Up early checking the weather forecasts (at least 3 different ones!) hoping that they had improved since last night when they had all predicted rain all day and temperatures of just above freezing. Unfortunately they hadn’t changed much but I did find one that forecast a lower likelihood of rain until 11am so I decided to go with that one and packed my bike into my car and headed off to Boston Spa for the start of the ride. I let everyone know first on WhatsApp that I was on my way which had the desired effect of encouraging 4 others, Steve B, Pete C, Nick and Keith, to brave the weather and turn up. Unfortunately the rain started just as we set off. Heading to Clifford, we then proceeded up Windmill Hill towards Bramham. The rain started to come down even harder and anyone who hadn’t put their rain jacket on at the start was now putting it on.
We carried on through Stutton and Ulleskelf breathing in lungfuls of fresh bracing air and from there carried on towards Cawood. Steve saying that riding in these conditions was ‘character building’, although I am not sure what sort of characters we were trying to build! Nick and Pete obviously decided that their characters didn’t need any further work and said they were going to head towards home via Stillingfleet and Copmanthorpe. This left 3 brave warriors to continue to Riccall where we had some much needed coffee and cake at the Pickled cafe.
There was no sign of the rain stopping any time soon, so after we had warmed up, we reluctantly we put our raincoats back on and followed the bike track all the way to Acaster Malbis. Lovely tarmac – much better than any roads in Yorkshire! We were also partially sheltered from the worst of the rain on the tree-lined bike track. Then it was onto Copmanthorpe, Askham Bryan, Healaugh and Wighill. We said goodbye to Steve in Walton where we all three agreed it had been well worth turning out for the ride and we were much stronger and resilient for it!!