Ride Leader Graham B doesn’t exaggerate, in fact far from it. So when he said we were going to Rosedale and it would be ‘quite a long ride’, we knew we were in for a challenge, especially when Geoff M asked if we were going up or down Rosedale Chimney. As hills aren’t my greatest strength I checked online, Chimney Bank was reported as being one of the steepest in England. Someone had helpfully shared a video riding up the hill and it looked OK, except the rider was on a motor bike…..
The group met in the Shambles, including Graham B, Steve W, Steve P, Michael B, Mike B, Fred L, Sean C and me, Phil W. Michael wrestled with loose spokes before going for a repair with a promise to meet us en route. We set off along the A168 collecting Nick H on the way and met Dennis M in Boroughbridge, before pressing on to Easingwold. The wind direction was kind and we had hit a reasonable pace into Easingwold for our first stop, just as Michael arrived with wheels intact. Common sense or other arrangements had got the better of Nick, Sean, Steve P and Fred who all advised that they were doing shorter rides back to Wetherby via York, leaving the remaining six to head for the Yorkshire Moors.
On leaving Easingwold the daring six cycled east through Stillington, Marton-in-the-Forest, Farlington and Sherrif Hutton, then turning north up Terrington Bank, through Shaw Wood to Coneysthorpe and Amotherby, further north along Newsham Lane to Appleton-Le-Moors. Once we passed the sign for the Howardian Hills, we went up and down several before cycling into Rosedale, 62 miles into our ride. We stopped at a cafe called Graze on The Green, having lunch outside and admiring the lovely scenery and village of Rosedale.
Straight after lunch we headed up Gill Lane to Chimney Bank, needing to tack the full width of the road to help get up the 1: 3 hill. Congratulations to those who made it without stopping, I wasn’t one unfortunately, (I would have needed the motor bike!). Steve took a photo, all smiling with a sense of relief as we would enjoy a long descent to Hutton-Le-Hole and then to Kirbymoorside. We were then in more familiar territory through Hovingham, Crake and back to Easingwold before the final leg. We decided to head for Alne and towards Aldwark Bridge which is closed until October, so we used the public pathways and bridge on Aldwark Manor Golf Course to take us on our traditional route home, via Whixley, Cattal, Hunsingore and the A168 into Wetherby. Thanks once again to Graham who was absolutely right, ‘quite a long ride’, about 110 miles return, a great cycling challenge with tremendous scenery.