Boston Spa to Ripon and Boroughbridge, Tuesday 5th December 2023, 43 miles

I woke earlier than usual to allow time to walk the dogs before riding across to BS church. It was as forecast with light rain and drizzle, not the lemon cake variety. I thought if two or three drop out I might be able to go back to bed. However Wheeler’s are made of sterner stuff and with Pete D over from Leeds and Kathy from Hampsthwaite it required Yorkshire grit to be shown.

I met up with Dave W and we rode to BS where we met up with Neil, looking frozen, Kathy, Pete D and Bob L. suitably wrapped up. Keith unfortunately couldn’t make it due to the dogs keeping him up all night.

With the weather not looking good we decided to skip Fountains Abbey and have a shorter one to Ripon and BB.

Six of us set off across the Wharfe towards the cycle path on the Walton road. The early amusement greeted us with a standoff on the Bridge with 2 vehicles approaching and 1 blocking their way. A spot of handbags 😂😄😂 Are we allowed to say that now?

Anyway it didn’t stop us crossing.

The cycle path was covered in wet leaves and dodgy so care was needed.

Travelling to Knaresborough the drizzle maintained a steady flow and with extra surface water 💦 the wheels got a regular rinse.

Pleasingly the rain abated at Farnham and the skies started to lighten, I guess we could have done Fountains Abbey after all. However Neil was struggling with cold and wet feet, no over shoes, clue to his forthcoming Christmas box, and he decided to turn back leaving just the five of us.
That said we rode through the closed road section at Bishop Monkton and the regular water 💧 parks on our way to Ripon and Oliver’s Pantry.

Pleased to say they were serving drowned rats!😄

We settled in to Baked Beans, Scrambled Eggs and coffees. Now we all commented that we used to get two slices of toast, but not today. Must be a recession!

Inevitably the conversation centred around ailments and extra bodily fitments like heart valves, artificial joints and pacemakers. 😂😂😂 I suppose it was a change from our last visit when we heard about Kathy’s Florida holiday and I covered the villain and the rescuer in the form of the Orlando Sentinel from my visit there last century.

Time to ride home and cheerily the skies were blue and the sun was out plus we had a tailwind.😄 Great planning I hear you say.

Heading through Skelton to BB we decided against the Dunsforths as they were low lying and probably featured more standing water, not to mention the Nidd was high and Cattal bridge may have also been flooded. So pedal to the metal and we charged down the A168 to Wetherby with Pete D ensuring we didn’t slouch. With Dave and I peeling off first it left the three amigos to complete their ride back to BS.

I wonder if the 3 motorists had sorted their dispute over who should back down. Could require a U N Peace Keeping Force.

The pleasures of Ride Organiser meant getting to arrive home first.😄😄 more careful planning. 😄

Thanks guys and we were blessed as ever with improved weather.