Wetherby but not to Hampsthwaite, Pocklington instead, Sunday 26th February 2023, 70 miles

With Nick unavailable and Geoff on grandchildren duty, plus Bob J banished to the Lake District the numbers were certainly down. It left Pete D and myself as the only ones who had indicated attendance. Thankfully returning from holiday fully recharged was Graham to make up the numbers to the Three Degrees. His timing involves British Standard time plus five minutes. No worries as it meant we had our Number One Road Captain.
As Sophie’s cafe at Hampsthwaite was closed, I had suggested swapping to Thirsk and Hampsthwaite next week.
Taking a last check on the weather it looked like Pocklington might be a better bet. I was thinking of suggesting to Graham we did one of his 10000 feet climbing routes but as I had to be home the same day he took pity on me and agreed with Pocklington. Pete D also agreed so it was unanimous.
Heading out to Wighill we suffered a short shower which had me wondering if I had made a poor choice, but apart from the same cloud waiting for our return in the last two miles the weather was well-behaved with a big fireball making occasional appearances to warm our cockles.
Travelling from Wighill to Copmanthorpe and over the Ouse to Crockyhill we stuck to the task with Graham and Pete shielding me from the wind 💨.
We passed two large Selby Wheeler groups going the other way, it was like the whole of Selby was being evacuated.
At Wheldrake we stopped at Cafe Valeria for coffee and then onto Elvington and the Barmby Road before going into Pocklington via Yapham.
Unfortunately, the Mile cafe was closed so a quick decision and onvto the Lakeside cafe at Allerthorpe.
We now had the wind assisting our efforts which was like a red rag to the bulls. The only way I could get a breather was to ride slower on the front.
I think we managed 17 miles the next hour stopping on the bridge over the Ouse for me to have a breather. Our route had been Melbourne, Elvington, Wheldrake and Crockyhill.
The final leg took us back via Copmanthorpe and Healaugh to Walton where we wished Pete a safe journey home leaving Graham and me to maintain the momentum back to Wetherby. It was great to be out in good company and an enjoyable ride.
We rode the gauntlet of the black cloud in the last two miles, it had been waiting for our return.
Personally, I was happy to get a hot shower on my return home to reinvigorate the parts I thought were left frozen on the road. Back to the Runs Card next week. 😄😜

Steve B