Wetherby – Bolton Abbey, Thursday 21st July 2022, 70 miles

9 of WW finest assembled to depart the Shambles. Michael, Mike, Greg, Nick, Bill, Geoff, Mark, Glynn and Steve P duly reported for duty on a more refreshing and overcast day than of late.

The route followed was westwards via Sicklinghall, Dunkeswick and Weeton then Pool in Wharfedale before a sharp climb up Creskeld Lane.

Michael’s planned mid-morning coffee break in the “Corner Cup Cafe” was particularly welcomed after the Creskeld Lane climb, where Pete D arrived to bolster the troops. Whilst filter coffee and talk flowed abundantly the author was possibly alone in seeing Geoff craftily obtaining a rather tasty-looking pork pie from the neighbouring butchers to assist on his ride home.

Geoff left the group late morning towards the Chevin. This was about Geoff’s 6th comeback ride after his hip op and everyone was very pleased that his sensible and planned approach to his return to bike appears to be going well. Well done Geoff!

(It’s unclear what part pork pie consumption plays in this process).

The main event of the day then commenced as the group ascended the Cow and Calf / Chevin followed by a steep descent and another tortuous ascent up “Small (?) Banks”. 3 climbs involved nearly 1500 feet of climbing over 15 miles before lunch.

At approximately 13.00 hours Pete D went AWOL but returned unharmed and ready for action at Bolton Abbey tearooms…his first task was to down an exquisite-looking and above-average size lemon meringue pie.

The main discussion points over lunch covered sex, drugs and rock’n’roll…minus the sex and rock’n’roll. On a more serious note members paid huge complements to 2 of WW completing the Lincolnshire Poacher 400 Audax a week earlier, and at an average speed of 17+ mph…a marvellous achievement by Greg and Bob.

Lunch digested, 8 well-honed, elite cyclists, plus the author, departed via Beamsley and then along the Wharfedale Valley back to Otley.

After arriving at Otley the main group headed directly home and involved further splinter groups…bill and Nick, and Greg and Michael. Another paring headed through Pool as Glynn, in true “Wheeler Warrior” mode, wanted to attack Creskeld Lane yet again, which the author was thankful for.

The ride was well captained by Michael, in Graham’s absence, and there was a good team-like approach to a very enjoyable and satisfying day.

Steve P