This Thursday saw 8 wheelers arrive in the Shambles and unlike last week the forecast was for a warm and possibly sunny day. We left Wetherby on time and headed for York on the Walton Road. The pace was brisk and we took turns riding into a headwind that by my reckoning should have been a tailwind. The group comprised of Greg, Mike Bosomworth, Mark, Steve Ward, Pete Dack, Dennis, Mike Graham and myself. After a bit of congestion going through York, we headed out towards Stockton on the Forest. I think a few people had Dean’s garden centre in their heads as a nice pleasant morning coffee stop but I had other ideas. We were heading to Breezy Knees and it was only another couple of miles and had recently been vetted by Nick. To my horror and the obvious disappointment of the group, we found out the cafe closed on the 31st of September. I hold my hand up! (Editor’s note: and September only has 30 days…)
We set off towards Bossal, Crambe and Kirkham Abbey where there was a faint possibility that I could redeem myself if the English Heritage shop was open. Surprisingly it was and we all queued for a coffee and biscuits and then were able to sit and enjoy the magnificent surroundings. A beautiful spot in the sunshine. We then headed up the hill towards the Stone Trough Inn and turned left heading for Menethorpe via the Derwent Valley. Our enjoyment was soon ruined by a tractor that managed to spread hedge trimmings over a distance of about half a mile. Pete Dack was unlucky and picked up a puncture but thankfully had tubeless tyres with sealant. Mike Graham was not so lucky later.
We rode into Malton and most people were happy to go to the station cafe for lunch. There was a slight panic when we realised that it was cash only but we all managed to sit together and the speed of service was exceptional.
The return leg was to head for Easingwold and we took the road for Castle Howard and Terrington. Then it was down Terrington Bank and a right turn for Whenby and Brandsby. A really nice quiet and pleasantly undulating route. It was now Mike Graham’s turn to pick up a puncture but he managed to nurse the bike into Easingwold where Greg heroically changed the tube for him. The rest of us were of course helping by keeping out of the way. The Fika Cafe being a suitable viewing point.
There were no punctures for the final leg back to Wetherby and Dennis and Mike departed for home at Great Ouseburn. Passing through Cattal we managed to pick up a friend of Steve Ward after which the pace of the ride picked up significantly. Apparently, an old time trialist. Eventually we got to Walton and then everyone then headed for home. A fantastic day for October with 84 miles on the clock.