Wetherby – York, Saturday 16th April 2022, 48 miles

Six Wheelers met in the Shambles on a cool, slightly misty spring morning – Bob, Ken, Pete C, Nick, Simon and me, Mark. Many of us remarked that it was rather colder than expected and perhaps wished we had worn an extra layer. The sun did put his hat on later but we had an hour of chilly riding beforehand.

Nick has concocted a route which took was to take us to York by mostly familiar roads and then back by a route that included a stretch of cycle path which none of us, bar Nick, had ridden before. We set off on the Walton Road, taking a left at Wighill to Healaugh where we took the narrow lane to Catterton and across to Bilbrough. Here we crossed the bridge over the A64 and rode to and through Appleton Roebuck towards the river before turning north to wiggle through Acaster Malbis and its caravan sites.

Continuing through Bishopthorpe we took a right turn down a narrow cycle track to cross the bridge over the Ouse towards Cycle Heaven, our coffee break destination. Somehow in this section, we mislaid Ken who had ridden confidently straight ahead when the rest of us went right. A short search by Nick and Simon found the missing man and we regrouped in the cafe at Cycle Heaven.

The cafe and shop were reasonably quiet and we enjoyed coffee/drinking chocolate and cake/biscuit before taking a quick look at the upstairs showroom. Cycle Heaven seems to be concentrating on electric and gravel bikes and there were very few road bikes – we couldn’t tell if this is a strategic choice or forced on them by supply chain problems.

Suitably refreshed we set off to make use of some new cycling infrastructure between York and Rufforth. Luckily we were led by Nick as the route was not obvious and, contrary to the route advisory, wasn’t all tarmac either. However, it was very pleasant riding away from the traffic in the spring sunshine. When we reached Rufforth the entire village appeared to be walking around outside, the cause being the local Easter egg hunt. This explained the unusual road sign at the edge of the village which read “No eggs beyond this point”.

From Rufforth we took a pleasant diversion towards Hessay before riding through Tockwith, where we parted company with Nick and Simon. The rest of us rode down Rudgate and into Boston Spa where we bid farewell and made our way home. We all agreed that it was a very good route (which could well be ridden in the opposite direction), thanks to Nick. The weather got itself organised eventually too.