Wetherby to Helmsley, Thursday 10th August 2023, 82 miles

9 Wheelers (Graham, Shaun, Shaun, Bill, Pete, Mike, Gregg, Kathy and Fred) set off from the Shambles in Wetherby on a warm humid day. As Aldwark bridge is still closed for repairs we did a detour via Boroughbridge up the tried and trusted A168 helped along by a nice tailwind. Fred had just turned up to say ‘hello’ and parted company with us just outside Boroughbridge. The rest of us headed on to Easingwold where we stopped for coffee and various snacks at TeaHee sitting out the back of the cafe in the sun discussing tandem riding with Mike our club expert. Kathy had just returned from the UCI world championships in Glasgow where GB had won gold in both the men’s and women’s tandem riding on the track.

Bill and the 2 Shauns turned for home after coffee at Easingwold leaving a hardy group of 5 to carry on to Helmsley. The route took us through Crayke, Hovingham and then Nunnington. Graham had recently had a tustle involving a hedge trimmer and was feeling a bit bruised and battered so we decided to avoid White Horse Bank and get the average speed up instead.

Helmsley was as busy as expected on a sunny day in August but being locals we knew where we could get good coffee and sandwiches from a club favourite bakery away from the main square. Unfortunately, the bakery had taken down the wall that we always sat on to eat our sandwiches. Ever resourceful, Mike limboed under a barrier and reserved a table belonging to the cafe next door. As the cafe was closed no-one seemed to mind.

The route back took us through Oswaldkirk, Ampleforth and Husthwaite then back to Boroughbridge again. We had been expecting a headwind as we had benefitted from a good tailwind out but the wind must have changed direction as it was mostly in our favour again. Me, Graham, Pete and Mike stopped for another coffee in Boroughbridge at the Tiny Teapot. The cafe had sold out of cakes so we made do with a croissant, some crumpets and the last cinnamon roll to fuel us for the last 15 miles home.

We decided to take the more scenic route home through Knaresborough rather than straight back up the A168 but Graham unfortunately had a puncture from the loose stones on the road. He made quick work of repairing it and we were soon on our way again. Back in Wetherby, I clocked 82 miles at an average speed of 16.1mph. A lovely day out with good company in beautiful countryside.