Wetherby – Otley, Tuesday 26th October 2021, 50 miles

9 wheelers met for the ride: Frank, Pete C, Kenn, Alec, Sean, Mark, Pete D, Steve B, and myself, Steve P. A good welcome back from their travels for Alec, Kenn and Sean.

The forecasted potential drizzle never materialised. Frank led us through Cattal and Whixley then Arkendal and Farnham before leading into Knaresborough from the north, which made a pleasant change. Despite the dismal, though dry, weather the Riverside was very busy, and the Wheelers plumped for the Black mulberry cafe.

As planned, the group split into 2, one party heading back to base whilst a party of 4 decided to forage further into the wilds of North Yorkshire. However this led to a serious situation….the rides leader could not be in charge of 2 groups, bar the use of holograms or some form of wireless contraption…….enter Steve Booker ! Steve speedily devised a route heading westerly out of Knaresborough, past Rudding Park, and Panel, over Burn Bridge ….next stop Norwood. The Norwood edge climb was achieved reverse to the normal way. This didn’t mean the group cycled backwards but that the normal ascent became the descent.

Whilst there was some disappointment in the group about not being able to achieve the normal climb Mark disclosed a previous encounter at meeting a group who ascended Norwood climb repetitively to achieve the equivalent Mount Everest ascent. A similar WW expedition was discussed but only tentative plans were made.

Onwards and downwards, the group, hungrily and feverishly sped towards Otley. Like an eagle swiftly descending onto its unsuspecting prey the group ‘landed’ on “No 9 the Rumblin Tum cafe”. Cheese and tomato, tuna, and double egg sandwiches were happily digested before the party headed up Otley bank towards Eccup, Alwoodley then Shadwell. Steve B and Mark then headed north home whilst Pete D and myself chanced the Coal Road / new Orbital route roadworks towards Scholes. Thankfully, and with my utmost confidence in Pete D, we managed to achieve the route to Scholes by climbing over partitions on York Road and headed home.

The quickly devised route by Steve B revealed definite rides’ captaincy potential and was duly noted. The ride was a complete success and Steve B was thanked by the group, as was Frank (though not in person). It is hoped the shorter ride group returned safely.

Steve P