Wetherby – Askern, Tuesday 10th October 2023, 70 miles

Approximately 2-3 times per year WW visit the old mining village of Askern in South Yorkshire. Today’s ride was a 70 mile anti-clockwise route with an early-ish lunch planned to fuel up for a longer afternoon return ride home.

The author surprisingly bumped into Bob at Bramham traffic lights before meeting the group. Whilst it wasn’t initially clear why Bob was meeting there the pair convinced themselves this was a cunning plan by Stevie B to save the legs of the ‘quality cyclists’ for later in the ride.

The main peleton then arrived totalling 8 cyclists in all: Steve B, Keith, Stuart, Bill, Gavin, Bob, Steve P and, always a pleasure to see, John B.

The traditional southbound route was followed through Aberford, ‘Mickie’ then down the ‘Great North Road’ to Fairburn, Brotherton and Byram and across the River Aire to Beal. The peloton held firm and tight in one group.

Next, the old mining town of Kellingley …despite the pit closure in 1991 remnants of a bygone era were visible. After this the ride included the exquisitely named village of Cridling Stubbs’ followed by the ‘Blue Lagoon’ (Brooke Shields still nowhere to be found).

After Womersley the group arrived at Askern Lakeside cafe for an early lunch.

Feasting outside in the sunshine, gazing over the lake and idyllically sprouting central fountain one could forgive the wheelers for thinking they were overlooking Lake Leman or Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the similarity ends there…..on the Rue du Mont, Blanc 17, 1201 Geneva, the Cafe Bolear sells a Mochaccino coffee with additional syrup or whipped cream for 8.3 Euros… Askern Lakeside cafe sells a pot of instant coffee for 80p.

After lunch Steve B planned a different and interesting 35-mile return home journey, the party heading east through Sykehouse, east and west Cowick before Snaith…. a great piece of wind-assisted mile gobbling.

5 miles south of Selby Keith took the navigational reigns and guided us along a really impressive route around Burn airfield. The term cycle path does not give this route justice. Following this we journeyed through Church Fenton, Ulleskelf, Stutton then Bramham where we all went our separate ways.

On reflection Steve’s route was a 4-counties ride:15 miles in WY before crossing into NY at Brotherton. Staying in NY most of the ride apart from incursions into SY at Askern and into the East riding at Cowick and Snaith.

Quite unique to cover 4 counties in just 70 miles.

The kind weather made this a really enjoyable, nicely paced and slightly different journey.

Steve P