Wetherby – Cusworth Hall, Doncaster, Thursday 10th March 2022, 83 miles

This week saw 9 riders meet in the Shambles with Steve Ward arranging to meet up mid-ride. The group comprising Graham, Mike Bosomworth, Michael Brawley, Steve Booker, Nick, Glyn, Fred, Pete Dack and Phil Webb left on time and headed south through Thorpe Arch village, Boston Spa and Bramham. Just outside of Bramham we split into two groups with the aim of meeting up for coffee in Birkin. The route took both groups through Sherburn and with the faster group putting in a longer added loop I was surprised to arrive at Birkin fisheries to be met only by a lonely-looking Steve Ward. The other group soon arrived and I think most people were happy to sample the rather nice-looking cakes.

I then tried to brief Steve about the route ahead and luckily Steve appeared to have some recollection. We set off again in two groups towards Womersley and Campsall. After going past Little Smeaton I was a little worried when I saw Steve take an uphill road towards North Elmsall. I hope he knows where he’s going.

My group were now on the road through Burghwallis and Skellow. Then it was over a stationary A1 via a footbridge and on to Hampole. Yes, where exactly is that? I was now getting worried that Steve’s group might be on their way to Hemsworth or some similar destination. I shouldn’t have doubted him however as approaching Hooton Pagnell his group arrived and passed us. There were a few reassuring comments needed at this point along the lines of “look I promise it’s not far now”. And it wasn’t, as we were soon taking the posh gate and drive into the imposing grounds of Cusworth Hall. 

The Cafe itself was a bit full to take us all but some decided to sit outside while the rest were comfortably seated in the “dog house”. The food was excellent and the service was quick. Can’t fault the cafe at all. However, it was a fairly late lunch. We were leaving at about 2.30 and we were relying on a tailwind to get us home briskly. Plus, our memories of the route back to the A19.

My group set off first with Wardy occupied. Thankfully we negotiated our way onto the A19 without any problems and the promised tailwind pushed us at a good pace down to Whitely Bridge. Then it was over the M62 and via Kellington to Beal and Birkin. My group then headed back to Aberford through Sherburn, to make life easier for Glyn on his way back to Leeds. Steve Booker, Nick, Phil and myself arrived back in Wetherby at about 5.10. I hope everyone else made good progress. I was a little apprehensive about this route but I think everyone enjoyed the day.