WW to Northallerton 4 July 2024


Posted on behalf of Sean Christie
WW to Northallerton 4 July 2024
Graham (capt), Phil, Sean (older), Sean (younger), Greg, Fred, Mike B (1), Mike B (2) and Steve set off from the Shambles on time at 9:30. It was a mainly sunny day but with a VERY strong westerly wind blowing. Graham chose Northallerton as the destination so a side wind was the feature of the ride but it always felt as if we were in a wind tunnel and the occasional westerly segments were very challenging. Nick joined us on the A168 as we headed to Boroughbridge which is where Dennis met the ride and Fred left us. We headed out of Boroughbridge towards Brafferton then Sessay and Dalton to Thirsk where we stopped for coffee at the Cafe Plenty. This is a very cyclist friendly establishment with cycling shirts on the walls (unless they were trophies taken from unwary riders who were never seen again!). After refreshments over half the party left for home leaving 5 (Graham, Phil, Dennis Mike Bosomworth and Sean) to push on to Northallerton. I had intended to return but was won over by Graham’s “it’s only another 12 miles to Northallerton” pledge and my knowledge that the route was flat. However, Graham’s route incorporated some North York Moors foothills and was a bit more challenging than I expected. The downhill run into Northallerton was countered by the headwind so I was ready for lunch even though it was only an hour after the coffee stop. We ate at the newly reopened Cafe Arcade. The new management were very friendly and the food was great but the coffee could do with an upgrade! From Northallerton we headed South West to Wadaby then through North and South Otteringam to Maunby. We continued South to Busby Stoop before turning west under the A1 until we were in Kirklington, due North of Ripon. This was the hardest part of the ride with a strong headwind and some wearing uphill sections. From there it was an easier run into Ripon then down though Bishop Monkton to Knaresborough were we said farewell to Dennis with only the 10 mile run back to Wetherby left to do. I had a moment of drama in Kirk Deighton where I skidded on gravel and hit the kerb hard but miraculously stayed upright. I had wondered earlier in the day whether to ride an extra 8 mile to do my first 100 of the year but all thoughts of that had long gone from my mind. All in all, Graham’s clever routing made a long, windy ride doable and I think we were lucky in that the wind direction changed from slightly SW going to slightly NW on the way back which did help a bit.
Sean (old)