Wetherby – Otley, Sunday 29th January 2023, 30 miles


Destination? Otley Who’s out? Graham, Geoff, Gavin, Nick (today’s reporter), and Simon.

I got off to a bad start when I didn’t hear Simon banging on the front door when it was time to set off. ‘WhatsApp’ buzzed and the others waited for me in Wetherby.
If the weather had been as good as Thursday we might have considered going a stop beyond Otley but along the high ground towards Kirkby Overblow we encountered strong wind which we felt all the more every time we turned into it. I found this hard work while Graham, Simon and Geoff pulled ahead a bit and Gavin turned on the electric to keep up with them. We had planned to go out via Weeton and back via North Leeds and Eccup reservoir. Simon had domestic duties so he left us just beyond Weeton to take in the charms of Almscliffe Crag on his shorter way home . So just four of us went on struggling into the wind and up and over the Farnley rise before some welcome gravitational assistance down to Otley. The Milk Bar Café had no room but I had checked the day before and Otley is not short of cafés, most of which open on Sunday, and we headed for Bloomfield Square because it is known to be cycle friendly. Among other things they lend out tough locks which is good since the most parking space is round the back.
Coffee tea and cake were all appreciated whilst Gavin led a discussion on the difference between trumpets, cornets , flugelhorns and bugles. You should have been there, while Geoff remembered playing The Last Post on a bugle when he were but a lad. We had to leave and now the gale force wind was right behind us and I found the ascent of the Leeds road easier than usual but not so easy as Graham, Geoff and Gavin. The route home was new to Gav who asked how we knew all these roads. My answer is always that I learnt them from following the Wheelers of olden times.
So back by the planned roads to Wetherby and a quick photo* before heading for homes.

  • I’m as guilty as anybody but we do need to up the standard of these photos. Yorkshire has more to offer our international readers!

Nick