely as to the reason, he explained it stopped the bottle rattling in the cage. Is there no bounds to this man’s ingenuity! 🤔

We set off up the long drag to Grewelthorpe at a pace allowing me to keep up. At a comfort break, I managed to steal a march and get ahead to take some action shots of the group cresting the climb into Grewelthorpe. Plenty of pics.

It was here that Frank updated us on the route via Ilton. John and Pete C chose to ride directly to Masham enabling them time to have a five-course lunch. The rest of us set off up the hill with me grinding away at the rear. The views as expected were great and again we managed some more photo action, check out the fat lad at the back. Keep up.

In negotiating the ford Nick avoided a bath this time. On past the Swinton estate to Masham and a well-earned break for lunch

.On arrival both John and Pete were there with Graham Brake who had started late and had ridden to join us there. Does he qualify for points Frank ? Steve P had another banana!

We set off back but John took the Nosterfield road wanting to join the A168 and avoid the narrow lanes and the dangers of hedge cutting debris. This was to bite us later.

The rest of us headed for West Tanfield, Wath, Hutton Conyers and Boroughbridge. We then took the A168 home but not before stopping at Rabbit Hill for refreshments. It was at this stage I took a call from Steve P. He wanted to know where we were? It appears we had lost him coming out of Boroughbridgewhile our heads were down over the bikes peddling like mad to keep up with Graham 😂🚴 A strong tow.

Fortunately, he soon caught up and received a rapturous welcome on arrival. 👏👏 On leaving I discovered I had a soft front tyre, pesky thorns. As I am tubeless (no jokes please), I pumped it up and was able to make my way home without too much concern. Nick abandoned us at the Cowthorpe turning and I baled out a short time later wishing everyone a safe finish to their ride.

Thanks to Frank for another top ride and to everyone for their support late on. Another enjoyable day’s riding.

P.S. Did Steve P have another banana?

Steve B