Boston Spa-Selby via Fairburn Ings, Tuesday 25th October 2022, 52miles

Some rides are harder to keep track of than others …… but this was a really difficult one!

We started at Boston Spa with 7 riders (Steve B, Pete C, Paddy, John, Kathy, Dave W and me (Keith). Bill had just found a puncture so said he would meet us later and Steve P was just running late (no excuse offered!) so would meet us in Bramham. We found Steve by the traffic lights in Bramham where we also saw Paul Smith and Duncan McBride heading out on their ride to York.

We rode through Aberford and Micklefield before turning off at the Sherburn turn. At this point, John left us as the rest of us took the road to Ledsham and Ledston. This is a very pleasant part of the world especially given it is so close to the industry of Castleford. We then headed on the road at the side of Fairburn Ings. The weather was glorious and meant that we had great views although Paddy was at the front and pedalling hard so I had to keep reminding him to look around. Inevitably a split in the riders had occurred so we regrouped by the pub at Fairburn. Kathy is recuperating from injury so decided to head back with Steve B offering to guide her back to civilisation (although I think he actually left her at Sherburn instead).

The remaining 5 riders proceeded to Brotherton where we managed to lose Paddy. Having found Paddy, we went East through Birkin, Haddlesey and Temple Hirst where we joined the Trans-Pennine Trail route. The roads had been fairly quiet but the next road had no traffic at all which meant it was quiet enough for me to hear the question “are we lost?” uttered by two of the group – they can navigate next time …. and no, I wasn’t!. Part way down the lane, the TPT leaves the road to cut round Burn Airfield – this path was only re-laid earlier this year and was a delight. Pete C was at the front as we sped round at 18mph – but we briefly lost Paddy again! After 100yds on road, we joined another traffic-free path that took us to Brayton. After that we rode up the cycle path on Bawtry Road to get to the Hub café. There was a brief discussion about Rishi Sunak – more popular than the alternatives but still some doubts. Liz Truss is not well-regarded so Steve and I kept quiet about us having gone to the same school as her!

As expected, Steve B and Bill were already at the café and they had been joined by Steve Ward on his first Tuesday appearance of the year. That meant we were back to 8 when we left Selby taking the Lordship Lane option for another 5miles of traffic-free riding making more than 10 in total. At Cawood, the group split with Steve P, Pete C, Paddy and me taking the road to Ulleskelf while the other 4 headed over the swing bridge to Naburn for a longer loop.

The rest of the ride was uneventful but quicker than usual. Paddy left us at Kirkby Wharfe for a solo ride back to Wetherby while Steve left us at Towton to get back to Garforth. That left Pete and I to go through Stutton to get to Bramham where Pete turned down Windmill Hill for home.

So, to go back to the beginning, there were 10 riders out in total but Pete and I were the only riders to have ridden the same route!

Keith