Wetherby – Crockey Hill, Sunday 15th January 2023, 54 miles

A cold forecast but it seemed warmer and we had five in the Shambles. Bob J, Geoff, Pete D, Simon and me, Nick. The new runs card said Crockey Hill and I pointed out an added attraction here, in that the manager of the café at Fenton airport had informed us that they had moved to Crockey Hill. Nobody else had heard of it.This was to prove interesting later. Of more immediate interest was the passability of various roads due to the ongoing floods and we reckoned that Acaster Malbis would be no go.
At Bob’s suggestion, we agreed to go Tadcaster- Cawood so proceeded with a nice following wind. After Tadcaster, we took the risk of cutting through the parkland at Grimston Hall like we used to do years ago. It made a good change from the road and we were not challenged. In fact, a number of the horse-riding sisterhood exchanged pleasant greetings from their seats on high. Back on the road we approached Ulleskelf and a rider going the other way shouted that Ryther was impassable. Sure enough, that road was closed so now it is off to Church Fenton and a very attractive country road, (thanks Bob), eventually to Cawood. The town wasn’t flooded but the fast-flowing River Ouse was all over the nearby fields and getting close to the height of the bridge. We took photos. We were now in sunshine and didn’t turn at Stillingfleet, but before getting to Escrick we skillfully rode down a steep and muddy bank to join the Selby Cycle Path, much of which has been nicely resurfaced. Aiming for Crockey Hill and with a new café in mind we tried to come off at Naburn to find the road under the bridge covered in deep water. The next diversion took us almost to Fulford and through the car park of the dreaded shopping mall, then South down a very busy A19. Pete had got so far ahead and hadn’t heard about the new café so we had to keep him reluctantly out of the biker’s place. Anyway, they were very busy but now I had a certain worry. I hadn’t actually been to the new place before and had only glanced at a sketchy map so I would have been in trouble if I couldn’t find it. I knew we took the Wheldrake Road and then needed a left turn but began to be concerned as we left the village and found no left turn. Pete had again gone ahead and I took the opportunity of checking the map on my phone- didn’t want him to know that I wasn’t certain.
I needn’t have worried. The map in my head was correct but the distance from the village was a little more than I thought- it is perhaps a short mile. The Stables Café was open with plenty of space for bikes and cosy inside. Service was slow at first but they were very busy too, and I was relieved that everyone agreed that the food and coffee were up to scratch. Think about it- of the two nearest cafes, one has chirpy service but challenging coffee and the other has excellent coffee………
So now we are warm and fed and since Bob and Geoff had to get to K’bro we decided on York and Marston Moor for the route home. The floods intervened again. At the end of Hospital Fields Road the path to the Millenium Bridge was deeply underwater so now we took Lendal Bridge and Nunnery Lane. Pete stayed with us along here before taking his homeward road..We chose the cycle path from Beckfield Lane to Rufforth which is attractive and interesting if you are interested in dogs, and it gets you nicely to Rufforth, Marston Moor and soon home for Simon and me. A bit longer for all the others.