Wetherby – Selby, Saturday 24th September 2022, 49 miles

Six riders gathered at 09:00 hours in the Shambles for the Saturday half-day ride – Pete C, Gavin, Glyn, Bob L, Phil and me, Mark. I had two routes in mind, both of which had been ridden before by some of the group, but with no strong opinions either way I plumped for the south-eastwards loop to the edge of Selby.

The forecast was for a northerly wind, but not strong, and with showers in the early afternoon. It was wrong on both counts, unfortunately. We set off up the bike path alongside Boston Road and went right at the roundabout towards Bramham. It started spitting as we made the turn and within a mile the rain was heavy enough to warrant a stop for rain jackets – and over trousers in Gavin’s case. Bob had neglected to bring a rain cape – obviously, he believed the forecast – so he went ahead a little and called in at home to collect one. We regrouped under the trees at the top of the hill on Paradise Road and took Toulston Lane towards Stutton and then London Road to Raw Lane.

By this time the rain had stopped and the sky was clearing rapidly to blue; without the wet roads, you could have thought it was a different day. We (mostly) took a left in Ulleskelf, then through Ryther and into Cawood. After the crossroads in Cawood we took a little left down Church Lane, stopping by the said church to shed our waterproofs. Then it was a little excursion down the tiny lanes by the Ouse, passing to the east of Wistow. This is open, flat country so each turn brought an adjustment to the direction of the increasing wind.

We popped out just north of Selby, to several riders’ surprise, and then headed west and north into Church Fenton and our much-anticipated coffee stop at the airport. However, bad news… the café was closed and the owners were clearing out so no coffee here… The good news is that they are planning to open a new café out near Crockey Hill, so it will be on a route we frequently take. Good luck to them in their new venture.

A quick conference concluded that the nearest café we knew and trusted was Penny’s in Sherburn, so we lined up behind Pete as he surfed the tailwind into town and were sitting in the garden at Penny’s in no time. Bacon-based fare was enjoyed by some, others opting for a lighter option, but everyone was happy we had found somewhere to stop. The normal café stop is already late in this ride so the additional few miles were not welcome.

After brunch, we hauled out of Sherburn to Aberford into a hint of a shower and then north to Bramham where we split for our various final destinations. So not quite the route I had planned but near enough and hopefully, a good time was had by all.