The weather forecast on Thursday 20th October was grim, promising a great deal of rain but not too cold or windy. So, determined as ever, four Wheelers met in Wetherby and agreed a short ride to Cycle Heaven in York, even if it meant going through ‘cycle hell’ to get there! So Graham B, Mike B, Nick H and myself, Phil W left at 9.30am heading north along the A168 then turning east towards Cowthorpe, Tockwith and Long Marston. Our general experience with the weather has been that it is often better than the forecast, so we cycled out with some degree of optimism.
Unfortunately, Nick had a puncture on the road to Cowthorpe, so we supported him whilst he repaired it and then continued through Askham Richard, Askham Bryan, Askham Bar and Knavesmire to Cycle Heaven near to the York Racecourse. Unfortunately, our optimism was short-lived as the rain moved from light, to heavy, then to torrential downpour well before we stopped at the cafe. Cycle Heaven was ideal, our bikes were stored in the workshop, Nick bought more inner tubes and I bought some mudguards, (after the horse had bolted I hear you say….?!). We settled for our traditional refreshments and hoped that the rain would subside. It didn’t, so we set off towards home via Bishopthorpe and Copmanthorpe, through heavy rain and flooded roads past Askham Richard, Healaugh and Wighill. We stopped just short of Walton at a completely flooded junction to say goodbye to Nick, but not after I’d harmlessly fallen off my bike in the deep flood (sorry, no photo!) and Nick had yet another puncture before arriving home.
Mike, Graham and I pressed on towards Wetherby and home, all absolutely drenched but our spirits were high. In all honesty, we were a bit daft to go but had a good time nonetheless! The ride was just short of 40 miles.