Boston Spa to Bedale, Tuesday 11th April 2023, 75 Miles

5 Wheelers met in Boston Spa after the Easter Break ready to work off those Easter eggs. Unfortunately, the ride leader, Steve had had to pull out at the last minute delegating the role to me (Kathy). He obviously doesn’t know about my navigational skills! After consulting the others, Pete C, Neil, Alec and Keith, we decided to change the route from Steve’s plan of Masham to Bedale hoping that it might be flatter and more favourable with the wind which was forecast to be a bracing west/south-westerly. Unfortunately, we were all a bit shaky on remembering directions to Bedale, so after a discussion we decided to head towards Boroughbridge and take it from there.

We set off via Thorpe Arch and then the cycle track to Wetherby – lovely tarmac – and then it was on to Walshford to join the A168 to Boroughbridge. The wind seemed to be coming from the north so we were heading into it at this point and it was pretty fresh too. After Boroughbridge we headed north to Rainton and then to Melmerby, Kirklington and Carthorpe, arriving at Bedale just before 12 noon. Lunch was at the Tandem Cafe adjacent to the 360 Cycleworx bike shop. Friendly service and excellent cakes and beans on toast were consumed whilst discussing time trialling and the various courses that we had all time trialled on. Pete then admitted that he had his name on the wall in the toilet of the Tandem cafe! This was not some graffiti from his previous visit but actually in respect of one of his time trialling results when he rode an open event back in the 1990s. The cafe has various memorabilia from the Wensleydale Wheelers and the time trials they used to organise. If that doesn’t make any sense go see it for yourself!!

We decided to head back on the Masham road before turning off towards Thorp Perrow and Well where we got a bit confused as to the way! Not wishing to add extra miles, but as we seemed to be continuously riding into the wind which was now blowing south/southwest, we agreed we should turn left at a t-junction (subconsciously we probably wanted the wind behind us for a while). After a while we realised we should have actually turned right as we ended back at Kirklington again. We all consulted our computers and road maps and found the road to Wath and headed towards Ripon via Hutton Conyers. The consensus was to take the shortest route home at this point, probably also inspired by the talk of time-trialling over lunch too, as we headed back up that well-known time-trialling course, the A168, back to Walshford and then to Wetherby. We were all feeling tired by this time and the headwind was never ending so we didn’t set any PBs! We said goodbye to Alec at the end of the cycle path and headed back into Boston Spa just in time before the rain started. A great day out but come back Steve as we missed your route planning!!

Kathy