Wetherby – Askern, Sunday 4th September 2022, 74 miles

Sunday morning again and after weeks of sunny weather there was just enough drizzle as we arrived in the shambles to confuse us. Do we put on raincoats or not?

The group setting out for Askern was made up of, Frank, Bill, Simon and me , Nick , with an arrangement to meet Pete Dack in Aberford. In the first five miles, we had a few stops to put rain gear on but it finally came off and we didn’t need it again all day. As we rode South and then left the dual carriageway, Simon confessed that he was on unfamiliar territory. I remembered that I had been too on my first trip down there, but we have done it a few times now and the simple sat nav in my head is joining up the dots. So…soon to Birkin and a friendly bunch of cyclists were at the cafe before us but we were soon sitting in the sun with coffee and cake. As we left , Bill found his back tyre flat and reckoned it was related to something he ran over on the way down. Whatever the cause, an area of frayed canvas showing through the rubber implied that that tyre wasn’t going to go much further! A new tube was fitted with a rubber insert at the canvas bit and Bill took the sensible decision to get home by the shortest route. No doubt he will be out on Monday, shopping for a new tyre and I wonder how much they have gone up by since we last bought one. Frank must have gone ahead at this point because after about a mile I noticed that he had stopped. By the time I had turned round to see what was wrong, he was riding in the opposite direction so I put in some effort to catch him and ask what was up.” Where’s Bill?” he said,”We’ve lost Bill!” The misunderstanding was soon cleared up but not before Simon and Pete had come back to look for us.

At Askern we sat by the lake- still sunny. A message came from Bill to say he was home OK, and we had a lesson in ornithology from a friendly bystander.

The way home took us through Eggborough. I would have liked to check our route at one point but Pete was pretty confident and found a neat enough way back to Beal. After Monk Fryston we took the little roads to South Milford from where Pete headed for Garforth and the rest of us cruised up to Boston Spa.

Nick