Thursday ride report – 29th February – 74 miles

Spring is (nearly) in the air!

Well… it will be tomorrow, so with an upbeat mood six riders set off towards the Howardian Hills, leaving The Shambles in Wetherby at 9.30am as usual, the group comprising ride leader Graham B, Pete D, Fred L, Sean C, Dave W and me, Phil W. Dennis M said he would aim to meet us en route. The plan was to head to Easingwold via Aldwark Bridge for a morning break, head to Helmsley via Ampleforth and stop there for lunch. We expected a favourable wind on the way out and a headwind on the way back, so some teamwork would be needed.

On leaving Wetherby we cycled north along the A168 to Walshford, through Hunsingore, towards Tockwith and turning to Cattal, over the bridge, up Gilstforth Hill and through Whixley. We turned right at the Cricket club along Score Ray Lane , following the road past Queen Ethelburga’s College, along Thorpe Green Lane and over the stone bridge by the church, before turning right along Boat Lane to Aldwark Bridge. What a relief that it’s open again!. We pressed on through Youlton, Alne and stopping at the Fika Room cafe in Easingwold for a brew. Dennis had joined us at this point, so seven had a chat before pressing on, Sean and Fred were turning early leaving five to continue.

Graham chose a cracking route to Helmsley, leaving Easingwold to the north east along Oulston Road, through the village, turning left along North Moor Lane, following Thorpe Lane to Amplethorpe. This was a lovely part of the ride before tacking hills like Beacon Bank, before a good descent through Sproxton and into Helmsley for lunch, choosing The Cafe on the Square as a venue, which was excellent.

Leaving Helmsley back into Sproxton, we turned right up the long ascent of Cote Lane, turning off down the Wass Bank descent, through Wass, past Byland Abbey and through Coxwold. We followed the road to a right turn called Elphin Bridge Lane, through Carlton Husthwaite, along Quarry Banks, over York Road to Hutton Sessay, Little Sessay and followied the road into Boroughbridge. At this point Pete D decided to head to Wetherby via the A168 as he had further to go to Garforth, the remaining four went to Minskip, Staveley, up the Copgrove Lane climb then down Sandy Bank, to Farnham Lane and into Knaresborough where Dennis peeled off. The remaining three took our traditional route through Little Ribston, the Deightons and into Wetherby.

What a scenic ride! The expected headwind back wasn’t as severe as we thought, there was no rain, a glimpse of the sun and the last ride of winter ’23/24 was both safely completed and really enjoyable. Thanks everyone! (74 miles)

Phil W