Wetherby – York, Saturday 9th October 2021, 60 miles

A slightly misty but warm start to the morning promised a good turn-out for the first Saturday ride I had led for a long time. However, at 08:59 the promise remained unfulfilled as I was alone in the Market Square, though I had enjoyed a chat with Mike Bo who was on his bread-veg-meat-fish-parkrun outing. Just as I was contemplating how I would spend the morning alone a rather breathless Sean arrived, having sprinted from Boston Spa.

So at 09:00 the two of us set off on the route I had devised, a loop up into the south side of York, crossing the river near Clifford’s Tower, with a stop at a new (for me) venue on the east side of the river. We crossed the A58 and took the cycle path up to the roundabout, turning right down West Woods Road and crossing the A1 into Bramham. I played my pacing tactic early by allowing Sean to do most of the talking as I tried to pretend I wasn’t breathing hard.

Out of Bramham we passed through Stutton, enjoying – as spectators – a disagreement between two motorists who were both right (according to themselves) and both wrong (according to each other). Up the hill to Raw Lane and across to Ulleskelf we pedalled, seeing plenty of other cyclists out enjoying the unseasonable warmth. Next was Ryther and then Cawood where we turned left on the swing bridge across the Ouse and headed north up the Stillingfleet. I was struck by how light the wind was, the turn from heading east to heading north made no difference.

A left in Stillingfleet took us up alongside the river through Naburn where we had the choice of crossing the river via the cycle path or continuing into York – about five miles difference. Sean’s sense of adventure meant he was prepared to risk my route-finding, with appropriate technological assistance, so we continued into the city. There was plenty of traffic as it was a race day but nothing too bothersome and we used some stretches of the cycle path to make life easier, particularly on the A19.

We rode up through Fulford, bearing left and crossing the Skeldergate Bridge to head back south on Bishopthorpe Road. Just past the Palace we took a little left down Ferry Lane which took us to the riverside and our coffee (and/or bacon sandwich) stop at The Boatyard, the first visit for both of us. There was plenty of seating by the riverside with a mooring area on one side and caravan park on the other – nicer than it sounds – and the coffee and sandwich were approved. An interesting octagonal(?) building is being redeveloped as a restaurant on the same site, formerly a Chinese restaurant appaently. I’d recommend the Boatyard and there were plenty of other cyclists there too. Unfortunately, I have no photos owing to a fault with the memory card in my phone 🙁

After our break we headed down to Acaster Malbis and then across to Copmanthorpe, passing Little Acorns which was my reserve café. From there we took the tiny lane to Colton, ignoring the “Road Closed” signs because… well, that’s what you do on a bicycle. The road itself was very closed but there was a grass verge that was rideable so we continued unhindered, crossing the bridge over the A64 and turning through Bilbrough, up to Healaugh and then Wighill. Since neither of us had a reason to return to Wetherby we turned left at Walton and into Boston Spa where we parted company.

About 60 miles in good company with pleasant weather and a nice pace. I’d recommend the Saturday rides – especially when I’m leading of course 😉