Wetherby – Masham, Thursday 30th June 2022, 74 miles, 5600ft

As Graham Brake was attending a wedding on Thursday 30th June, Steve Ward was to lead the ride but unfortunately caught Covid a couple of days before, leaving him needing to recover at home whilst watching Wimbledon on the telly, (no doubt with strawberries and cream to introduce some realism). So, Steve asked for a new lead at short notice and Mike Bosomworth immediately volunteered and sent to the group a proposed route to Masham, which was ‘hilly out and flat back’ via Boroughbridge.

Six Wheelers met in the Shambles, being Mike Bosomworth, Bill Kinally, Sean Christie, Pete Dack, Michael Brawley and me (Phil Webb). Mike B seemed to fancy a few hills ahead of his impending trip to The Rockies in the States, we were pleased to support this though Bill K opted for an alternative route and we all planned to meet in Masham at approximately 1.30pm. We set off through Sicklinghall, Kirkby Overblow and Burn Bridge, skirted Harrogate and through Kathy’s home village of Hampsthwaite. A stop at Sophie’s Cafe was very tempting but we continued through Bishop Thornton to Sawley where we stopped for a coffee in the beer garden of the Sawley Arms before pressing on.

On leaving there we climbed through High Skelding to Dallow where the views were absolutely stunning, as shown in the photograph.  Michael B was becoming nostalgic as he took in the magnificent view and looked towards his home town of Middlesbrough, which he said was visible on a clear day…….  

Out of the blue, it was good to catch up with Dennis Moorhouse during his morning ride, we had a brief chat with Dennis before continuing to Masham.

Mike’s chosen route had five significant climbs, four of which were before Masham. During this phase the only flat part of the ride was Sean’s front tyre which developed a slow puncture and needed his increasing attention, with plans to repair it when we stopped. We arrived in Masham later than expected, unfortunately, we missed both Bill K and also Greg Cottrell who had made his own way there and they had left minutes before we arrived.

Whilst re-fuelling at the Border Cafe, Sean removed his wheel and the tubeless tyre to fit an inner tube, the wheel valve wouldn’t budge, with our joint collection of tools and some borrowed ones from some motorcyclists, the group combined like a well-oiled machine to remove the valve, fit the inner tube, the tyre and fit the wheel – all in less than an hour (!). By 3pm, we were ready to roll. We made a mental note that between us we had enough instruments for Nick Hopkinson to extract a tooth during a ride, should the need ever arise. As we had lost time, we decided to miss Boroughbridge and the afternoon coffee break and return to Wetherby via Ripon, Knaresborough and Little Ribston. We all enjoyed the ride, with many thanks to Mike B for arranging it and good wishes on his trip to the US. The return ride to Masham from Wetherby was 74 miles and 5,600ft.

Phil Webb