Wetherby – Masham, Sunday 27th February 2022, 60 miles

A good start in Wetherby with nine riders on a cold but sunny day. Aiming for Masham, one of our favourite towns for scenery, routes and cafés, the bunch consisted of me (Nick), Frank, Simon, Steve W, Pete D, Mark, Paddy, Steve B, and Bob Johnson. We collected Geoff in K’bro.

Geoff hasn’t been quite his usual self recently so he and I, with Frank, let the others ride away whilst settling for a gentle pace in the sun, swapping a few bad jokes as we went along. We had planned a detour between Grewelthorpe and Masham but that plan was spoilt by my getting a back wheel puncture in the suburbs of Ripon. It proved quite slow to fix since the old tyre had developed a strong attachment to the rim and the bit of wire which caused the puncture was difficult to remove. Geoff even tried getting his teeth to it. I’m not sure that I should approve of that. The better news is that this was the first outing for my new tool for getting the tyre back on and it worked well so it will be useful and is very light to carry. Talking of tools, Pete Dack’s mini pliers would have got that wire out easier.

By now we knew we were out of contact with the rest but there were enough riders in both groups who could navigate all the roads between Ripon and Masham so we didn’t lose any sleep over them. Meeting ex- Wheeler Roy North on the way, we got to Masham as they had finished lunch and were ready to leave. There was no point in their waiting so we wished each other a good journey home and we went to the Bordar House Café before wondering why we hadn’t seen Steve and Paddy. Had I checked my phone, I would have found a message but no problem- they were together and OK.

Roy went off to climb to Swinton, Bob joined our group and we took the Hutton Conyers road to Ripon, then K’bro . The sun continued to shine but we had an increasing headwind on the way back. Frank and I stopped for a late tea and cake just outside K’bro before the last breezy stretch.