Wetherby – Bolton Bridge, Thursday 19th October 2023, 65 miles

Six stalwarts, me, Greg, Graham, Phil W, Nick and (new) Seán , along with welcome new member Dave and led by Graham left a wet Shambles slightly later than 09.30, due to my late arrival for which I apologise. There was also a brief cameo appearance by Fred, who managed to cycle from his house in Wetherby and back bedecked as always in his Mt Ventoux gear.

The intended destination was Bolton Bridge, but the exact route was to be determined by the weather as we sped, alright rode along our usual route towards Pool. The rain increased and so an early coffee/tea break was had at Leathley farm shop and café, after which domestic duties meant that Nick had to head for home.

After our discussions over coffee/tea the world was bound to be a better place and so it turned out, because as we left the café the rain abated. Onwards then to Bramhope, via Pool, Creskeld Lane and up Old Lane to cross the A658,  to eventually cycle past Chevin Country Park Hotel and Park on our left and Otley Chevin on our right. The rain had pretty much stopped although the views were limited by mist. On we rode to Menston and then up the Cow and Calf before descending and taking the back/high road through Ilkley and on to Addingham, from where it is a relatively short distance to Bolton Bridge. At Bolton Bridge Seán carried on his merry way, whilst the remaining five riders enjoyed lunch at the café. Once again following our deliberations over lunch the world was an even better place when we left the café, as demonstrated by the fact that the rain had fully stopped.

From Bolton Bridge we took the lower valley road to Ilkley and then the back road to Otley. We climbed out of Otley and round to Leathley and then the junction with the A658 at Pool. From there the rain returned intermittently as we headed for Castley, Weeton and Dunkeswick . At the junction with the A61 Greg and Michael turned right, whilst me, Graham, Dave and Phil headed for Kirby Overblow, Sicklinghall and finally Wetherby.

Once again and despite the weather, a good ride in convivial company.

Mike B