Wetherby – Skipton, Thursday 7th April 2022, 65 miles

Pete Dack, Sean, Michael Brawley, Mike Bosomworth, Phil, Steve Pearson and myself Graham were 7 optimists gathered in the Shambles for a windy ride to Skipton. The weather forecast was for rain around lunchtime but as we set off the sun was on view. I promised a flattish ride to Burley but there was no escaping the route through Sicklinghall. At Pool we took the main road into Otley and we arrived at the Cockpit Cafe dry if not a little windswept.

I checked the weather forecast while we were having our coffee and was pleased to announce that we might miss some of the rain. Steve Pearson received a yellow card for eating a banana in the cafe. He wasn’t in club kit but we are now too well known and it will be red next time. On we went over the iron bridge and the back road towards Beamsley. As we passed through Ilkley Sean decided to peel off as he could feel the early signs of a migraine. A few of us donned waterproofs but no sooner had we put them on: the sun came out.

However, the weather gods were waiting in ambush. We started up the gated road in the dry. Up through the farmyard and yes the gate was open. In to the rather exposed field past the gate and the trap was set. The weather gods now blasted us with a full-on hail storm. Not pleasant on the face never mind Mike Bosomworth’s exposed legs! On the descent towards Embsay the hail and rain eased off but we all arrived in Skipton rather wet.

We went to our normal cafe the Coffee Mill and sat inside. Our return route was fairly direct but now wind-assisted and dry. We passed through Addingham, Ilkley and on to Otley where Michael, Pete and Steve left us to head towards Leeds. Phil, Mike and I took the road to Pool. A quick last coffee and cake in Pool before the final leg home.

Graham