I was running late due to 4 way traffic lights at a major roundabout (the usual story – been there for ages and no need for 4 way traffic lights….moan over). A number of riders including myself had elected to meet the others in Kirk Deighton where there is a nice wooden bench to sit on and bus shelter if it is raining. Steve P also said he was going to pop into the church prior to setting off too…I don’t think he did which could have jinxed the ride…see later.
I saw the main group go past in Wetherby as I cycled quickly to jump on the back of the peloton as it sped into Kirk Deighton. We were quickly organised into 2 groups by Steve B, the ride leader and I was in a group with Steve B, Steve P, Bob L, Bill, Stuart and Nick. I cannot exactly tell you who was in the second group but I know Dave W, Keith, Gavin, Geoff and Neil were there. Apologies to anyone I have missed but I only saw you for a split second!
We set off towards Knaresborough, the weather wasn’t brilliant and there was a cold northerly wind, but it is November and it was good to be out. Unfortunately the hedge cutters were also out in force and as we turned off towards Ripon after Farnham we came across a load of fresh cuttings and thorns on the road. We thought we had all escaped OK but sure enough as we came into Bishop Monkton Steve B’s back tyre was flat.
The wheel quickly came off but the same cannot be said for the tyre which in spite of all our best efforts remained stubbornly stuck onto the wheel. Steve was wondering at this point whether they were in fact tubeless tyres with a tube in, they were so hard to get off. Steve decided that a taxi to the bike shop in Ripon might be the best course of action as it was only 4 miles away and he phoned ahead to Moonglu cycle shop who said they would be happy to help if he could get there. Unfortunately his attempt to get a taxi wasn’t looking too hopeful. In the meantime, Bob, not being one to give up, was still working on the tyre and to everyone’s amazement had managed to get a tyre lever under it! We all agreed Bob must have very strong hands!! With the help of Nick and Bill, the tyre was levered off and a thorn found. The new tube was inserted and the tyre reinstated on the wheel. Unfortunately it wasn’t seating properly but enough to get Steve to Ripon.
Arriving at Moonglu the guy there was extremely helpful and said that by inflating the tube some more the tyre should seat itself under pressure, which it did.
We were all very cold by this time and decided that we just needed a warm drink and some hot food so we headed to Oliver’s cafe. Masham was out now as it was getting late and the daylight wouldn’t last past 3.30pm but I heard the other group made it there ok.
The ride back was thankfully uneventful and much easier as we now had a tailwind which helped us all the way home and in particular along the A168 from Boroughbridge- we were back in Wetherby in no time.