Wetherby – Stockton-on-the-Forest, Sunday 16th October 2022, 60 miles

Report by Nick again

The day didn’t start too well. I usually assess the weather while I am walking our dog quite early and this morning there was quite a gale. It didn’t put me in the mood for riding to the day’s destination of Pocklington which is a flat but sometimes exposed route. To add to this, when I checked my phone back in the house I saw that three regulars had already called off. I also got behind schedule with my morning duties so I sent a What’s App to say I would be making a late start and probably wouldn’t go all the way to Pocklington. Bill cheerfully replied to suggest meeting at Cattal Bridge. This was good news but surprising because Cattal Bridge is not in the direction of Pocklington, but I assumed that he ,and maybe others had changed plans. It was only when I met them at Cattal that I learned that it was a misprint(?) and he had meant to say Naburn Bridge!

By this time tho ,we had a viable group in Cattal who could have blamed my late start for the altered plan but diplomatically, didn’t. There were, Bill, Graham, Bob J and the never put off by the weather ,Pete Dack. We now needed a plan. It was still windy but nowhere near so bad as earlier so we thought of going around York to the North ,maybe to Stamford Bridge, possibly towards Pocklington but where to get lunch?. Newton-on -Ouse, Shipton and Strensall made an undemanding road so we crossed the very busy A64 towards Stockton-on- the-Forest. Here our progress towards Stamford was brought to a halt by a Highland Pipe Band. This doesn’t happen often and there is always a reason- in this case they were serenading a few thousand runners on a half marathon out from York. Our road was closed, for the runners, so we spent a few minutes listening to the band, ( you couldn’t help it), and seeking advice for rideable roads. We walked a short distance towards York admiring the runners determination and inventive fancy dress ,notably a pretty fairy with wings and a soldier in military dress. Fifteenth century dress I reckoned- living in Yorkshire, we all know a bit about battles.
When we felt we weren’t outnumbered ,we got back on our bikes and rode slowly past the tired looking runners at the back end of the marathon to Deans Garden Centre . It was a bit early for lunch but since the morning had been so disrupted we decided to get some food. Usually a good place but we reckoned that the bacon had been fried hours ago and just kept warm ‘till we turned up.This got us into bemoaning the state of our great nation which even our world wide readers will have heard about by now. As we left, the weather was getting quite nice but I hope I wasn’t alone in thinking that it wasn’t the time to start an ambitious journey so we went into York and over the Millenium Bridge (Ed. Is that four bridges today?) ,which we should put up a picture of sometime, and off to Bishopthorpe. Here we took the longer option of Tadcaster en route for home which was OK except for a white van screaming out of a junction uncomfortably close to Bob who was in the lead. I was too far back to get his number and he had escaped at the nearby traffic lights so there was nothing we could do about it except to bring down the cyclists curses onto his head.. Pete peeled off to Garforth and the rest of us split at the end of Rudgate for an early homecoming. Not our most memorable ride but a good thing to do a on a breezy Sunday and thanks to all the others for company and a few laffs.

Nick