Boston Spa to Fountains Abbey 19 Dec 2023 (53 miles)

A 9:15 start from the Church in Boston Spa with the prospect of a dry day with some sunshine and reasonable temperatures for December attracted 9 riders: Steve B (Ride Captain), Keith, Pete, Bob, Steve P (from Kirk Deighton), Neil, Stuart, Brian Young and Sean (old).

We started out over the bridge to Thorpe Arch then Wetherby via the cycleway to Kirk Deighton where we picked up Steve P. We cycled into a light headwind through Knaresborough then onto Ripley losing Brian (recovering from covid) and Stuart (recovering from his tumble a couple of weeks earlier) at the junction to Farnham. After Ripley the (modest) climbing started, winding up to the entrance to Studley Royal Park.

We photographed Steve and Pete’s decorated bikes by the church (obviously only they had read the rules of the Christmas ride!).

We didn’t have a vote as to the winner as they were similarly bedecked in tinsel (Steve-silver, Pete-gold). A tie seems fair to me. We also had some discussion as to the venue for lunch where we decided to push on to Boroughbridge (mainly flat/downhill plus a tail wind meant we could easily break the back of the journey before we ate. So, through Ripon to the always reliable Plenty care in Boroughbridge where we sat outside in the sun (but it was chilly so some of the team succumbed to the blankets provided).

After lunch it was a fairly easy final 20 miles back to Boston Spa via the Ouseburns and Whixley and whilst the wind did pick up it was coming mostly from the side so wasn’t a problem.