Wetherby – Pocklington, Thursday 4th January 2024, 74 miles

On the first day of 2024 without any anticipated rainfall or strong winds, six of us met at the Shambles in Wetherby, determined to head east, picking our way through the floods caused by the heavy rain over the previous few weeks.  The group comprised ride leader Graham B, Sean F, Mike B, Steve P, Dennis M and me, Phil W, with a plan to have one stop only to give time to return in the daylight, and looking forward to some promised sunshine…..we can only hope!

We left Wetherby at 9.30am, heading east over the A1(M) motorway towards Walton, past Thorp Arch Trading Estate and along Wighill Lane, turning left on to Church Lane, on towards Healaugh and past Asham Richard, before reaching Askham Bryan.  There were several full width floods across the roads en route which we carefully cycled through, with acres of flooded fields to either side.  This was the theme of the ride, selecting passable roads whilst feeling sympathy for those farmers who are experiencing real difficulties, as a result of the saturated or flooded ground.

Leaving the ‘Askhams’ behind us, we cycled over the roundabout above the A64 and along Manor Heath to Copmanthorpe, through and left along Temple Lane and through Bishopthorpe.  Due to flooded roads near Naburn we joined the cycle track towards Selby, selecting one exit which wasn’t flooded, before heading through Escrick and along Skipwith Road before turning left to Wheldrake.  We turned left along Greengages Lane, turning right at the ’T’ and cycling through Elvington and Melrose, where Sean F turned home, having a much longer return ride home than the rest of us.  The remaining five cyclists continued though Allerthorpe before arriving at the Smile Cafe, just to the north of Pocklington, by midday.  

As ever, the cafe didn’t disappoint, after an excellent lunch, warm drinks and a good chat we headed back into Pocklington and turned west, through Barmby Moor towards Elvington.  We returned along our outward route as far as Wheldrake, where we continued through Crockey Hill towards York, turning back towards Naburn, taking the cycle track again for a short distance and into Bishopthorpe.  From here we again retraced our route out though Copmanthorpe, Askham Bryan, Healaugh, Wighill, Walton and into Wetherby.  Despite the various floods that we encountered, thankfully we had an enjoyable ride without incident, the weather was good and we returned as planned by 3.30pm, well before sunset.  

All in all, an excellent ride for this time of year.