Wetherby – Church Fenton, Saturday 2nd July 2022, 43 miles

An early and unexpected shower greeted me when I looked out of the window. This prompted me to treat my winter bike to an outing, with mudguards to save anyone behind me from a splattering. The main charity fundraising ride for YAA was the on Sunday so only three riders met in the Shambles: Pete C, Bob L and me, Mark.

I had planned a route out to the cafe at Askham Grange garden centre but this would have involved riding back past Bob and Pete’s houses so it was decided to take a plan B. The alternative was a south-easterly loop, with a cafe stop at the Fenton Cafe. Departing at 9:02 we wiggled through the local streets to pick up the bike path which runs past the race course and parallel to the Walton road. The path was pleasant and mostly empty though we did give a shock to the runner when we passed – his earbuds must have been good because we shouted and rang a bell as we approached.

Joining the road at Walton we pedalled east towards Wighill; I was pleased to find that the Thorpe Arch roundabout has been resurfaced since I last rode over it. At Wighill we turned into Tadcaster and onwards up the London Road to take a left turn to Ulleskelf. Ryther and Cawood followed quickly, helped by a slight tailwind and concern over more possible showers.

At Cawood we took an unexpected turn – though not for me since I had planned the route. We turned left down Marsh Lane and onto the narrow lanes which take the flood plain east of Wistow. This was new ground to both Bob and Pete, bringing a sense of exploration and a nice change. The roads were very quiet, I remember seeing only one car in the 5 miles on this section.

Eventually, we popped out onto a relatively main road, just north of Selby, and headed west through Biggin and into Church Fenton. The cafe is within the airport so we rolled through the barrier and parked up. There was a show of some sort in progress, possibly for people buying planes, and the cafe was either over-committed or under-staffed as there was only tea, filter coffee and a couple of flapjacks available. However, what they had was nice, as were the staff, and we enjoyed a pleasant discourse covering hot air ballooning among other topics.

Suitably refreshed we set off through Barkston Ash, over the hill to Saxton and across the high ground to the Lotherton road. From Lotherton we passed through Aberford and on to Bramham, where we went our separate ways. An enjoyable morning ride with good company and mostly dry in the end.

Mark