Thursday 22 Dec

Thursday 22 Dec and Nick’s turn to write up the days Wheeling.
At the start :- Graham, Michael Br, Pete Dack , Greg, Bob Johnson, Phil, Dennis.
Collected en route :- Nick, SteveB
And at the café :- Geoff

So it’s December 22 and a short day and the weather forecast was what you might call good for the time of year, but then you might not, because it changed a bit and Graham sent a note saying he would understand if anyone wanted to cancel. Obviously no-one wanted to be the first to drop out so a group assembled in the Shambles and saved me a few miles by passing the end of our lane to pick me up. We had gone just about two miles and collected Steve B when it began to rain. The peleton therefore split at the bottom of Whixley Hill into those who needed to put on rain jackets and those who had done so already. At the Cricket Ground, Steve decided that he would have a slow day and cut a few corners before joining the rest of us at the Plenty café in Boroughbrige. So eight of us received and returned Christmas greetings with the toll keeper at Aldwark Bridge, then left through Aldwark village towards Helperby but taking the detour thro’ Myton- on- Swale.
M-o-Swale is mentioned in the Domesday Book and the Grade 2 listed bridge over the Swale is modelled on London’s Westminster Bridge. But smaller. We didn’t see it because we turned on entering the village thro’ some fine parkland, briefly into a fine farm and quickly out, before rejoining the road to Helperby ,Thornton Bridge and Boroughbridge. Plenty Café found space for us and wet gloves were taken off cold hands while the windows steamed up. I was considered nesh because I had some heated gloves but I think the others were jealous really. Steve B turned up as planned very soon and it being nearly Christmas we all ordered bacon butties etc.
The plan home was for all those who could, to meet for a pint in the Mews Bar. Steve left early to get a head start. I couldn’t go to the boozer anyway so teamed up with him for the last few miles while the rest went ahead. That’s until they had a puncture. Steve and I were sorry to not wait but had to get back and there were still six people for one puncture so we reckoned they would cope. Approaching Walshford, we passed Santa checking his schedule at the roadside. I peeled off for home but got the news about the puncture on What’s App when they were all in the bar. Happy Christmas everyone