WW Sunday Ride to Bedale, 70 miles, 21 April 2024.

An all conquering four left the comfort of Sunday in the chair, or was it to avoid chores and assembled in the Shambles for a 9.00 am start for Bedale. They were Nick, our Sunday Road Captain and Pathfinder, Graham, Pete D and me who shall remain nameless, Steve B.
There was a stiff and chilly wind from the north as we set off up the A168 to Boroughbridge. Now I decided to tuck in at the rear and practice my drafting however even I, feeling guilty, had to help share the work on the front on this stretch.
With the wind and no hearing aids conversation was challenging. However Pete and I felt Man City always looked the likely winners in the football.
From BB we turned through Langthorpe and on to Skelton where shortly after a double decker bus passed us, I know a service is required but didn’t they have anything smaller. ?
Our route took us to Copt Hewick, Sharrow, Hutton Conyers and Nunwick to Wath. Hutton Conyers like many villages can be traced back to the Doomsday Book. The land was owned by the Bishop of Durham and after his death passed to the Conyers family from where the name derives. It appears it was owned by several local hoy paloy afterwards.
After Wath we headed to West Tanfield where I stopped outside the gates of Tanfield Mill. It has operated as a water mill for over four hundred years although nowadays it is an ongoing hydroelectric project. You can see the old water wheel in the picture.

Shortly after a couple of old codgers rode past.

At West Tanfield we stopped for a coffee and an opportunity for the boys to try and win the lottery.

From here we climbed the hill and on through Well to the Masham Bedale road. As you can guess Well derives its name from the spring running through the village.
We took in a final loop before Bedale and went via Firby, I suspect one of Nick’s relatives lives at the Hall. In the village the school sports field had been painted with a running track in preparation, Graham you may need to present the gongs.

The road in Bedale upto the Tandem Cafe had been resurfaced 👍, but would you Adam and Eve it, the railway crossing was closed as an old multiple unit staggering over the lines. 🚞

Beans on toast and coffee were the favoured scram. Graham asked me to show him where I had filled my drinks bottle with degreaser at my last visit. Pleased to say they now have a warning post it note. 🙃

Good news lovely tailwind for our return journey and after Exelby we turned up to the A6055 at Burneston. From here the villages of Pickhill, Sinderby, Ainderby Quernhow, Skipton on Swale and Catton provided excellent scenery as we rode on in good spirits.
Ainderby Quernhow derives from Norse ownership, Ainderby meaning mound and Quernhow a Norse plunderers name.
Approaching Topcliffe we stopped and took in the Waterside apartments and the river Swale.

From Topcliffe it is a direct ride south to Thornton Bridge, Boroughbridge and Wetherby.
I wanted to be home no later than 3.30pm. Having ridden both Saturday and Sunday I needed to show willing. Especially as a meal was prepared.
Consequently we pushed on but at BB I shouted my goodbyes as there was a desire to use the car park amenity. So stamping on the pedals I set about the A168 and was home for 3.21pm. Smiles all round.
Sorry for the abandonment guys but a great ride Nick. Safe journey guys especially as Pete had the furthest to go.

Ps. Message for Carol, my hair needs cutting plus you could also clean my bike. Best not push my luck. 😂