Wetherby to Howden, Sunday 10th April 2022, 80 miles

Just three of us started from the Shambles a little later than 9.00am as we allowed five minutes for any late entrants. I think the others were doing the Cyclesense Sportive. Bob Johnson lead the convoy down the Walton Road comprising of two frigates, Nick and myself Steve B supporting the heavy cruiser! The breeze was from the south but nothing untoward. At a steady pace, we headed to Copmanthorpe with Bob not allowing much dawdling and advising me on the best drafting position, apparently, I am not alone with that failing.
The conversation involved Bob updating Nick and me on the forthcoming Audax rides he was participating in during the next two weeks, a ride to Rutland and a Scottish visit from Darlington, good luck with those Bob.
The ride was uneventful as we crossed the river via the old railway line and rode to Crockey Hill, Wheldrake and onto Melbourne via Sutton on Derwent.
After Melbourne rather than take the early turn to Howden we rode further east as Bob introduced us to a cracking loop via some lovely quiet lanes taking in Seaton Ross, Foggathorpe (where do they get these names) before finally picking up the main road for the last two miles into Howden. The benefit of Audax riding over the years.
I can assure you both Nick and I were ready for a breather having been on the rivet for quite a few miles.
We stopped at the Cheese Shop which included a cafe as well, a first for Nick and I. Beans on toast for two of us and a sausage sandwich for Bob as well as a hot drink filled the void. The food was good as was the service. I asked where the cheese was, to be told they no longer sell it, Mmm I wonder if there is an opening for an entrepreneurial cyclist?
Jelly babies and skittles were opened ready for fuelling the return.
Retracing our route briefly we headed for Bubwith and Skipwith, but not before the two of them ended on the wrong side of the tracks.
Bob was looking forward to a cold beer from his fridge when getting home, which started to appeal just as much to me as well, not Bob’s fridge of course, and this may explain the increase in the tempo as he slipped off the front, despite Nick and I already riding close to full gas for much of the ride. There again I did say I needed to be back for around 3.30pm.
Our journey took us via Escrick and Naburn to Bishopthorpe and across the main road to Askham Bryan, always fun dodging traffic at roundabouts. The final part took us through Askham Richard to Angram, Long Marston and Tockwith where we said goodbye to Nick and I turned up the A168 as Bob rode home to Knaresborough.
A fantastic day and although Nick and I did a turn on the front a big thanks to Bob for the tow and his company. Always an insight.

Quote of the day from Bob, ‘the wind is your friend’, it makes you strong.