WW Saturday ride to Birkin, 16 September 2023, 45 miles.

Despite there being a northerly wind, I decided to stick to my plan of riding south to Birkin knowing we would have a headwind for the return.
Just Phil Robertson and myself met at the Shambles with Pete C, Bob L and Gavin who had ridden from Sherburn meeting us at Bowcliffe Hall.
With the temperature just into double figures we duly set off and met the guys as planned and rode on south or should I say free wheeled south with the help of an excellent tailwind. Our route took us through Aberford, Micklefield and onto the Great North road before turning left down Westfield Lane to head for Lumby. We then headed east to Monk Fryston and Hillam.
The forecast suggested a fine day with only a 10% chance of rain. However at Monk Fryston we met wet roads and plenty of standing water as we went through Hillam. Presumably the good Lord felt their sins needed cleansing.
A couple of the troops decided on a ward robe change although there was barely any moisture in the air. Less than 4 miles later we arrived at Birkin Fisheries for 10.30.
Parking our bikes we gazed around to see a few hardy souls handling their fishing tackle.
Once inside we sat down in the conservatory where a pleasant member of staff took our orders of coffee, tea, cake, bacon sandwich and 3 rounds of scrambled eggs. Service was good apart from them not making my scambled eggs. I had to ask them!
Gavin enlightened us along with Phil on the background of current coffee names and history, the americano going back to WW2 origin in Italy.
I had planned a return which kept us out of the wind for as much as possible. Retracing our route back in the direction of Hillam but turning right to Gateforth and then up to the A63 and into Thorpe Willougby. Here we turned north over the railway and headed to Bishopwood and then Biggin, Church Fenton and Ulleskelf. It is clear these roads are the home to boy racers with the desires to overtake everything oblivious to hazards.
Three of us shared the honours on the front with Gavin and Pete being the protected riders. Gavin had come on his electric bike which weighed as much as a small elephant and Pete was finally back out after a spell of illness. Apparently I give him headaches.
Gavin peeled off for home at Church Fenton leaving the four of us to head for Stutton and the climb up towards Toulston and Bramham. Pete didn’t let us down as he poured on the after burners leaving us in his wake as we rode up the hill. Well he was the protected rider.
With Bob leaving us at Bramham the remaing three headed to BS where we left Pete as Phil and I crossed the Wharf to Wetherby. Phil was adament he topped his mileage upto fifty so he did an extra tour round Wetherby and the car parks.
Enjoyed our ride and thanks to Bob and Phil for their work on the front.