Wetherby – Kilburn White Horse, Thursday 25th April 2024

Destination: White Horse
Riders: Graham (Captain), Mike Bosomworth, Michael Brawley , Steve W., Steve P., Kathy, Nick,(reporter), Pete D., Phil, Dennis, Geoff and friend.
Weather: Cold

The Yorkshire White Horse has no prehistoric pedigree but was created in 1857. Historians credit a Thomas Taylor who was inspired b y older hill carvings and got 33 men to excavate the topsoil. Local gossip says it was a village school master and his pupils . I wonder if this animal wise ,farming reared kids had any input to the design. ( “No William. It is NOT a stallion. Leave it out”).

A good turnout in the Shambles. The White horse ride was changed by the Sunday lot recently because of the weather so we were going to go for it today in spite of the cold which had made most of us go back to winter gloves and base layers, except Mike, of course.
The ride to Easingwold was uneventful and finding the Fika cafe occupied we piled into Tea Tee next door for friendly staff, hot coffee and buns. Phil had to leave us here to go home and walk the dog. His dog must be like Danny, very persuasive.
Dennis joined the peloton which made up for Phil’s absence as we slowed for the hill in Oulston before rocking down to Coxwold where we turned right towards Byland Abbey and then the attractive lane to the foot of the White Horse. Somewhere along the way we met Geoff with a friend from K’bro’,out for a good ride but avoiding the White Horse.

Anyway, the attractions for cyclists are the café at the top belonging to the Yorkshire Gliding Club and the challenging climb which has a few hairpin bends and is 25% in places. When you get to the carpark you are about 2/3 of the way up. Needless to say, I was well behind the rest up here although I kept Steve P in sight until the last bend and he was just in the club grounds as I reached the summit. It was raining at the bottom of the hill, hailing halfway up and snowing at the top. Not much snow though and it soon turned to heavy rain but we were in the warm and dry by then.
The bad weather passed but Graham decided that we should take the route down Sutton Bank instead of the road through Boltby which is nicer but a hairy descent even in good weather. We don’t ride up Sutton Bank because 1) it is very steep, and 2) it is very busy with lots of heavy lorries. Going down it isn’t great either because 1)It is very busy with lots of heavy lorries,2) the bends and lorries demand much care and 3) the road surface is lousy in places which is no fun on a fast descent. Left turn then
That’s about it really. Home via Bagby,Dalton and a small detour to Knaresborough, meeting Geoff again. Good day. Thanks all.

Nick