Wetherby – Tockwith Audax, Sunday 25th June 2023, 82 miles

This week the normal runs card was discarded and replaced by an introduction to Audax riding. Nick decided that we would enter a 100k event starting from the Sports Club in Tockwith. We largely failed to appreciate the logistics required and the start was a bit of a panic, especially on my part as I was informed, I needed to be at the venue far earlier than expected. Thus, I was the last one to sign in and I think we were the last to start. It was all very relaxed however and 5 wheelers, Nick, Bill, Steve Booker Pete Cart and myself Graham paid our £8, collected our control cards and set off. Unusually I had no idea where we were going and put my faith in the hands of Nick and Steve. We hadn’t even got as far as the Wetherby to Knaresborough road when we were joined by Bob Johnson who took over the route finding fairly quickly. 

We were diverted down Abbey Road and the Waterside as we headed to Ripley which was our first control. After following the Beryl Burton way, we found ourselves in the Ripley car park and needing proof of our presence there. We decided that the answer was a photo at each control. At this point Bill and Steve decided to head home with Bill still wondering why he had paid his £8.

The route now started to get a bit hilly as we headed to Burnt Yates and the nice country side of Nidderdale. I was still confused about the route and was beginning to wonder where we were having lunch and or coffee. Would it be Fountains, Ripon, Masham? I was disappointed to find out we were going to a shop in Kirkby Malzeard. Luckily the shop was closed because if it had been open, we would never have found the village cafe.

This was new to all of us, a cafe called Roselea that is only open in the summer and then only Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We perched ourselves at the owner’s dining table, literally in her front room. It was excellent and Bob and I had a hot sandwich, cake and coffee.

Once back on the road we were heading for Masham. A quick chat with a cycling fan, a photo and no need to stop now and we were heading for Ripon. The weather was now hot and humid and we picked our own route to Ripon via West Tansley. We had to get to Boroughbridge for the last control but we stopped in Ripon marketplace to rest and cool down. The sky was beginning to look threatening and Bob decided to leave for home while the final three headed towards the Courtyard cafe in Boroughbridge. Thankfully the cafe was open and there was a discussion about Mike and would he still be on his bike at 3.30. We’ve only got to get back to Tockwith while he’s about to start a marathon!!

The last photo was taken and we then took the Dunsforths road on the final leg. Apparently, there is always coffee and cake at the end of an audax but you can’t have any until you have been certified. Nick’s photos did the job and we sat down for a well-earned cup of tea. Then a very windy eight miles back to Wetherby. Then a quick bath and a visit to the White Swan in Wighill for a couple of pints. Do you know what “Mike will still be running”. Legend

Graham