Boston Spa – Fountains Abbey, Tuesday 16 August 2022, 55 miles

I had posted Monday evening is anyone out for the Tuesday ride since the weather had the usual Met Office uncertainty of rain and thunder. Bob L had said he would be there and then Frank posted his attendance but the route to be decided in the morning subject to the weather. His 9.30 meet time was updated by Pete C who while unavailable pointed out he meant 9.15 at BS church.

I arrived early, closely followed by Mark and Keith. A discussion then took place over the possible route. Clearly we needed a Dictator to settle the decision, and as if by magic Frank arrived. His plan for Masham was not overly popular as most people had been to Masham and Bedale more times than their own homes. Fortunately a guiding light in the form of Nick appeared and a trip to Fountains Abbey was agreed. Praying the weather would be sensible seven Club stalwarts set off some ten minutes late. They
were Frank, Nick, Mark, Keith, Bill, Bob L and me Steve B. Nick needed to be back early. Surprise surprise our route took us back over the Wharfe to Kirk Deighton and onto Knaresborough. The usual journey took in Farnham and onto Markington.

The group were well behaved allowing me to lead from the front so I didn’t get left behind. Alas as Bob and I having turned towards Fountains Abbey said to each other, where’s everyone gone. I forgot to mention Frank, freshly back from Llandudno, had not brought a drink or a bottle cage on his bike. Apparently, he was of the dromedary persuasion. Anyway, they had all stopped at the shop in Markington for Frank to top up his hump.

Having caught us up we soon arrived at the top of Studley Royal where a photo shoot took place, I knew they had brought me along for a reason. We hurtled down the hill and into Ripon for a cafe stop. The Park was closed so Nick took us to Oliver’s Pantry, a first for me, but sitting in the small courtyard was very pleasant. While the place was busy service was good and the coffee and food also. Could have done with an extra slice of toast with my poached eggs. Sat at two tables Bill, Keith and I discussed politics, yawn, need to get a life.

No one seemed in a rush until Nick realised he was running late and needed to be back.
Nick was hastily waved off and the rest of us headed back via Boroughbridge and the Dunsforths. The weather had been well behaved, no rain, and we split into two groups at the crossroads after the Cattal bridge with Keith, Bob and Mark heading to BS leaving Bill, Frank and I to head back through Cowthorpe to Wetherby.

A most enjoyable ride and thanks for allowing me a rest at the top of Whixley Hill. Nick was home 40 minutes ahead of me so hopefully no grief.

Steve B