Howden – Humber Bridge, Tuesday 15th August 2023, 72 miles


Humber Bridge ride
Up for it? Steve B, Pete C, Pete D., Neil, Nick, Kathy, Bob L, and visitors Dave Keith and Andrew.

We are pretty familiar with most of the routes which we can do from Wetherby so driving to Howden and going South had something of a holiday feel about it. We met in good time at the planned car park and set off. Quiet roads took us to our first crossing of the day at Boothferry Bridge and then Goole. The church clock at Whitgift raised a laugh with its Roman numeral XIII (yes), at the top and we climbed the small embankment( on foot) to admire the River Ouse, much enlarged from the bit we know in York. After this the road has to follow the side of the northbound River Trent also, incidentally, much enlarged from its bankside where I was born in Nottingham. The villages down here feel as if they haven’t changed much in the last 60 years – some have fine war memorials with statues of soldiers in WW1 battledress standing by their rifles- and pubs in which you might expect to find black and white TVs (if any!) The terrain is all flat and with arable farming and vast skyscapes, made interesting by the cloud patterns which were helped on their way by a moderate breeze which didn’t seem to slow us down much. The Trent crossing comes at Gunness. Now quite near to Scunthorpe there are some signs of industry as well as a lot more fields and after more than 30+ miles we arrived at our coffee /lunch stop on a small industrial estate near Flixborough. Not a posh “ caƒé” then but absolutely fine for us with cheerful staff who took two pictures, one for the cafe and another one for us!
We are now in North Lincolnshire of course, and the next water flowing into the Humber estuary is the little River Ancholme. Actually, there are two River Ancholmes. The old one is a small meandering stream and the new one is a manmade straight cut which was intended to take traffic to the town of Brigg. ( This is the Brigg which had the Brigg Fair which had the song after which a piece of music by Delius is named ). Not thinking about this, we rode on a track by the New Ancholme to a board bridge much like our one at Aldwark. Here two young ladies in swimming gear were passing the day by jumping off the bridge into the water below, swimming ashore and doing it again. It was quite a drop and we reckoned we wouldn’t want to drink the water. However….
On we go to the spectacular bridge over the Humber estuary. Getting there involved a couple of small hills unlike the rest of the day, but the gradient on the bridge is very gentle and it is an exhilarating crossing , probably more so in less good weather. After North Ferriby we were back on to lanes which seemed to twist and turn all over the place in getting us back to Howden , but, as before, nice lanes for riding with very little traffic. Throughout the day we had one or two incidents where the group split by missing turnings but we were soon together again .

The ride was about 72 miles and top marks to Steve B for the route and leading it. In all those 72 miles we were on little used and unfamiliar roads .The weather had been kind and we all agreed it had been a great day.

Nick