Wetherby – Masham, Thursday 2nd December, 62 miles

When I posted the Thursday destination this week the response was not too overwhelming and I was wondering if I was going to be Billy no Mates the next day. Dennis became a late positive and Greg and Michael Brawley arrived in the Shambles to ensure I wasn’t on my own.

We picked up Dennis and Ian in Knaresborough, on our route to Ripley and Geoff made a short cameo appearance. It was a cold day and there was a strong north westerly wind which made the start an effort but the bonus was wall to wall sunshine.

Once Geoff left us in Ripley, we headed up Scarah Bank towards Sawley and our first possible coffee stop in Risplith at the G&T Ice-cream Parlour. The internet said it was open but when we arrived it had the appearance of being closed. I apologised for the disappointment and we were about to move on when Ian decided to try the door. Despite appearances it was open and we all went inside to warm up with hot drinks and a few cakes. Great mince pies by the way.

We then headed for Masham on a lovely undulating road that takes you through Grantley and Kirby Malzeard. The lunch stop was Johnny Baghdad’s in Masham Market place. Great coffee and menu but we nearly all went for tea and beans on toast. Great beans on toast though! 9/10.

We now had the wind behind us and an aim to get back to Wetherby by 3,30. We took the direct route to Ripon on the main road and made excellent time by sharing the work. Once in Ripon we could relax a bit and take our time on the Knaresborough stretch. We left Dennis and Ian in Knaresborough and eventually got back in to Wetherby at ten past three. A fairly brisk return that ensured that Michael and Greg had some daylight left for their journey back to Leeds.

Just three more Thursday rides left before Christmas.