Wetherby to Thirsk via Easingwold, Thursday 29th December 2022, 66 miles

I organised the ride to Thirsk on a day when I knew the wind could make the ride a challenge but I wanted a decent ride to blow the Xmas excesses away. I was pleased to see a decent turnout when I arrived in the shambles. I was greeted by Greg, Steve Ward, Phil, Mike Bosomworth, Michael Brawley, Sean, Geoff and a guest from VSCC called Tim.

Unfortunately, Nick couldn’t make it at the last minute but we still had Dennis to pick up en route to Easingwold. We had the wind behind us but we took the most direct route to Aldwark Bridge in an effort to save time. Dennis was not there when we got to the start of Boat Lane and so I stopped to check where he was. Phone out, gloves off etc and he came flying past me. Didn’t stop. Fortunately, Michael and Greg waited for me while it was phone away, gloves back on etc. I noticed later that I had a Strava PB for Boat Lane.

We quickly got back on the group and headed into Easingwold marketplace for a coffee stop. I was slightly worried when the group headed into Teehee rather than the usual Fike room but my fears were relieved when the service was pretty good. Sean decided not to carry on from here and we wished him a happy new year while the rest of us headed north. We now were on our way to Thirsk and we now had the wind to contend with as some of the way had to be westerly. Steve Ward left us at Husthwaite and the rest continued on through Carlton Husthwaite, Hutton Sessay, Little Hutton and Dalton to Thirsk. Our preferred lunch stop was a deli cafe called Upstairs/Downstairs which was fairly busy but they found us space. Lunch was good despite Tim going through a painful initiation process. He was just too late to hear Michael Brawley shout “Careful, the floor’s a bit Slippy”

The return route was to head to Dalton and then across to Topcliffe which we did. Topcliffe was once the primary residence of the Percy family, now of Alnwick and the Duke of Northumberland. NB Nick. We now found out that the A168 was totally blocked and we had to contend with traffic coming off the main road and searching for alternative routes. This made the journey to Boroughbridge rather unpleasant. However, the blockage must have been close to Boroughbridge as once out of the town the road was clear. We took the 168 as I wanted to get us back into Wetherby in the light. It was a bright day despite the occasional shower but we now had a strong wind to contend with. The wind was strong but not horrendous and we arrived back in the light and hopefully with enough time for Greg and Michael to get home safely also. Cobwebs certainly swept away. Happy New Year Everyone.

Graham