What a beautiful Autumn day! Blue skies, bright sunshine, no wind and a little fresh first thing but a day which warmed nicely throughout. Nick H was ride leader today as we met at the Shambles in Wetherby at 9.30am, he was joined by Steve B, Michael B, Greg C and me, Phil W. After putting the world to right we set off shortly after 9.30am heading North along the A168, through Walshford and into Boroughbridge where we met Kathy V by the Crown Hotel, who made up our group of six for the ride.
On leaving Boroughbridge via the bridge over the River Ure, turning onto Leeming Lane and then left on to Skelton Lane, through Skelton and towards Ripon. We headed east on the Boroughbridge road, then north on Ray Lane, we followed the road through Sharow, onto Hutton Lane and through the picturesque villages of Hutton Conyers, Nunwick and Wath. We stopped for refreshments at the West Tanfield Post Office and store, sitting outside with a warm drink and some sugary sustenance in the sunshine. Steve B set off ahead of the rest of us as we turned right out of West Tanfield then left at the next crossroads turning off onto Halfpenny House Lane. We were astounded by the magnificent views, the lovely countryside and the weather, so much in our favour! We continued through Thornton Steward, turning right to Hutton Hang and onto West Moor Lane, through Harmby and into Leyburn just after 1pm, where we met Steve outside our usual Cafe, which was……closed.
(Thankfully, next door is Andy’s Bakers who also sell tea and coffee, so we enjoyed lunch and drinks in the market square….perfect.)
Heading South out of Leyburn, we turned right, several miles later passing through Middleham, East Witton, past Jervaulx Abbey and into Masham. Just before reaching the square we turned towards Grewelthorpe, via a couple of gruelling hills…. Once in Grewelthorpe we stopped for a photo and had a very short discussion about the route to Ripon, thankfully we agreed on the flatter option and made good progress through Sutton Grange and into Ripon itself. Our strong willpower meant that we didn’t stop for an afternoon refreshments break but instead took our usual route to Bishop Monkton where Kathy turned off towards Harrogate. The remaining five cycled towards Farnham, into Knaresborough and onward to Wetherby via Little Ribston and Kirk Deighton.
It was a tremendous day, thanks to Nick for leading and we remain hopeful that we have a few more glorious days like this before winter – fingers crossed! Route – circa 83 miles.