Ride Reports

Something – anything – about each and every ride. How many, weather report, distance, coffee stop, mechanicals etc etc


  • Day ride to Pateley Bridge – 15th February 2024 – 55 miles
    On a dampish but mild spring morning ten riders assembled at The Shambles: Graham, Mike, Greg, Pete, Phil, Dave, both Seans, Nick and myself (Tim). We headed west towards Sicklinghall past several major potholes. At Sicklinghall the group split into two but the ‘faster’ group were soon hit by technical problems (Greg’s loose rear mudguard) just outside Kirby Overblow. Roadside repairs were undertaken and Dennis arrived just in time to avoid needing to help 😊. Now back as one larger, somewhat straggled, group we headed down to the A61 and across through Burn Bridge and Beckwithshaw slowly climbing over into the Washburn Valley. Conditions were definitely quite warm and I was regretting wearing my rain jacket. Three riders had opted for shorts which wasn’t that outrageous. We stopped at Fewston Farm Shop café and new member Ian also appeared shortly before, so we were now 12. Over coffee Phil suggested to me that we would be doing 4000ft of climbing, which as it turns out wasn’t a bad guess. After the café (massive cakes) the group began to splinter. Nick and one Sean bailed out, then after we got onto the Greenhow road Dennis also headed off. We turned right towards the Nidd Valley and rolled over a few climbs across the tops before a steep descent down Nought Bank Road into Pateley Bridge. Sean #2 and Ian left us here and the remaining seven stopped for lunch at the Willow café. Their credit card machine was out of order but after a quick scrabble for cash and a cashpoint run, we had enough to pay our way with no need to wash up. After lunch we enjoyed the fact that there are no easy ways out of Pateley Bridge on a bike, but we probably took the easiest before then climbing through Smelthouses up to Brimham Rocks. The reward for the climbing was a long descent of several miles to Ripley where a left then right turn took us across the A61 again and past Nidd church (where I got married 32 years ago next month). Happily the forecast heavy rain never arrived. The roads were fairly quiet through Scotton and into Knaresborough, and then it was the usual run down to Wetherby. Cheers Graham and all for some decent winter mileage and climbing.
  • Wetherby Wheelers Sunday Ride to Selby, 11th Feb 2024, 52 miles.
    {Category Ride Report] This is a ride I generally don’t mind missing but I couldn’t see any names down on the WhatsApp group so turned up in the shambles possibly hoping I could divert Nick somewhere else. However on arriving there was no one there except John Miller ( new member hopefully) who had done the Saturday ride and had turned up to try the Sunday one. I ignored him of course but he was quick to introduce himself and Nick duly arrived with a plan. The three of us headed off for Naburn via Healaugh. The road was incredibly wet. The road flooded in numerous places but luckily the cars treated us kindly. Once over the river and on the cycle track we changed plan and decided to stay on it to Riccall. This is a nice section and has a good surface. However after Riccall the track isn’t much more than a narrow footpath and is very close to the main road. Perhaps we should have stuck to Nick’s original route. Too late however, so on through Barlby, past the old mills and into Selby. Nick asked for help finding the Cafe “The Hub” but I had never been. (Selby Bus Station/Garden Centre yes) When we did find it unfortunately it was closed. Nick decided to ask a friendly local for directions to another cafe only to find himself being invited into a religious debate. He might have been off his head on drugs?? Nick obviously missed the signs. At this point Nick was very against making do in Costa and so we did a quick tour of the market place but to no avail. Finally, we agreed to head to Sherburn garden centre. So we made our way out through Bishop Wood, Bishopdyke Road and in to Sherburn. The gods were once again against us as the menu was just Sunday lunch or coffee and cake. Coffee and cake then. However, we had time to have a good chat and conversation with John and try to convince him that we were usually much more organised. The return leg took us through Saxton, past Lotherton and into Aberford. Nick left us in Bramham and John and myself headed along West Woods Road to Wetherby. Graham
  • WW Saturday Ride around some local lanes, 40 miles, 10 February 2024

    The weather continues to govern when and where we ride and Saturday was no different, although it was forecast to be fine but cloudy. However fog and mist were to be the order of the morning. Along with plenty of surface water. Consequently I decided on a shorter effort.
    There was a pleasant surprise when I arrived at the Shambles as not only was Pete D there but also Dave W and a guest rider, 👏 had turned up.
    The potential new member had found our website and showing excellent initiative had ridden down to join us.
    His name is John Miller and had moved to Sicklinghall in December. Showing competent leadership I checked his brakes worked and asked if he had ECD. Yes was the answer although the second question I didn’t ask until halfway round. 👎
    John informed us he was from East Sussex and was a member of the Lewes Wanderers Cycling Club. Situated in land between Brighton and Eastbourne. Presumably the wandering had inadvertently lead him to Yorkshire and Sicklinghall. 😊
    We set off down the Walton road to meet Pete C and after further introductions rode on to Wighill, Tadcaster, Oxton. The stretch of road between the A64 bridge and Oxton provided the first test as we rode through the centre of the road to negotiate the flood. As is the case on a Saturday there were plenty of fellow devotees practicing their riding and no sooner had we passed the flood, we met another group coming in the opposite direction who shouted, Deep Flood Ahead. The water had collected in the hollow coming out of Oxton.
    Ever reliable Pete D showed his bravery and took it on first, I thought if he gets an early bath we can abort. Could have been quite a baptism for our guest. 🏊
    We also made sure other groups coming towards Tadcaster got a similar warning.
    Having all got safely through we rode on to Appleton Roebuck, down Daw lane turning north to Acaster Airfield and Malbis. As expected the Ouse was very swollen. We then headed to Copmanthorpe and Askham Richard and our cafe stop at the Grange.

    The cafe was busy but not before we muscled in on a table. Normally there are more staff on but today just the two.
    We did say to John all new riders paid for the coffee, Pete C said this ordinarily included full English breakfast. Only joking. 🙃
    After our refuelling we set off for home, Pete C needed to be back early for family duties and left us to ride to Healaugh, we headed to Rufforth, Long Marston and Tockwith, and in true holiday guide fashion pointed out the Marston Moor monument.
    After Cowthorpe we turned to Wetherby on the Knaresborough road and as Pete D had further to go he sped on leaving Dave and I to see John to Wetherby.
    Despite the mist a good ride and hopefully we gave our guest convivial company and as much information about the club to enable him to decide on whether he would like to join.

    Steve B

  • Wednesday 7th Feb 2024 – Boston Spa-Allerthorpe Lake – 65miles
    Tuesday was wet but Wednesday looked good so Ride Leader Steve suggested we delay The Tuesday ride. It turned out to be a great call because we had great weather – cold, sunny and just about windless. Unfortunately, Steve’s garden was being converted into a trench so he had to stay home which meant I stepped into the breach for one week only! Regular Tuesday riders Neil P, Steve P, Phil R Dave W met at the church at the usual time and were joined by Phil W making only his second appearance with the Tuesday lot. We set off at a decent pace going via Wighill and Healaugh. Phil R left us at this point and we continued past Askham Bryan College. I managed to stop two riders (who should remain nameless) trying to take a short cut using the A64 before we reached the Planets Path to cross the river. Leaving the path, we noticed that the Moor Lane bridge was still flooded. We intended to come back that way so a route replan was needed for our return. After Escrick and Elvington we took the Thornton road before we stopped at Allerthorpe Lake for lunch being joined by Steve Ward after about 10mins. Steve P was celebrated a milestone birthday …… although in this case, the milestone was reaching the age when a pension arrives so we helped him spend his first payment by allowing him to pay for our coffees. The ensuing discussion covered a trip to South Africa with photos of an elephant entering living quarters before switching to a potted history of George Hudson (the Railway King) who had a massive impact on so many towns in the area. Steve P then started extolling the virtues of Wetherspoons in Garforth where he was going to celebrate his birthday – fair to say he is not letting his new-found wealth change him! Steve W rode with us on the way back taking more than his share of riding at the front which meant we made good speed. We headed back on a diversion via Escrick before rejoining the Planets path and came the rest of the way via the airfield at Acaster Selby then Bolton Percy. At Tadcaster, Phil W and Dave W left us to go back via Wighill and Steve W left us to go back to Aberford to get his car. Neil and I rode back to Boston Spa with Steve before heading back to Bramham. Going back to the start, as we were leaving Boston Spa, we saw my wife leaving the church. Lisa and I act as a local collection point for a charity (The Clothing Bank) that collects clothes in good condition that can be used by people who, for whatever reason, are struggling so she had been there to collect some bags of clothes left by their parishioners. If any members are having a wardrobe clear-out and would like to support the charity, please give me a shout. One final quirk, being one to notice patterns (whether useful or not!), it was odd that all the riders had surnames from the latter end of the alphabet with 2xP, 2xR and 3xW. We had lovely weather for the time of year so it was a really good ride – two good Tuesday rides on the trot – long may it continue! May be an image of map and text
  • WW Tuesday Ride to Brimham Rocks and Ripon, 56 miles , 30 January 2024.
    Normally it is the Thursday ride which tackles the hills but I decided an early ride with some climbs seemed a good start for the year, that said not as challenging. I rode across to BS Church and couldn’t help notice after the rain how high the Wharfe was, something which we would witness on the roads. Waiting at BS church was Pete C and we were soon joined by Keith, Neil and Pete D. Nick was joining us at the top of Linton lane. Unfortunately Pete C was suffering with a stomach bug and had decided he would turn early. As it was Nick needed to have a short ride also and he and Pete turned at Sicklinghall. This just left the Rampaging Four. Our route had taken us to Collingham, Linton and up-to Sicklinghall where as I had witnessed before the road was flooded at the top of the street. It never fails to amaze me when this happens although it was easily explained as the pond at the roadside had flooded. No flood at the bottom of the road. Moving on we rode to KOB and down the lane to the A61 where we turned right and into Burn Bridge. The climb up Hillfoot Lane was steeper resulting in me getting shot out the back. Something that would happen on a few further climbs on the way to Brimham Rocks. I think all three of them probably wished they had donned an extra warm top. Whereas I stayed warm with the extra effort. Mind you they at least got a regular rest. From Burn Bridge we went to Beckwithshaw and onto Pennypot lane then turned to Hampsthwaite. On a Tuesday Sophie’s cafe is closed so another visit on a different day would be necessary. Our next effort involved the climb of Clint Bank and turning then north and west up to Burnt Yates. Leaving the Pateley Bridge road we headed to Brimham Rocks. The views continued to improve the higher we got and Neil remarked it was not my normal approach to have a lumpy ride. I pointed out today was specifically for him to celebrate his enjoyment of hill riding. That was about the only conversation I had on the way out since everyone kept leaving me, fortunately I didn’t take the hint. Plus I refused to stop when I caught them up. This meant I could avoid any feedback. 😂😂 A brief photo stop at the top and we turned down wind and started our descent through Risplith to Ripon, special chapeau to the motorist who stopped and allowed us through a flooded section thereby avoiding a drowning. Our cafe stop was at Tates garden centre. A recommendation from Kathy. The bike park is round the back and I have to say the place was very welcoming. A selection of savoury and sweet options along with coffee satisfied our cravings. Our final route took us over the Ure and through Skelton, again negotiating the flooded sections, to Boroughbridge and up the A168 and home. With a pleasant tailwind we made good time. The Nidd was running high so avoiding a route to Cattal bridge was probably a wise move. Many thanks guys for your patience and for an enjoyable ride.
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  • Wetherby – Boroughbridge, Saturday 27th January 2024, 42 miles

    An early (for me) start at 9am from the Shambles in Wetherby for the fabulous 3 Degrees: Pete C (Ride Captain), Steve B and Sean (old).

    The excuses from our usual companions were legion despite a lack of forecast rain and only moderate winds so it was a small select group that set off North with a tail wind through Kirk Deighton to Knaresborough then Farnham on a route that seemed formed around the idea of turning in the opposite direction whenever we came upon a sign for Boroughbridge. This strategy took us through Copgrove before relenting and finally turning right in Bishops Monkton.

    This turned the tailwind into a crosswind, so our pace dropped a little on the road to Roecliffe and finally snacks and coffee at the always excellent Plenty café in Boroughbridge. We were amongst a largely bike riding clientele but managed to beat the rush and got a table for 3 inside.

    Suitably refreshed, we headed home in a moderate headwind via the Dunsfords and Whixley to Walton where Pete and I departed from Steve for the final couple of miles.

    Thanks to Pete for organising the route – I arrived home exactly at 1pm as planned!

    Sean C

  • WW Thursday ride to Allerthorpe, 25th January 2024, 71 miles.
    A decent turn out this week of 10 on one of the better days of the year so far. The first part of the ride took us through York to Dean’s garden centre. It was quite busy but they were quite accommodating and rearranged some tables so that we could all sit together. After the teas and cakes it all looked to be going quite well but I was well aware that if we were to get around the planned route we needed to get a move on. So I left the car park at the head of the group and set off. I wasn’t aware however that Dennis had discovered one of his tyres was a little on the soft side. Now I knew that he wasn’t turning for home as he had said nothing. I won’t go into any more details except to say I had done about 5miles before I realised that Dennis wasn’t with us. Sadly a lost and dejected Dennis headed for home. The group now pressed on to Pocklington and turned south near the market place to pass Pocklinton School, the gliding club, Allerthorpe village and on to the lake. Again the cafe was surprisingly busy so we all sat in the annex. A limited menu on the day but good quality. We set off thinking that it could rain mid afternoon and the light could diminish early; Leeds chaps in particular. So shortest route home taking account of crossing the river. When we got to Wheldrake we turned left for Eskcrick, left again at Deighton and on to the cycle track before reaching Naburn. When we left the cycle track on the outskirts of Bishopthorpe we knew we had to go through Bishopthorpe village. However second disappointing event of the day now occurred. I stopped to make sure everyone got off the cycle track but the leading group went through some temporary traffic lights and pressed on. The remaining five had no idea which way they had gone so we took our normal route home through Copmanthorpe, Healaugh, Wighill and home. It was about 4.15 when we arrived back but the light had faded. Hope the Leeds boys didn’t get too wet. The full group was Graham, Pete Dack, Neil, Nick, Dave Westerman, Bob, Greg, Michael Brawley, Steve Pearson and Dennis. Graham
  • WW Tuesday Ride to Riccall, 42 miles, 23 January 2024.
    Four members of the Wheelers SAS squad assembled at BS church ready for action. In case you are unsure of the meaning, SAS stands for Saturated and Soggy. The four were Neil, Keith, Dave W and me Steve B. We were honoured with Pete C in his cycling gear, he decided to not ride, and Stuart fresh from his Medical repairs, turning out to wave us off. It was hardly a six month tour from Portsmouth 😄 to the Red Sea. The forecast had deteriorated from Monday. The weather Gods were continuing with their diet of baked beans and mushy peas with the promise of winds for the rest of the week. In view of the weather I had chosen a shorter route and we set off to Wighill, Tadcaster, Bolton Percy, Appleton Roebuck and Acaster Malbis. The Wharf was running high when we crossed the bridge and it became more ominous that flooding was going to affect our journey. Sure enough as we rode towards Wighill the view to the right was filled with the newly formed permanent feature of the Tadcaster Lagoons. Thankfully the crocs were hibernating. Dave and Keith were deep in conversation busy planning the next Rugby Lions Tour. 🏉 I commented on the Lady we regularly see out running on Daw Lane, in all weathers. Special Chapeau to her. Riding past Acaster Airfield the police were hiding in one of the openings clearly avoiding any grief. 🚔 It was obvious Acaster Malbis would be flooded yet again and that forced us to ride to Bishopthorpe in order to get to the cycle path. The Ouse had broken its banks and the whole area was flooded Again. The only thing missing was a rebuild of Noah‘a Ark. That said the area looked like a film scene from Dunkirk with the small boats waiting to pick up survivors. The run down the cycle path to Riccall was into the wind and we were glad to make the cafe as we had endured a constant stop start of rain for the first 22 miles. Fortunately we managed to squeeze onto two tables and enjoy a hot drink and food. With the risk of flooding around Naburn we took the sensible option of retracing our ‘steps’ , at least the wind was with us. A further variation on the route was to follow the whole cycle path back to Askham Bryan and then by road to Healaugh, Wighill and Walton. There we split into two groups to head home. Two miles from home my front brake started to bind but thankfully it continued to work. Pleased to say a new cable fitted so all should be well. All in all a good ride despite the elements. Ps. Kathy, any chance you can return with some warm sunny weather with a constant tailwind for us. 😄
  • Wetherby – Sherburn in Elmet, Saturday 20th January 2024, 36 miles

    Riders: Pete Cartledge, Dave Westerman, Sean Christie & me, Alec Marley

    Route: Wetherby, NCR 665, Toulston, Stutton, Ulleskelf, Cawood, Sherburn Aero Club, Sherburn in Elmet, Aberford, Bramham then to our separate homes in Boston Spa, Wetherby & Bardsey.

    A red sky in morning was not what I wanted to see before I set off to Wetherby for the Saturday social ride. However I needn’t have worried … what’s a bit of wind!?!?

    Setting off with Dave along the NCR and after a bit of hick-up gathering the Boston crowd, off we went with the focus to the obligatory cafe stop … this time it was the Sherburn Aero Club. It was a surprise to hear it was a first for Sean.

    Setting off after a break of sitting in the warm and good chit chat we remembered we had to face the wind and cold. At last, as we arrived in Aberford as we looked forward to the wind being behind us. As we flew into Bramham we all said our goodbyes as we headed off on our own journeys home. Thanks guys for the company and hopefully having 4/5 layers will not be needed next time!?!?!

    Alec

  • Wetherby – Masham, Thursday 19th January 2024, 67 miles

    Two ‘diehard’ Thursday Wheelers met in a cold, but sunny Shambles – me and Graham who had just become a Grandad (congratulations Graham). We set off for Masham, via Ripon, around 09:30 after waiting to see if there would be any other riders. We made pretty good time along the A168 to Boroughbridge and from there to Skelton where we encountered out first small section of icy road. After honing our bike skills in Skelton we made for Ripon and Café Nero where we had celebratory coffee and cake. Just as we were finishing we were joined by Dennis and so yet more coffee was consumed (thank you Dennis) before heading for Masham via North Stainley where we encountered some slush, due to a burst water main. Bike skills intact we made for West Tanfield and then, staying on the main road, to Masham. After a convivial lunch we made our way back to Wetherby via our traditional route – Grewelthorpe, Kirkby Malzeard (a small deviation to avoid potential ice) Bishop Monkton, Farnham (again a small deviation to avoid potential ice), Knaresborough and Little Ribston. All in all a good ride, with very little ice on the roads that we used (thank you Graham), in cold, but otherwise excellent cycling weather with some great views.

    Mike Bo

  • WW Tuesday Ride Copmanthorpe, 45 miles, 16 January 2024
    On Monday evening I had reviewed the weather reports and with the roads looking dry and a light SW wind it looked like a promising morning despite being cold and so it proved with some sunshine 🌞 thrown in as well. Dave W and I set off from Wetherby to meet Keith and Neil at BS church. A number of members had decided to miss the ride due to the risk of ice and sub zero temperatures, understandable, they were letting me down gently I think. 😄 Our usual route took us down Wood Lane and over the Wharfe. Not today folks. Police vans one at either end along with the police tape halted our progress. The nice Police lady apologised even though it wasn’t her fault for the disruption. An incident had taken place although looking at the abandoned vehicle on the bridge it didn’t look much of a problem for pedestrians and cyclists. Can’t let you through was the cry. So despite the recovery truck backing onto the bridge some quick thinking was needed, no laughing please 😂. Out came the phone and a call plus message to Keith and Neil required. As it happens folks Keith had sent a message while we were riding warning us of the closure. Suffice to say we headed for Wighill and then Tadcaster to meet them at the A162 junction out of the centre of the town. This allowed K and N chance to ride through BS to meet us. We didn’t know the cause of the problem until we got home later and learned a man had fallen off the bridge just before midnight. The body had been found and our condolences to his family. Well turning to the ride. Because of the cold weather a shorter one was planned. Our destination was Selby and the Hub cafe, out via Tadcaster, Ulleskelf, Church Fenton, Biggin and Bishop Wood. The riding conditions were good and not as cold as expected with the wind remaining very light. Coming out of Biggin I suggested we skip Selby as we had not ridden that far and head to Wistow, Cawood, Stillingfleet and Naburn planning a stop at the Little Acorns cafe at Copmanthorpe. They had a democratic meeting and to avoid me throwing my toys out of the pram agreed. With the breeze at our backs we rode on. Out of Cawood Dave told us of an inconsiderate motorist who had showered him and Pete D on Sunday on the same stretch. No shower today just some ice to avoid and the only piece encountered on the ride. We joined the cycle path at Howden lane where the Highway troops were busy clearing the flooded area under the bridge. Our route to Copmanthorpe took us through Acaster Malbis, first time for a few weeks we had been able to get through, the fields were still full of water. The cafe was busy but as we arrived a table became free which meant no one was in danger of being thrown out to make room for us. The hot drinks and food were welcome and despite a warning of snow flurries from Phil R we enjoyed our break. The final leg of the ride took us to Askham Bryan, Healaugh, Wighill and Walton where we split and went our separate ways home. Thanks for the ride guys and our efforts were rewarded with some fine weather.
  • WW Tuesday Ride to Easingwold, 9 January 2024, 60 miles.
    Sorry a very late report! An assortment of Wheelers met at BS church ready for the day’s ride. Keith, Pete D, Bob L, Kathy, Sean C, Dave W and me, Steve B. We were meeting Nick further down Rudgate. Both Pete C and Steve P were recovering from their respective complaints, while Neil showed excellent commonsense taking a weeks holiday in Tenerife. The plan was to ride to Easingwold for a cafe stop and then back via Huby to Skelton and Poppleton. Our route took us to Walton, down Rudgate to Cattal, collecting his Nibs on the way and then to Whixley, Great Ouseburn, Dunsforths and into Boroughbridge. The conversation again covered the Post Office scandal, as well as Kathy’s planned visit to Oz. Going through the Dunsforths we past the grapevines and we felt a visit and testing would be welcome. At Boroughbridge Nick turned back as he had a meeting to attend. The next leg took us to Thornton Bridge and into Brafferton where more house building was underway. At this stage we split into two groups with Pete D, Kathy and Sean riding ahead while the four of us stayed back. Bob was not feeling 100% so a gentler pace. At Easingwold we made full use of Teehee with hot drinks, beans on toast etc and flapjack being the order of the day. As Bob was not his usual chippy self I set off back with him on a shorter route, not by much though, and asked Keith to follow when ready so we didn’t hold them up. Sean decided to head for Aldwark and take the off road path to get back home. Bob and I rode to Tollerton then towards Overton. It was here the others caught us and Dave said he would stay with Bob and I while the others rode on. The plan was to cross over the ring road by taking the cycle path. Unfortunately it was obvious it had been flooded and was muddy. Keith rode back to warn us but not before Pete D had slid off and took a mud wallow. Fortunately he was not injured but clearly wet and cold. January is not Pete’s favourite month as his past tumbles had all been in January. This meant we had to ride down the A19 get round onto the ring road to get to Poppleton. The ride was proving a challenge. It was necessary to push on via the Rufforth cycle path, so Keith, Kathy, Dave kept Bob company back to BS, while I rode a more direct route to Wetherby down the B1223. I felt it was the better option to get to my gaff, get Pete’s steed in the car and get him warm and home. I think Bob may well have picked up some illness as he was struggling. Most unlike him, he is normally as strong as an Ox. Major apologies to Pete for his slide and clearly a major kit clean. Another eventful ride, although it stayed fine.🌞
  • Wetherby to Boroughbridge, Saturday 13th January 2023, 38 miles

    Saturday 13th January ride to Boroughbridge by Pete Cartledge. The morning was bitterly cold and I was thinking, “Should I give it a miss?”. Car windscreens were iced up but I decided to ride to The Shambles as I haven’t ridden for a while. The cycle path from Boston Spa to Wetherby was a bit dodgy. Arriving at 9am Steve B, Bob L, Phil R and myself met up to decide our route. Steve B had planned for Knaresborough, Farnham, Bishop Monkton, Rawcliffe and Boroughbridge but we changed that to miss B. Monkton and head for Staveley and Minskip as the roads were iffy with footpaths frosty. As we went over the traffic lights at Knaresborough on to Chain Lane, I heard Phil shout “Stopping”. A spoke had snapped in his rear wheel! After altering the adjustment on the brake to allow the wheel to turn, Phil turned back to head for Spa Cycles for the repair, leaving the three of us to continue on to Plenty cafe for a welcome hot drink. On leaving, Phil Webb and his mate were just arriving, so I guess we kept their chairs warm! Riding back via the Dunsfords was uneventful other than it was still cold and a total of about 38 miles. We were all pleased that we made the effort to brave the weather!

    Pete C

  • Wetherby to Thirsk, 11th January 2024, 65 miles.
    [ Category Ride Report ] [ Comments off }

    An excellent turn out in Wetherby for this ride and the prospect of picking up others en route. Nine riders left the shambles and headed for Knaresborough with Nick to join us between North Deighton and Little Ribston. We split into several groups with the aim of hopefully meeting Geoff and Dennis at Piccadilly Motors. No Geoff or Dennis so we pushed on to meet Kathy on the hill out of Farnham. Geoff was there with Kathy so we now had 12 members but still Dennis was absent. The route now was to go through Ferrensby, Arkendale, Marton cum Grafton, Lower Dunsford and finally Boroughbridge. Most of the group achieved that and the plan was to have a quick coffee in Plenty. Despite a few missed phone calls we finally found Dennis in the cafe and the group was finally assembled. At this point Steve Booker decided to do a runner to get ahead of us and took Dave Westerman with him. Steve and Dave missed the break but the rest of us had a pleasant cupper in the back room. Kathy said good bye at this point and the rest of us set off to chase Steve and Dave.
    We took the direct route through Norton le Clay, Cundall, Topcliffe and Carlton Miniott. We didn’t catch the run aways but we were united in the Upstairs Downstairs Cafe. Steve had arrange a nice big table so we could all sit together and the food was excellent. The only problem at this time of year was that the service was a little slow meaning we had to get a move on to get back to Wetherby in the light. The return journey took us via Dalton and Sessay to Boroughbridge. At this point we would normally return via Knaresborough but I decided to take the shortest (least popular) route down the A168. Mike Bosomworth opted for the Dunsforths, Bob and Geoff for Arkendale while the rest headed down the Great North Road. I must admit the pace at the front went up a bit and myself, Michael Brawley, Pete Dack and Dave Westerman made it back to Wetherby for 3.35. I waited at the normal spot and saw both Phil and Steve Pearson. I hope everyone enjoyed the day.
    The full 13 person turn out was Graham, Phil, Geoff, Dennis, Kathy, Nick, Bob Johnson, Mike Bosomworth, Michael Brawley, Steve Pearson, Dave Westerman. Steve Booker and Pete Dack.

    Graham
    [ end ]
  • Wetherby to Ripon, Thursday 28th December 2023, 43 miles
    Six people, GB, Mike Bosomworth, Michael Brawley, Pete Dack, Phil and Sean F turned out for the final Thursday ride of the year. There may have been a few more looking to shed a few pounds but were put off by the forecast of strong winds. We were heading for Ripon and Olivers Pantry which according to their web site was open. The minor problem was a forecast for rain between 12 and 1.00 . Progress through Knaresborough and Staveley was easy because of the tail wind. At Boroughbridge the Ure was extremely high and we now turned in to the wind to head through Skelton. Annoyingly the forecast rain arrived early and rain jackets were needed for the last few miles through Copt Hewick and Sharow. Thankfully Olivers was open and we managed to sit out most of the heavy rain discussing knife crime and eating bacon sandwiches. Stupidly I managed to leave my gloves outside during the cafe stop. The return journey followed the normal route through Bishop Monkton to Knaresborough and then home. The return home was windy but without the expected big gusts. Graham
  • Wetherby to Lotherton Hall, Sunday 7th Jan 2024, 37 miles
    Just Nick and myself out this Sunday. Quite a surprise, since for January it was a decent day weather wise. Obviously just going to Lotherton and back isn’t very far and so we headed through Boston Spa towards Aberford and Fairburn. Just before the A63 we turned left and went through Lumby and then in to South Milford. I asked Nick if he had ever stopped at the Old Post Office cafe which he hadn’t. A new one on me? I was surprised that it was open but it was actually very busy. We had a coffee outside next to a very efficient patio heater. They do excellent breakfasts and their cakes are fantastic. Back on the bikes we made our way past Steeton Hall and its ancient gateway, through Newthorpe and into Sherburn. We then turned left into Coldhill Lane and we were now both pondering whether or not it was worth stopping at Lotherton Hall. We decided it was and retired for hot sausage rolls. A discussion about how long it was ago that we had actually been in the hall concluded that it was indeed a long time ago. We set off refreshed and took a direct route back via Aberford and the 168. A brief pause in Wetherby before Nick’s fairly early return to Tockwith. Anyone for York…?
  • 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.

    Phil

  • WW Tuesday Ride to Otley, 2 January 2024, 40 miles.
    First Club ride of 2024, it was great to be out despite the rain. On the Monday evening the weather suggested we might make the cafe at Otley before it rained. Well five of us met at BS church, Keith, Pete D, Neil, Bob L and me Steve B. However the forecast had closed in further but not enough to deter us. Bob needed a shorter ride so he decided on doing about 20 miles out to Healaugh and back via Tadcaster. That left the four of us to set off to Collingham, Sicklinghall, KOB and then onto Dunskeswick and Weeton. Keith and Pete entertained Neil and I discussing the Fujitsu Post Office system, or should we say disaster for the Post Office Owners. This was followed by the pain of heading a football from the past compared today. Well there were other subjects but I was busy trying to keep up. Fortunately Weeton wasn’t a problem however we had to avoid Castley and get to Leathley, Farnley via the main road. The river at Otley was very high but it didn’t stop us enjoying coffee and cake at the Rumble Tum cafe. The rain had started before we arrived at Otley which meant rain jackets essential. Our route home was the Leeds road to King Road and then Eccup, Shadwell and Thorner. The roads were full of water with debris lining the edges. Despite this the views across showed the extent of the flooding. I was surprised to see the reservoir wasn’t as full as expected. Pete departed home at Shadwell and I said my goodbye to head home to Wetherby on the A168 before Neil and Keith rode into Bramham. Top company guys and enjoyed being out.
  • Boston Spa to Ripon and Boroughbridge, Tuesday 5th December 2023, 43 miles
    Six people, GB, Mike Bosomworth, Michael Brawley, Pete Dack, Phil and Sean F turned out for the final Thursday ride of the year. There may have been a few more looking to shed a few pounds but were put off by the forecast of strong winds. We were heading for Ripon and Olivers Pantry which according to their web site was open. The minor problem was a forecast for rain between 12 and 1.00 . Progress through Knaresborough and Staveley was easy because of the tail wind. At Boroughbridge the Ure was extremely high and we now turned in to the wind to head through Skelton. Annoyingly the forecast rain arrived early and rain jackets were needed for the last few miles through Copt Hewick and Sharow. Thankfully Olivers was open and we managed to sit out most of the heavy rain discussing knife crime and eating bacon sandwiches. Stupidly I managed to leave my gloves outside during the cafe stop. The return journey followed the normal route through Bishop Monkton to Knaresborough and then home. The return home was windy but without the expected big gusts. Graham
  • Boston Spa to Fountains Abbey 19 Dec 2023 (53 miles)
    A 9:15 start from the Church in Boston Spa with the prospect of a dry day with some sunshine and reasonable temperatures for December attracted 9 riders: Steve B (Ride Captain), Keith, Pete, Bob, Steve P (from Kirk Deighton), Neil, Stuart, Brian Young and Sean (old). We started out over the bridge to Thorpe Arch then Wetherby via the cycleway to Kirk Deighton where we picked up Steve P. We cycled into a light headwind through Knaresborough then onto Ripley losing Brian (recovering from covid) and Stuart (recovering from his tumble a couple of weeks earlier) at the junction to Farnham. After Ripley the (modest) climbing started, winding up to the entrance to Studley Royal Park. We photographed Steve and Pete’s decorated bikes by the church (obviously only they had read the rules of the Christmas ride!). We didn’t have a vote as to the winner as they were similarly bedecked in tinsel (Steve-silver, Pete-gold). A tie seems fair to me. We also had some discussion as to the venue for lunch where we decided to push on to Boroughbridge (mainly flat/downhill plus a tail wind meant we could easily break the back of the journey before we ate. So, through Ripon to the always reliable Plenty care in Boroughbridge where we sat outside in the sun (but it was chilly so some of the team succumbed to the blankets provided). After lunch it was a fairly easy final 20 miles back to Boston Spa via the Ouseburns and Whixley and whilst the wind did pick up it was coming mostly from the side so wasn’t a problem.
  • WW Tuesday Ride to Selby, 12 December 2023, 45 miles.
    Only five riders out due to the conditions as well as those recovering from illness, injury and house removals. The festive five were Keith, Bob L , Pete C, who had recovered from his headaches, Pete D and me Steve B, Santa’s helper. Damp and misty weather was the order of the day as we rolled out across the Wharfe to Walton and Wighill. With all the rain we had endured some areas were suffering in biblical proportions. The bridges at Tadcaster, Cawood were closed and flooding had closed the roads at Ulleskelf and Acaster Malbis. In addition there was plenty of standing water on the roads to add to the fun. Consequently the route selected was hopefully going to avoid these obstacles. Once through Healaugh we sailed through 3 log flumes heading to Copmanthorpe. After which to get over the Ouse we had to go via Bishopthorpe. We stopped on the bridge to survey the scene, pretty incredible but not really pretty and attached a picture of how it normally looks. QUIZ Can you guess what the 2 Narinja old boy’s are saying? Answer at the end. The plan was to come off the path onto Howden Lane and ride to Stillingfleet and Riccall. Change of plan, the lane was like a lake! Which meant we rode along the Planet’s path to Riccall and Selby. Festive photos enclosed. We managed to squeeze into the Hub cafe thanks to Pete D’s smooth moves asking the lady on her own to swap tables allowing us the bigger one. Pleased to say their homemade Christmas cake was available. After hot drinks and food we headed back via Bishop Wood, Biggin, Church Fenton to Barkston Ash. Keith and I talking about the Covid enquiry and what it hopes to achieve. We then covered heart rates and the affects of adrenaline and stress when riding. Mmmm heavy stuff. Its not surprising how we all talk of ailments be it our own or family. After Lotherton we said our goodbyes to Pete D as he peeled off for home at Aberford, leaving the four of us to ride to Bramham where we finally split for our respective dwellings. Big well done to Pete C who hadn’t been out for a while but was in excellent form and to Bob for checking I was okay during the ride, as well as the lads waiting for me. Many thanks guys, enjoyed the ride. ANSWER A lot of water 💧💧💧💧 dude. 😄
  • Wetherby Wheeler’s Christmas Lunch, Crooked Billet, Saxton, 10 December 2023.
    Just a brief report on the Club’s Festive Lunch. This year only 21 of us and slightly down on-last year due to illness, Nick our Chairman had flu and a medical operation for Kathy on her wrist. Unfortunately 4 short of an Advent Calendar 📆. Also this year Laura had accommodated us on two tables and not in the Conservatory. On Table 1 were the high flyers including our Club President Frank and a warm welcome to Kenn as well. Pete C and Bob L were acting as chauffeurs. In addition the Club Treasurer, Alec, had loosened his Scrooge like purse to ensure all had a drink to celebrate the occasion. Plus not least was the Club Secretary with his festive top and sporting a Father Christmas beard. Sorry guys the rest of you at the table fall into the Elf category. It is worth saying though that 4 of them, Graham, Michael, Greg and Mike B had ridden across in somewhat miserable conditions. On Table 2 were the also rans including our meal Coordinator Bill, full marks for his skilful arrangements, and to Steve P who had also ridden across from home. I have to mention Gavin who with festive waistcoat and trilby reminded me of Arthur from the program “Minder “. Special welcome to Dave and Neil, 2 new members as well as Steve W who we hadn’t seen for a while. Finally I believe the food must have been good judging by the empty plates. One last word for Laura for keeping us in check and best wishes to her when the baby arrives early February.
  • Boston Spa to Ripon and Boroughbridge, Tuesday 5th December 2023, 43 miles
    I woke earlier than usual to allow time to walk the dogs before riding across to BS church. It was as forecast with light rain and drizzle, not the lemon cake variety. I thought if two or three drop out I might be able to go back to bed. However Wheeler’s are made of sterner stuff and with Pete D over from Leeds and Kathy from Hampsthwaite it required Yorkshire grit to be shown. I met up with Dave W and we rode to BS where we met up with Neil, looking frozen, Kathy, Pete D and Bob L. suitably wrapped up. Keith unfortunately couldn’t make it due to the dogs keeping him up all night. With the weather not looking good we decided to skip Fountains Abbey and have a shorter one to Ripon and BB. Six of us set off across the Wharfe towards the cycle path on the Walton road. The early amusement greeted us with a standoff on the Bridge with 2 vehicles approaching and 1 blocking their way. A spot of handbags 😂😄😂 Are we allowed to say that now? Anyway it didn’t stop us crossing. The cycle path was covered in wet leaves and dodgy so care was needed. Travelling to Knaresborough the drizzle maintained a steady flow and with extra surface water 💦 the wheels got a regular rinse. Pleasingly the rain abated at Farnham and the skies started to lighten, I guess we could have done Fountains Abbey after all. However Neil was struggling with cold and wet feet, no over shoes, clue to his forthcoming Christmas box, and he decided to turn back leaving just the five of us. That said we rode through the closed road section at Bishop Monkton and the regular water 💧 parks on our way to Ripon and Oliver’s Pantry. Pleased to say they were serving drowned rats!😄 We settled in to Baked Beans, Scrambled Eggs and coffees. Now we all commented that we used to get two slices of toast, but not today. Must be a recession! Inevitably the conversation centred around ailments and extra bodily fitments like heart valves, artificial joints and pacemakers. 😂😂😂 I suppose it was a change from our last visit when we heard about Kathy’s Florida holiday and I covered the villain and the rescuer in the form of the Orlando Sentinel from my visit there last century. Time to ride home and cheerily the skies were blue and the sun was out plus we had a tailwind.😄 Great planning I hear you say. Heading through Skelton to BB we decided against the Dunsforths as they were low lying and probably featured more standing water, not to mention the Nidd was high and Cattal bridge may have also been flooded. So pedal to the metal and we charged down the A168 to Wetherby with Pete D ensuring we didn’t slouch. With Dave and I peeling off first it left the three amigos to complete their ride back to BS. I wonder if the 3 motorists had sorted their dispute over who should back down. Could require a U N Peace Keeping Force. The pleasures of Ride Organiser meant getting to arrive home first.😄😄 more careful planning. 😄 Thanks guys and we were blessed as ever with improved weather.
  • WW Tuesday Ride to Allerthorpe, with added variety, 28th November 2023

    With the temperature no more than 1 degree eight Wheelers plus one guest assembled at BS Church dressed ready for the cold.
    Keith, Pete D, Bob L, Stuart, Dave W, Neil P, Steve P, Mike our guest from Kirby Malzeard, supporting Stuart and your resident hack, me, Steve B.
    None of us were expecting what was to be quite an eventful day. I had already posted the proposed route on WhatsApp the evening before.
    Heading out of BS towards Tadcaster we all know what the congestion can be like with parked vehicles and only one lane free. So REALLY what was the articulated lorry doing coming up?
    Once through our journey took us up Rudgate to Stutton, Ulleskelf and Cawood. Approaching Stutton we split into two groups. The quicker guys of Keith, Steve P, Neil, Pete D and Dave rode on ahead.
    The remaining four set a steady tempo and maintained a knowledgeable chatter.
    Mike had apparently known Stuart for a number of years, cycling together in Wales and despite 18 years continued to live at K M. He reminded me of Bob J with his saddlebag and helmet less head, but a scarf and woolly hat to keep the chill at bay.
    We arrived at Cawood to see the front group loitering outside the corner shop. They shouted as we went past the bridge was closed. I immediately thought I’ve never seen the bridge closed there must be a river vessel coming through. Wrong, the barriers had come down and stuck, some motorists had been there half an hour!
    The bridge man shouted they would be open in 3 minutes. What else could he say when the Road Captain had arrived. 😄😄
    Across we went and onto Kelfield, Escrick, Wheldrake, Elvington and Melbourne. More on this shortly.
    The faster group past us heading to Kelfield and with Keith double checking the route we let them crack on.
    After the keffulle at Cawood we got back into our stride. Much to our enjoyment, well Christmas is coming, the roads at Elvington had been repaired with fresh smooth tarmac. Wonders never cease.
    Crossing the bridge at Sutton on Derwent we were greeted with the view of flooded fields which immediately made me comment about the bridge to Melbourne being closed a few weeks ago. Sure enough the signs were out including not just road closed but pedestrians and cyclists couldn’t get through.
    I hope the front group saw the instructions 😂😂😂😂
    apparently not. Reading and riding requires multi tasking . 😂😂😂
    At this stage we couldn’t be sure.
    We rode on towards Barmby Moor planning to get to our destination via Thornton. The right turn to Thornton said road closed, albeit only half the road blocked, but knowing the route I felt comfortable taking it as it probably referred to Haggs Bridge at Melbourne.
    Sure enough we were through and arrived at Allerthorpe. Country Park cafe for midday. Guess what, you’re right no front group. Keith had sent a message to say the bridge was closed, well we already knew that.
    The four of us settled into hot drinks, food and cake, boy can they cook and bake. The quiche and chocolate cake demanded the question from me, do you take lodgers?
    The breakfast baps also being popular.
    Suffice to say the rest arrived to guffaws of derision, while we were eating. Apparently they didn’t take the Thornton road as they feared having to turn back again, instead they headed to Barmby Moor and came in via Pocklington. 😄😄
    To be fair they took it in good humour.
    Finishing first the four of us headed back via Thornton and I did ask they didn’t insult us too much once they caught us up.
    The faster group caught us at Sutton on Derwent and for a short spell we were together before a tractor and a line of cars help fragment the peloton coming into Wheldrake.
    Three were ahead and caught in the traffic , the rest of us took the back way through Wheldrake to the Crockey Hill road. Another phone call ☎️ where were we?, on ahead I said so more chasing back on for them.
    We all briefly regrouped on Howden lane and the faster four cracked on. This left five of us, however Stuart despite having a back up electric pack was down to 6% and was worried. Mike kept an eye on him while the rest of us rode in front. Unfortunately another off piste event then happened. I rode onto the cycle path and saw Bob behind with the other three following. Bob must have not seen me ride up the track to the path and he went straight on. Steve P, Mike and Stuart joined me. Where was Bob, another phone call 📞 and no answer. Steve P and I waited for Bob allowing Stuart and Mike to keep going in view of his electric issue. We tried ringing again on the bridge and left a message. Pleased to say he got home safely via Stillingfleet, Cawood, Ulleskelf and Stutton. So much for controlling the ride, it was becoming Fred Karnos again.
    Steve and I realising what had happened rode on via Copmanthorpe to Healaugh where we caught up with Mike and Stuart. The latter had come off and Mike was affecting some minor repairs. We then took our time back with Stuart’s bike not 100%.
    Despite all a great ride even if it had got colder. Thankfully Stuart is okay and is more worried about his bike.

    Thanks guys.
    Another adventure! 🚴‍♀️🚴‍♀️🚴‍♀️☎️📞🍰🌭

  • WW Saturday Ride to Boroughbridge, 25 November 2023.
    With the temperature hovering around zero, six Eskimos set off from the Shambles for the Saturday ride to Boroughbridge via Bishop Monkton. Cold it was but you could be forgiven for thinking it was a summer’s day when looking out the window. Well despite Sleepy’s absence Phil W, Pete’s C and D, Bob L, Alec M and me Steve B the Pen were ready to drive the Polar Bike train 🚂. Our route took us through Knaresborough, Farnham and Bishop Monkton before turning east to Boroughbridge. It was only as we left Bishop Monkton did the temperature rise above 1 degree but with the breeze now with us it made the journey much easier. Arriving at cafe Plenty we were greeted with no room at the Inn, which meant not the stables but a seat outside with a blanket. Pete made full use to protect his pins. 🦵🦿 Hot drinks and sandwiches plus cakes were happily consumed. We did tell stories about our past dogs 🐕 who had performed exceptional tasks. Pete C covered one of his dogs from his farm days fetching a gosling from the barn into the house, washing it and taking it back. Bob told us about carrying his dog well over a mile after it was injured, something I once did with mine on a Lake District hike. Plus teaching the same dog how to get across cattle grid. Pete C gave us an update on his progress which surprise surprise meant extra massage needed. 😄😄😄 for his trapped nerve. Leaving the cafe amid a volume of traffic our route took us through the Dunsforths to Great Ouseburn, onto Whixley and through Cattal to Walton. With the breeze at our backs the ride in the sun was most enjoyable. We had happily agreed to let Pete D and Phil crack on, well they are quicker, which meant we didn’t see them again. Guess the breakaway took the stage honours. At Walton we went our separate ways and even though the temperature barely crept up to 5 degrees it was an excellent ride. Thanks guys.
  • Tuesday 21st November – destination Masham

    I was running late due to 4 way traffic lights at a major roundabout (the usual story – been there for ages and no need for 4 way traffic lights….moan over). A number of riders including myself had elected to meet the others in Kirk Deighton where there is a nice wooden bench to sit on and bus shelter if it is raining. Steve P also said he was going to pop into the church prior to setting off too…I don’t think he did which could have jinxed the ride…see later.

    I saw the main group go past in Wetherby as I cycled quickly to jump on the back of the peloton as it sped into Kirk Deighton. We were quickly organised into 2 groups by Steve B, the ride leader and I was in a group with Steve B, Steve P, Bob L, Bill, Stuart and Nick. I cannot exactly tell you who was in the second group but I know Dave W, Keith, Gavin, Geoff and Neil were there. Apologies to anyone I have missed but I only saw you for a split second!

    We set off towards Knaresborough, the weather wasn’t brilliant and there was a cold northerly wind, but it is November and it was good to be out. Unfortunately the hedge cutters were also out in force and as we turned off towards Ripon after Farnham we came across a load of fresh cuttings and thorns on the road. We thought we had all escaped OK but sure enough as we came into Bishop Monkton Steve B’s back tyre was flat.

    The wheel quickly came off but the same cannot be said for the tyre which in spite of all our best efforts remained stubbornly stuck onto the wheel. Steve was wondering at this point whether they were in fact tubeless tyres with a tube in, they were so hard to get off. Steve decided that a taxi to the bike shop in Ripon might be the best course of action as it was only 4 miles away and he phoned ahead to Moonglu cycle shop who said they would be happy to help if he could get there. Unfortunately his attempt to get a taxi wasn’t looking too hopeful. In the meantime, Bob, not being one to give up, was still working on the tyre and to everyone’s amazement had managed to get a tyre lever under it! We all agreed Bob must have very strong hands!! With the help of Nick and Bill, the tyre was levered off and a thorn found. The new tube was inserted and the tyre reinstated on the wheel. Unfortunately it wasn’t seating properly but enough to get Steve to Ripon.

    Arriving at Moonglu the guy there was extremely helpful and said that by inflating the tube some more the tyre should seat itself under pressure, which it did.

    We were all very cold by this time and decided that we just needed a warm drink and some hot food so we headed to Oliver’s cafe. Masham was out now as it was getting late and the daylight wouldn’t last past 3.30pm but I heard the other group made it there ok.

    The ride back was thankfully uneventful and much easier as we now had a tailwind which helped us all the way home and in particular along the A168 from Boroughbridge- we were back in Wetherby in no time.

    Kathy

  • Library
    The library window today. Thanks to Phil W and Kathy for “ What the Members Say” Nick
  • WW Saturday Social Ride to Sherburn Aero Club, 18 November 2023.
    Nick has been very prompt with his Sunday Ride report, yesterday we had family for lunch, no more excuses so I better get cracking with one for Saturday. I had woken in good time and first job is to walk the dogs, it was a miserable start with drizzle in the air, didn’t feel too motivated, however once back and my porridge consumed I rode to the Shambles with Dave Westerman for the 9.00am start. As expected from the Watsapp messages just the two of us. As arranged we set off for BS to meet Pete C in constant drizzle. Pete was waiting at the church looking equally depressed. However once we set off out of BS towards Tadcaster the drizzle cleared and the clouds started to lift. Does the word righteous come to mind. Well the three veteran Tough guys rode on towards Ulleskelf, Church Fenton, Ryther and Cawood. There was plenty of standing water in the fields but the roads were largely clear. We passed coming the other way the new member I believe, Sean as we shouted our pleasantries. As I was leading the way, geographically speaking, I listened to the two Pop Pickers as they went through a music All Our Yesterdays. Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Burt Weedon, and others. Being more of a Blues fan I listened with interest and have to say it made the journey very enjoyable. It seems Dave’s years playing Rugby had brought him into contact with a number of people Pete knew. From Cawood we headed towards Thorpe Willoughby before banking right back onto the Sherburn road and into the Aero Club. The club was quiet and we were in no rush. Scones, Bacon sandwich and hot drinks didn’t take long to arrive in the festive surroundings. The conversation again went back in time with the changes to policing compared to Pete’s 30 years chasing villains. Again Pete and Dave knew a few past officers they had come into contact with. We then taxied to the road and took off. Our route home was shorter passing through Sherburn, Lotherton and Aberford before we arrived at the top of Bramham where we parted company with Pete as we headed home. Dave and I rode back via the A168 and cycle path in to Wetherby. We all agreed as is often the case we had made the effort. Very much like Nick and Graham. Thanks guys.
  • sunday 19 Nov
    Date Sunday 19 November Destination Ilkley Weather report Depends who you ask. Chance of rain Who’s out? Graham and Nick Some apologies for absence came in on What’s App so just two of us met at 9.30. I ( Nick), had to get home early so Graham agreed to join me in an abbreviated morning. Still, we had a pleasant ride- Sicklinghall, North Rigton and Almscliffe Crag, then down to Stainburn and Pool for coffee. The North Rigton- Almscliffe Crag- Stainburn section is especially attractive once you’ve done the fairly easy climb up to it and the autumn leaves on the trees caught the sun whilst those on the road called for caution on the steep downhill. A cyclist in the café assured us that we would get soaked in Wetherby later. Descending to Weeton I remembered Mark’s request at the AGM and paused for a photo. Near Dunkeswick , Graham got a thorn in his front wheel but it didn’t take long and we were still on schedule. No rain in Wetherby.
  • WW Tuesday Ride to Selby, 52 miles, 14 November 2023.
    The previous evening the weather was looking uncertain in terms of rain but the wind would subside. On the basis of this AI weather forecast a sensuous seven promised their attendance. The good news was very little rain for our proposed route. This moved our sensuous seven up-to a Fabulous Eight the following morning. Five met at BS church, Keith, Pete C, Stuart, Dave W and me Steve B. Three more were collected at Aberford, Gavin, Pete D and Neil. Bob L had said last Saturday he would be out but instead he flew the country to Wales, Kathy also sent her holiday apologies from across the Pond. It seems excuses are becoming more extraordinary by members having to flee the country rather than ride. However Steve P had the best excuse, arranging a Physio appointment on an official ride day, or was it a massage with a HE. 😁 Moving on we had a shower of rain before starting and didn’t suffer any rain until while we ate our lunch and only needed a short ride very late on in the rain. Leaving BS our route took us past Bowcliffe Hall, on to Aberford and Micklefield. We turned off the old A1 down Westfield Lane riding to Lumby, Fairburn and on to Hillam. The quiet lanes always inspire. Passing through Birkin, West Haddsley and Temple Hurst our final section involved crossing Barlby Airfield (ducking under the flight path) and on into Selby and the Hub cafe. Sheltering under a large umbrella we consumed eggs, beans, toast, cakes and drinks. Politics was discussed or should I say a new Hyde Park Corner was created. Just needed a soap box. The cafe promised to have their excellent Christmas cake available soon. Thankfully the rain stopped and we set off to Barlby, Riccall, Kelfield and Cawood. Our journey had been largely peaceful all day but the extra rain showed its affect with a high river level and over flowing into the fields around Ryther especially. We said our goodbyes to Gavin at Ulleskelf as he headed home. The rest of us rode through Stutton towards Bramham where we all broke off to go our separate ways home. Glad we got out guys, many thanks.
  • WW Saturday Social Ride to Riccall, 40 miles, 11 November 2023

    The festive song the 12 Days of Christmas has 9 Ladies Dancing, well the WW version has the 9 Crocks out Cycling. I can’t remember the last time we had such a great turnout.
    The 9 elves were Phil W, Phil R, Glyn, only his third ride in the last few weeks after a long injury layoff, Geoff (great to see you) and me Steve B at the Shambles. More on the other four shortly.
    The five of us headed up the cycle path next to the A168 and onto the 168 road up to Bowcliffe Hall before turning left to Toulston Lane. Not an easy journey with the sun low in the sky hindering our vision.
    Phil R was on a change of bike, but it didn’t stop us Raleigh round him.
    At the top of Windmill Hill the Boston Spa and Bramham revellers, namely Pete C, Bob L, Sean C and Stuart were there ready for action.
    Stuart having recovered from his ills after Tuesday.
    Splitting the group into two Phil W was too slow stepping backwards when a request for a volunteer to lead was requested. 😄🚴‍♀️
    So off we went with Phil leading Sean, Glyn and Geoff in the first group and me leading the second.
    Our route took us through Stutton, Ulleskelf, Cawood to Riccall. There were plenty of cyclists coming in the opposite direction on a lovely sunny day even if the temperature never got above 6 degrees.
    We arrived at the Pickled cafe at Riccall shortly after Phil’s group. Great marshalling of the troops Phil.
    It was obviously a popular choice as Keith and Darren were there with another friend.
    The cafe is also the Post Office and has its own bakery with the sausage rolls, scotch eggs and cakes easily devoured.
    Well a variety of sandwiches, savouries and cakes were duly ordered with the coffee.
    The nine of us set off back on the six miles to Naburn on the very leafy and slippery cycle path. I missed it and didn’t dare ask for a rerun but Phil W lost his real wheel in hopefully not too bad a spill. 🚲 🍁
    After Naburn our journey took us through Copmanthorpe, Healaugh to Wighill. Despite trying to get over his ailment Pete C couldn’t resist pulling the peloton along. Unfortunately it caused a split and we had to regroup in Wighill where recuperative jelly babies were issued.
    We said our goodbyes at Walton and went our various ways home.

    BIG well done to Glyn for riding across from Leeds and back, stuck to his task.
    To Geoff who we don’t see to often on a Saturday.
    Special Despatch to Phil W for leading group one.

    Thanks guys enjoyed our ride.

    Steve B

  • Wetherby – Bedale, Thursday 6th November 2023, 72 miles

    Weather reasonable, dry but cool for most of the day, rain showers arriving for the last few miles.

    Ride distance 72 miles.

    The group meeting at the Shambles in Wetherby was Graham, Mike Bosomworth, Mike Brawley, Phil, Greg and me Pete D, Nick joining us as we left for Knaresborough. A second contingent joining the group at Piccadilly Motors Knaresborough, Dennis, Geoff, and Mike Daybell (New).

    It was decided that Dennis would shepherd one group directly to Melmerby to meet up for coffee with the second echelon who under Graham’s leadership would wind their way on a longer ride through numerous villages to the coffee meet.

    G’s group headed out on a convoluted ride through Arkendale, Grafton, Lower Dunsforth, Boroughbridge, Marton-Le-Moor and Rainton to arrive just after Dennis’s group.

    We continued onto Bedale after coffee and sustenance as one group while maintaining safe spacing and ensuring we did not obstruct traffic.

    While passing through Kirklington (I think) we had a close encounter at a minor junction when a car intending to cross the main road we were riding along appeared to slow at the junction but then for some strange reason accelerated across the road as we were about to pass. Fortunately, the driver saw the error of their way (thankfully) and stopped. A few robust comments were expressed towards the driver who quickly disappeared.

    Lunch was taken at the 360 Cyclework Cafe, beans on toast with cheese seemed a popular choice, beans are a staple food for cyclists and are probably guilty of releasing many tonnes of obnoxious gas into the atmosphere. Phew.

    Service was a little slow as there was only one person preparing the food but eventually, we all got fed and watered and ready to hit the road again.

    It was decided that our return due to the possible lack of daylight would be via a well travelled route through West Tanfield, Ripon, Bishop Monkton back to Knaresborough,

    The Knaresborough guys left us here and the remaining bunch continued homewards to Wetherby and beyond.

    Rain decided to show itself as we left Knaresborough and rain jackets were donned by some and a swift pace was maintained back to Wetherby, Nick leaving us just before North Deighton to head for Tockwith.

    Farewells were said and the remaining contingent headed to their homes after a good day riding and even the rain didn’t dampen our spirits.

    Pete D

  • WW Tuesday Ride to Easingwold, 7 November 2023.
    Hope you like a soap opera. 😄 On Monday evening the weather looked promising and with 10 stoic members indicating their attendance we were set for a strong turnout. Keith unfortunately couldn’t attend as he had Pantomime technical duties to complete and Kathy one of our regular riders was Florida bound. Those expected at BS church were Neil, Bob L , Pete C, Stuart, Dave W, Gavin, good to see you, Pete D, Steve P, the Garforth presence and me Steve B. We had arranged to meet Bill at the A168 roundabout, well one of them. Before leaving home I got a call from Fred to say he was now coming and I arranged to meet him at, you guessed it, an A168 roundabout. Before leaving BS church we arranged two groups with five faster riders lead by Pete D setting off first with the ‘suggestion’ they went through Knaresborough to Boroughbridge with the plan we all arrive together at Easingwold. Well so much for plans. More later. We set off back over the Wharfe to the Walton road and Wetherby and the A168. Not everyone’s favourite but it is direct and flat. Collecting Bill, Fred and a twelfth rider in Nick, waiting at a A168 roundabout.😄Riding on Nick was just doing a short run to BB and Stuart suffering with cold and a cough also chose to return at BB. Hope you are recovering Stuart. At Thornton Bridge we headed to Brafferton, Raskelf then Easingwold. Thornton Bridge so named after the bridge over the Swale. Originally owned by the Lord of the Manor before reverting to the crown. At Easingwold Pete was feeling a little weary as this was his first long ride for a while and needed a breather like the rest of us. We settled in the Fika cafe with coffee, hot chocolate, scrambled eggs and cake. We had arrived at 11.25 expecting the others to be close at hand. The flags weren’t out but should have been as Fred also had a coffee. We had eaten, felt good for avoiding a short heavy shower and began to wonder where the fast group were. I tried ringing, no answer and no messages to say if all was well. After over half an hour they arrived as we were preparing to leave. They had ridden to Ripon? Missed the right turn to BB. Suddenly the day was taking on a Fred Karnos appearance. So an extra ten miles or more. Pete wanted a shorter route back so Bill, Bob and Fred retraced their steps. I stayed back to take the others on the full circuit. six of us, Pete D, Gavin, Steve P, Dave, Neil and me set off to Huby, Sutton on the Forest before taking the Wiggington road south. The ghostly presence from Garforth on the front carrying out his media duties. We turned west briefly and then south to Skelton crossing the A19 to pick up the cycle path taking us to Poppleton. Crossing the A59 as we trundled on. From there we picked up the cycle path to Rufforth but not before having to negotiate a fallen tree. Finally onto Healaugh, Wighill and Walton where we said our goodbyes, not before medicinal jelly babies of course, and then we took our separate ways home. Thanks guys and a good ride despite the route change. No rain to trouble us apart from a few minutes while sat in the cafe. Special thanks to Pete D for leading the fast group to Easingwold, to Bill, Bob and Fred for supporting Pete back to Wetherby. Ps. I need to claim tax relief on the jelly baby issues.
  • WW Saturday Ride to Askham Richard, 4 November 2023.
    Not surprisingly the weather was the usual factor affecting the destination and length of the ride. Well on Friday the forecast was for a light breeze from the east with rain likely from noon. Phil R had said he would decide in the morning and sure enough he messaged to say he had a late gig and wouldn’t be coming, presumably he had to stop out until he had sold all his copies of the Big Issue the night before. Well Alec and myself, Steve B were joined in the Shambles by Phil W, who said I need to be back early as I have to be in Harrogate for 1pm. Another presumably, retail therapy support Phil? We set off to Walton to meet the fourth member of the squad , Pete C. With the weather being uncertain I had decided on a short loop and a cafe stop at the Grange. Our route took us to Wighill, Tadcaster, Bolton Percy, Appleton Roebuck, Acaster Malbis initially. Bolton Percy is like many villages dating back to the Doomsday Book when its name was just Bolton. The Percy was added in the 13th century following William the Conqueror placing the Percy family as Lords of the Manor. That completes the history lesson so moving on. We were blessed with dry roads and quiet conditions. Pete was out for only his second ride in weeks and despite everything made slight work of the effort. Unfortunately Phil was riding the same route as he had on Thursday. The plan was to cross the Ouse at Naburn and ride to Fulford, returning over the Millennium Bridge to Bishopthorpe and onto our coffee stop. At a steady pace we arrived at the Ship Inn at Acaster Malbis to be faced by the Tsunami of water. This scuppered the plan so we decided to head through Copmanthorpe and onto Askham Richard and the Grange. We recommended Phil cracked on so as not to miss his retail therapy. The three of us settled in the cafe for their usual excellent food at extremely modest prices. I even ordered a Christmas cake, again very reasonable. However while relaxing the rain came which made us avoid a longer loop home and we cracked on back via a more direct one. At this time of year just getting out is great and again glad we did. Thanks guys.
  • WW Halloween Ride, 31 October 2023. Revised destination Sunnys cafe.
    Five members of the WW Special Forces arrived for action at BS church. They were Kathy, our Intelligence Officer, Steve P, Maintenance guru, Pete D. Squad Leader, Dave W, new squad member, and me Steve B, Tail end charley. Clearly the fear of Halloween ghosts deterring many others, or was it the weather! I had in mind the previous evening to ride out to Ledston where last year their village display was excellent. However Pete and Steve had ridden from that general direction and it seemed a little unfair to subject them to ride back the way they came, plus the roads were probably very dirty and maybe flooded. So we decided on a visit to Sunny’s cafe not far from Cycle Heaven. I know it was raining but we could at least dream. Sunny,s came about with the Covid outbreak when Sunny decided on a career change. Our route took us to Walton, Tockwith, Rufforth, Askham Bryan and through York to the Fulford road and our cafe stop. Between Tockwith and The Marston Moor monument we were warned of the impending storm Ciairan when a very obliging motorist chose to accelerate past us through a large puddle on the wrong side of the road and drench us. Even though we were already wet didn’t stop us questioning his parentage. Our ride through York got a little messy with traffic but we arrived safely. A very pleasant lady served us coffee, scrambled eggs, beans on toast, baked potato and cakes. The eggs were as I remember,👌, and the baked beans must have been equally good as they didn’t touch the sides when Kathy and Dave got stuck in. Which left Steve to demonstrate his culinary approval by clearing his plate of baked potato 🥔. Our table discussion touched on the subject of after the event of how we didn’t have a Covid plan and the various people appearing to criticise Boris etc. Very easy to criticise! People love to have a political dig. Value for money 💰👌 at Sunnys. Our route back was Fulford, Naburn, Stillingfleet, Cawood, Ulleskelf, Tadcaster and BS. With a gentle breeze to assist we had a good ride home despite the increasing poor weather. it didn’t stop us having a photo shoot at Cawood bridge and thankfully no paddling . Apparently Dave had been through when the water was running across the road.🌊 Cawood is notable for the Cawood sword, 🗡️, probably washed down the river a long time ago. We said our goodbyes at BS but not before a medicinal jelly baby. Thanks guys it way good ride and glad we made the effort. Special thanks to Kathy, Steve and Pete for coming all the way out.
  • Wetherby to Fewston and Ilkley, Thursday 26th October 2023, 54 miles

    This ride was posted as a ride to Hebden but once again the weather intervened and there were no objections when I decided to change the lunch stop to Ilkley. The morning started with some drizzle and a poor forecast but I was delighted to see 7 people on the start line, all obviously keen to avoid those household jobs. So myself Graham, Nick, Steve P. Mike Bosomworth, Michael Brawley, Dave Westerman and Sean Flesher headed off towards Kirkby Overblow and the normal route to the farm shop above Fewston. The drizzle had now changed to rain of the persistent and annoying type but our mood was brightened by the appearance of Phil Webb in Burn Bridge, with a big smile and his best Tommy Steele impression. After a brief stop, we carried on up the hill and through Beckwithshaw, along to Norwood and then up to Cobby Syke and the Farm Shop and cafe. We were now all thoroughly wet, gloves tested to the limit and jackets removed and placed on the backs of chairs in the faint hope that they might dry before we set off again. It didn’t take long for me to decide that Hebden probably wasn’t a good idea and we settled down to a relaxed coffee break in the knowledge we were now only heading for Ilkley. Most people now had something to eat with their tea or coffee and sausage rolls seemed to be very popular.

    We eventually had to move on but the rain had not relented and so it was back on with the wet gloves and off through the reservoirs and up to Timble. Over Askwith moor with a steep hill to climb on the back lane and then down to the river and our normal cafe at the station. Sean didn’t stop for lunch and headed off for some extra miles. Another relaxed break was taken with sport being the main topic of conversation. As we left the cafe the rain had finally stopped but we were then not on our way as Mike Bosomworth discovered a puncture. It didn’t take too long to mend and Dave kindly gave Nick a hug when he declared he was feeling cold. Steve P has a picture somewhere. The route home took us over the iron bridge and into Otley. Steve left us here and Mike Brawley left us at the Harrogate road. Despite the rain, I think everyone was pleased they had made the effort to get out. Autumn in Yorkshire. I can think of a lot worse places to be.

    Graham

  • Wetherby to the Elmets of Barwick & Sherburn, Saturday 28th October 2023, 38 miles

    Riders: Stuart Whittle, Phil Robertson, Pete Cartledge, and me, Alec Marley

    Route: Shambles – Linton – East Rigton – Thorner – Leeds Orbital – Barwick in Elmet – Aberford – Sherburn in Elmet – Tadcaster – Boston Spa – home

    On a typical autumn morning … fog, drizzle brief moments of sunshine … we set off from the Shambles heading for a ride amongst our Elmet towns of Barwick and Sherburn. I thought a route including the cycle paths following the Leeds Orbital was a new route for Phil, Stuart and Pete and so it proved. After we reached Aberford we were back onto familiar routes and heading to Penny’s was well welcomed.

    I was well pleased with Pete who stuck it out although he was finding it tough. We all stuck together and enjoyed a good social ride … thanks for the company

    Alec

  • Boston Spa – Bolton Bridge, Wednesday 25th October 2023, 63 miles

    Paul Hudson’s ears must have been burning this morning! The first conversation of the day was about how it wasn’t supposed to rain until lunch-time but, here we were in Boston Spa at 09:15 getting wet.

    There were four of us caught in the rain shower, Steve, Bob, Neil and me (Keith) so we set off promptly heading through Collingham, Kirkby Overblow and Weeton. Around Castley, we met up with Phil R and pretty much straightaway split into two groups. Neil, Phil and I took the hillier route via Farnley while the others took the flat road through Pool. We regrouped at Otley and, as we did this the weather changed so we had a really pleasant ride on the back road to Ilkley and eventually to Bolton Bridge. After a very good lunch stop we came back through Addingham but it was raining again and the main road was busier than usual due to the A59 closure so we got on the back road as soon as we could to get to Otley. After that, it was sunshine after the rain for the gentle slog up the Chevin followed by a loop around Eccup reservoir before we hit Shadwell and Thorner. Steve left us at the link road, leaving the three Bramham riders for the final bit into Bramham.

    We last did this route in May when the weather was significantly better but we still saw a fair bit of sun between the showers – another good day in the saddle!

    Keith

  • Sat 21 Oct
    Saturday 21 October Destination Roundabout Riders Steve B, Bob L , Dave W, Simon, Phil R, Nick( reporter) I don’t usually do Saturdays but made a small change to usual plans to take the opportunity of a ride with Simon who we haven’t seen so often since he moved to the Beverley area. It had rained all night and was still raining at 7.00 am but had fined up by 8.30 when I set out and met him riding down our lane. We rode into Wetherby together and met Steve( straight from the Drs and a vaccination), and Dave who had joined the club since Simon left. We set off. Luckily, Phil caught us up before we had gone far- well done Phil- and we picked up Bob as planned in Walton. It wasn’t going to be a long ride but we turned for Tadcaster and Appleton Roebuck, knowing that funny village names are interesting to our American readers. Looking over hedges we could see that the Wharfe had flooded large areas with the recent heavy rain but it stayed dry and we had less bother than I expected at Acaster Malbis. The photo shows the wet road but dry footpath and there were no pedestrians to hinder our using that. Through Bishy we rode on to Copmanthorpe and the welcoming Little Acorns Café. Since it is his birthday tomorrow, Steve very kindly picked up the tab for the drinks and buns. Thanks Steve, they do a good sausage roll, and bad luck on Bob that he had to get home without stopping. We discussed road signs and seasonal geometry before riding home under clear skies via Marston Moor and Tockwith. Thanks all for a nice ride and Happy Birthday Steve. Seasonal geometry. If you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its’ diameter, you get pumpkin pi.
  • Wetherby – Bolton Bridge, Thursday 19th October 2023, 65 miles

    Six stalwarts, me, Greg, Graham, Phil W, Nick and (new) Seán , along with welcome new member Dave and led by Graham left a wet Shambles slightly later than 09.30, due to my late arrival for which I apologise. There was also a brief cameo appearance by Fred, who managed to cycle from his house in Wetherby and back bedecked as always in his Mt Ventoux gear.

    The intended destination was Bolton Bridge, but the exact route was to be determined by the weather as we sped, alright rode along our usual route towards Pool. The rain increased and so an early coffee/tea break was had at Leathley farm shop and café, after which domestic duties meant that Nick had to head for home.

    After our discussions over coffee/tea the world was bound to be a better place and so it turned out, because as we left the café the rain abated. Onwards then to Bramhope, via Pool, Creskeld Lane and up Old Lane to cross the A658,  to eventually cycle past Chevin Country Park Hotel and Park on our left and Otley Chevin on our right. The rain had pretty much stopped although the views were limited by mist. On we rode to Menston and then up the Cow and Calf before descending and taking the back/high road through Ilkley and on to Addingham, from where it is a relatively short distance to Bolton Bridge. At Bolton Bridge Seán carried on his merry way, whilst the remaining five riders enjoyed lunch at the café. Once again following our deliberations over lunch the world was an even better place when we left the café, as demonstrated by the fact that the rain had fully stopped.

    From Bolton Bridge we took the lower valley road to Ilkley and then the back road to Otley. We climbed out of Otley and round to Leathley and then the junction with the A658 at Pool. From there the rain returned intermittently as we headed for Castley, Weeton and Dunkeswick . At the junction with the A61 Greg and Michael turned right, whilst me, Graham, Dave and Phil headed for Kirby Overblow, Sicklinghall and finally Wetherby.

    Once again and despite the weather, a good ride in convivial company.

    Mike B

  • Boston Spa to Howden, Tuesday 17th October 2023, 70 miles
    On Monday evening 8 of us were scheduled to ride with the weather promising a fine and dry day. Come 9.15 am on Tuesday our ranks had swelled to eleven!! The Yorkshire First Eleven. Compadres were Keith, Neil, just recovered from Covid 💪, Stuart, Bill, Bob L, Pete D, Steve P and me Steve B. We were joined by the 3 kings, Dave Westerman who had ridden over with me, Sean C and our very own Thursday Road Captain Graham. Our destination was Howden which is situated in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Apparently William the Conqueror gave the Town to the Bishops of Durham. He was all heart. The Minster was built from the 13th century but fell into disrepair due to lack of money and was used as a stables by the Parlimentarians during the Civil War. Just goes to show the Government were just as stingy then. Special mention to Steve P who was sporting his new steed for its first proper ride. He didn’t let us down as it was christened with its first ton by the time he got home after riding round the estate a few extra times. Our route took us out via Rudgate to Stutton, Ulleskelf , Cawood and Kelfield on our way to Escrick. The breeze was initially from the north swinging from the east as we rode on. Riding towards Skipwith, Sean peeled off wanting to be home early, so he headed to Bubwith for a coffee and then back home. I had chosen a new approach and instead of the usual Bubwith we headed south across the Market Weighton road through the narrow lanes and South Duffield to the old A63 where a short ride took us into Howden. Our journey had been straightforward with no issues but after fortifying ourselves at the old bakery cafe the return was not without incident. Lunch comprised of bacon, egg, sandwiches, Cornish style pasties, mushy peas, sausage roll, beans, tuna mayo sandwiches flapjacks and hot drinks. We kept them busy for half an hour. Suitably refreshed we headed south on the Station road to Bubwith and over the crossroads where our first incident happened. I take full responsibility for turning left back to Bubwith in error, the plan was to go via some local villages to Sutton on Derwent. Instead we headed back to Skipwith when our second incident struck. Despite his new wheels Steve needed to adjust his saddle height, I assume he had grown a couple of inches after his sausage roll and beans. On we went and I decided we would go via Thorganby to Wheldrake and rejoin the original route, but not before Steve needed further adjustment to his seat 😀 With the wind at our backs we set a scorching pace through to Crockey Hill and down Howden lane. Pete D had the bit between his teeth. 😤 Stopping briefly on the bridge over the Ouse for medicinal jelly babies, mainly so I could have a breather, we cracked on back via Copmanthorpe, Healaugh, Wighill and to Walton. Here we said our farewells and rode the remaining distances to our respective homes. Great company guys and I enjoyed the day. Thanks to Keith for his usual sweeper role making sure we didn’t lose anyone.
  • Wetherby – Askern, Sunday 15th October 2023, 50 miles

    Destination: Askern
    Riders: Graham, Bob J., Nick (reporter)

    Family commitments, International Rugby and possibly an early morning frost could have been responsible for a lot of “I’m not out”s on What’s App but What’s App isn’t the whole story and when I arrived in The Shambles I found Graham and Bob waiting for me. It came to 9.00 and we weren’t expecting anyone else so the small group agreed to stick to the destination on the runs card, ( which had been printed almost a year ago), and set off. Bob is always a good source of alternative routes and the first of these came when we left the A63 at the Stone Lions to go thro’ Lumby, missing South Milford and Monk Fryston for Hillam. Like on Thursday, in spite of the chill, the sun was shining brightly and on the flat land between Hillam and Birkin we had 180˚ of clear blue sky. Riding side by side for a bit, Graham and I shared recollections of the Cornish village which he had just visited on holiday. Since I was last there when I was 6 years old, his recollections had a bit more detail than mine. The village is now very famous thanks to a TV series. ( Port Isaac – Doc Martin)
    So….. Birkin for coffee. It was full of cyclists out for the nice weather and we were met by an acquaintance of Bob’s, who regaled us with stories of the Audax tribe. Quite a lot of stories actually.
    Bob’s second diversion of the day took us towards Askern via the road to Barnsdale Bar. It added a mile or so and included a reasonable climb but I thought it nicer than our usual and would look forward to using it again.
    The Lakeside Café was also busy but with the locals out for a cheap (very) lunch with grandparents, mums and babies and children. Askern doesn’t look like it has benefitted yet from any government’s “ levelling up“ programme. However, the planners must know something we don’t because they are building 4 large detached houses with balconies looking straight over a second-hand car lot.
    Riding home seemed pretty hard with a headwind – at least, I thought so – but getting back to Wetherby, the sun was still up there and we reckoned we had had a good day.

  • Wetherby – Leyburn, Thursday 12th October 2023, 83 miles

    What a beautiful Autumn day! Blue skies, bright sunshine, no wind and a little fresh first thing but a day which warmed nicely throughout. Nick H was ride leader today as we met at the Shambles in Wetherby at 9.30am, he was joined by Steve B, Michael B, Greg C and me, Phil W. After putting the world to right we set off shortly after 9.30am heading North along the A168, through Walshford and into Boroughbridge where we met Kathy V by the Crown Hotel, who made up our group of six for the ride.

    On leaving Boroughbridge via the bridge over the River Ure, turning onto Leeming Lane and then left on to Skelton Lane, through Skelton and towards Ripon. We headed east on the Boroughbridge road, then north on Ray Lane, we followed the road through Sharow, onto Hutton Lane and through the picturesque villages of Hutton Conyers, Nunwick and Wath. We stopped for refreshments at the West Tanfield Post Office and store, sitting outside with a warm drink and some sugary sustenance in the sunshine. Steve B set off ahead of the rest of us as we turned right out of West Tanfield then left at the next crossroads turning off onto Halfpenny House Lane. We were astounded by the magnificent views, the lovely countryside and the weather, so much in our favour! We continued through Thornton Steward, turning right to Hutton Hang and onto West Moor Lane, through Harmby and into Leyburn just after 1pm, where we met Steve outside our usual Cafe, which was……closed.

    (Thankfully, next door is Andy’s Bakers who also sell tea and coffee, so we enjoyed lunch and drinks in the market square….perfect.)

    Heading South out of Leyburn, we turned right, several miles later passing through Middleham, East Witton, past Jervaulx Abbey and into Masham. Just before reaching the square we turned towards Grewelthorpe, via a couple of gruelling hills…. Once in Grewelthorpe we stopped for a photo and had a very short discussion about the route to Ripon, thankfully we agreed on the flatter option and made good progress through Sutton Grange and into Ripon itself. Our strong willpower meant that we didn’t stop for an afternoon refreshments break but instead took our usual route to Bishop Monkton where Kathy turned off towards Harrogate. The remaining five cycled towards Farnham, into Knaresborough and onward to Wetherby via Little Ribston and Kirk Deighton.

    It was a tremendous day, thanks to Nick for leading and we remain hopeful that we have a few more glorious days like this before winter – fingers crossed! Route – circa 83 miles.

    Phil W

  • Wetherby – Askern, Tuesday 10th October 2023, 70 miles

    Approximately 2-3 times per year WW visit the old mining village of Askern in South Yorkshire. Today’s ride was a 70 mile anti-clockwise route with an early-ish lunch planned to fuel up for a longer afternoon return ride home.

    The author surprisingly bumped into Bob at Bramham traffic lights before meeting the group. Whilst it wasn’t initially clear why Bob was meeting there the pair convinced themselves this was a cunning plan by Stevie B to save the legs of the ‘quality cyclists’ for later in the ride.

    The main peleton then arrived totalling 8 cyclists in all: Steve B, Keith, Stuart, Bill, Gavin, Bob, Steve P and, always a pleasure to see, John B.

    The traditional southbound route was followed through Aberford, ‘Mickie’ then down the ‘Great North Road’ to Fairburn, Brotherton and Byram and across the River Aire to Beal. The peloton held firm and tight in one group.

    Next, the old mining town of Kellingley …despite the pit closure in 1991 remnants of a bygone era were visible. After this the ride included the exquisitely named village of Cridling Stubbs’ followed by the ‘Blue Lagoon’ (Brooke Shields still nowhere to be found).

    After Womersley the group arrived at Askern Lakeside cafe for an early lunch.

    Feasting outside in the sunshine, gazing over the lake and idyllically sprouting central fountain one could forgive the wheelers for thinking they were overlooking Lake Leman or Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the similarity ends there…..on the Rue du Mont, Blanc 17, 1201 Geneva, the Cafe Bolear sells a Mochaccino coffee with additional syrup or whipped cream for 8.3 Euros… Askern Lakeside cafe sells a pot of instant coffee for 80p.

    After lunch Steve B planned a different and interesting 35-mile return home journey, the party heading east through Sykehouse, east and west Cowick before Snaith…. a great piece of wind-assisted mile gobbling.

    5 miles south of Selby Keith took the navigational reigns and guided us along a really impressive route around Burn airfield. The term cycle path does not give this route justice. Following this we journeyed through Church Fenton, Ulleskelf, Stutton then Bramham where we all went our separate ways.

    On reflection Steve’s route was a 4-counties ride:15 miles in WY before crossing into NY at Brotherton. Staying in NY most of the ride apart from incursions into SY at Askern and into the East riding at Cowick and Snaith.

    Quite unique to cover 4 counties in just 70 miles.

    The kind weather made this a really enjoyable, nicely paced and slightly different journey.

    Steve P

  • Wetherby – Thirsk, Sunday 8th October 2023, 70 miles

    Four riders set out on a cool, misty autumn morning for Thirsk: Bill, Pete D, myself (Michael) and Nick who had planned a loop via Coxwold. With arm warmers and gilets we headed up the A168 to Boroughbridge then took road to Easingwold for a quick coffee in Fika. By coincidence we met Kathy there as she had ridden with a group which was nice.

    Fuelled with caffeine we headed north to Coxwold and Kilburn then almost to Thirsk but stopped near Bagby for lunch at the Old Barn Coffee Shop. After lunch and eclectic conversation we turned south just before Thirsk, passing Bagby Airfield (me neither). Our way back to Boroughbridge took us through Dalton and Little Sessay after which we took the scenic route south via the Ouseburns, Whixley and Cattal.

    The sun finally made an appearance as Biil and Nick headed west and east and Pete and myself continued south. Thanks to Nick for a good Sunday route and to all for excellent company and a good day in the saddle. I’ve attached a photo of the White Horse as we did not see it all day.

    Michael B

  • Wetherby – Malton, Thursday 5th October 2023, 86 miles

    Greg’s mooted Thursday outing to Malton via York was met with enough WhatsApp enthusiasm to encourage seven Wheelers to assemble at the Shambles: Greg, SeanC, SeanF, Mike, Michael, Nick, and myself. Conditions were initially dry but with damp in the air.

    We set off towards York following the quieter roads via Heulaugh and Askham Bryan before eventually crossing the ring road and joining the main approach to York via Acomb. Traffic through York was fairly heavy, but we were assisted by cycle lanes. Dodging/photobombing tourists past the Minster we continued northeast along Stockton Lane, soon reaching Deans garden centre for a coffee stop. Deans was busy but we secured 2 tables and enjoyed the impressive selection of overpriced cakes. The garden centre also had a large display of Christmas stuff, for anyone needing any last-minute items as we’re only 80 days away…

    After coffee, both Seans needed to head back towards Wetherby, leaving five of us to continue on fairly quiet roads. We crossed the River Derwent at Kirkham Priory as the terrain became more hilly through the southern edge of the Howardian Hills. All had donned rain jackets by this point as persistent drizzle accompanied us on the last 5-6 miles or so before lunch but didn’t detract from the views.

    Lunch was at the Whistlestop Café in Malton railway station – excellent ‘greasy spoon’ type fare, ideal for refuelling damp cyclists.

    Some elected to put their rain jackets away for the post-lunch section back towards Easingwold but unfortunately the rain progressively got worse. However for me, on new roads, this was the best bit of the ride – little traffic and beautiful rolling scenery as we passed through Terrington, Brandsby and Crake. Nick left us part way through this section to make his return journey simpler.

    Once at Easingwold the rain got heavier still and the remaining four of us upped the pace by a few mph and worked well together as a close group of four into the headwind across the flat roads to Boroughbridge. Here, discussion at a toilet and shop stop covered a number of grumbles about the current govt transport policy, as well as a snap group decision to skip the planned return via Knaresborough and instead continue our team TT group riding (at moderate pace) back down the A168 to Wetherby.

    Great choice of route and lunch stop Greg!

    Tim

  • Boston Spa to Thirsk, Tuesday 3rd October 2023, 67 miles
    9 riders set off from Boston Spa on a damp and breezy morning in October namely Steve B, Steve B, Neil, Phil W, Pete, Stuart, Bob, Keith and me, Kathy. Rain jackets were the order of the day when we set off but luckily we were soon able to dispense with these. We split into 2 groups to allow for traffic management and given that everyone seemed to have a good idea of how to get to Thirsk this wasn’t going to cause any problems with directions. I started off with the front group but 3 weeks off the bike was taking its toll and just before Knaresborough I decided to drop back to the group behind for hopefully a steadier ride. We made our way on through Boroughbridge and over the river turning right to Cundall picking up the westerly breeze which gave us a good boost. At Busby Stoop we had a phone call from the other group asking where we were. Expecting them to be in Thirsk finishing their lunch we said we would be about 20 minutes. They were in fact 20 minutes behind us still at Topcliffe having been on a scenic detour… We tried to make use of the bike lane riding into Thirsk but it was in very poor condition. The road surface wasn’t much better however! At the cafe in Thirsk, Upstairs Downstairs, every possible combination of americano coffee, beans, eggs, bacon and toast was ordered. The other group arriving just as we were finishing our food. We decided to stay together on the way back given that we were going to be on quieter roads anyway. Over lunch the merits of clincher tyres versus tubeless were discussed as well as the different types of tubeless repair kits! Stuart being an expert now following his double puncture a few weeks ago. The route back took us through Sessay, over the Swale at Thornton Bridge and back to Boroughbridge. Steve P stopped for some chocolate in Boroughbridge as he was making the ride a 100 miler. Thank you Steve for a very welcome twix bar! We decided to go back through the Dunsforths and Ouseburns instead of the soleless A168, being very careful as we rode over the speed bumps outside Queen Ethelburga’s School where Stuart had had his punctures previously. Steve B and Phil turned off back to Wetherby down Frank’s Lane just before Whixley. Very appropriate given that the Tuesday rides have been traditionally Frank’s ride. The rest of us took a detour around the train pulled into the station at Cattal under the bridge there and carried onto Walton and then back to Boston Spa. Thank you everyone for another good ride and very enjoyable company. Kathy
  • Saturday Ride Report, 30 September 2023, Crockey Hill, 45 miles.
    With Nick receiving additional training on how to play his pipes, apparently he is an aficionado on the Northumbrian pipes, it was down to me to step in and host the saturday ride. Northumbrian pipes are similar to bag pipes but not as long and still need a bag of air to play them, so with the harp in full swing I’m sure jill loves the noise at home. Just a drum kit needed Nick. With only a gentle breeze if any from the south and the promise of a fine morning before the promised afternoon rain, I chose the Pool Bridge Farm Cafe at Crockey Hill as our pit stop destination. With just four out, well the weather is slowly getting cooler, I met up with Phil Robertson at the Shambles for a late start. He couldn’t find his gloves, a lame excuse if ever there was one. We set off for Walton to meet up with Bob L and Pete C. Pete was still on the recovery road so a steady one was in order. Our route took us to Taddy, Bolton Percy, Appleton Roebuck, Acaster Airfield/Malbis. Crossing the Ouse we took the cycle path and linked up with Moor Lane heading to Escrick and Wheldrake before turning sharp left for Crockey Hill and our cafe stop The delay in starting late meant we had to queue behind six other cyclists over from Leeds. A pattern emerging here, if you are reading this Phil. This meant we were there for an hour before getting away, not that we were in any hurry. Scrambled egg on toast is always good here and Bob and I obliged wth Phil and Pete feeding their sweet tooth! I had just been away to Suffolk for a weeks R and R so I regaled the guys with details of the area including the fifty water towers apparently in existence in Suffolk. I got the message when the snoring levels increased to change the subject. Our route back was Howden lane to the cycle path over the Ouse. You will recall I mentioned the six riders we met at the cafe, very pleasant they were too. However as I approached the right turn for the track just under the bridge, signalling my intentions, it was very clear that entry was delayed due to a string of riders descending turning in both directions before we could enter. The pleasant six became a very careless six as they just steamed through oblivious to what was happening. Thankfully I hadn’t turned so avoided another piece of road rage! The last stretch was Copmanthorpe, Healaugh and Wighill before we parted our ways at Walton. Phil apparently hates the Copmanthorpe section so I suggested maybe he could organise another crossing of the river, maybe Acaster Selby. Could be waiting a while. Phil and I headed for Wetherby where he put in an extra lap to round up his mileage to fifty. Phil and I nicely avoided the rain but Pete informed me he and Bob didn’t, well the sun always shines on the righteous. Thanks guys a good ride even if a little late back. Promise no more digs Phil.
  • Wetherby – Masham, Thursday 28th September 2023, 72 miles

    Just 5 of us headed out on Mike B’s Masham ride. We took the well-ridden road to Kirkby Overblow and descended to Burn Bridge. Climbing out on Hill Foot Lane, we had to dismount and stride over two foot of freshly laid tarmac and ignore the road-mending joker who thought it was too dangerous! Down to Beckwithshaw, giving Mike his first crack at a decent descent – Pot Bank. Regrouping at the army college we headed for Hampsthwaite via Burley Bank Lane ( still no “marching troops” Kath?). The packhorse bridge was reopened so we headed up Clint Bank Lane and on to Shaw Mills. Cut Throat Lane, was it named by a cyclist? Apparently this sinister-sounding Lane was nothing more evil than a “shortcut”!? Again regrouping at the top PeteD and NickH decided to dismount and take in the view, luckily the high air temperature prevented steam being seen! Mike guided us on through Grantley and up a rather pleasant Lane to Laverton. Geoff’s infamous “ Cock Corner” was the next target, via Kirby Malzeard and then the signed Lane to Ringbeck. Alas, that famous bachelor’s crook in the road, no longer sports that gang of feathered crowers – probably tastefully evacuated by a “man in au Vin”? Anyway on, over the top and onto the descent past Swinton Hall, Mike’s tucked dive down towards Masham was thwarted by yet another, even slower-cooked “ man in a van”

    A very good lunch was provided by the Border Cafe, were there was a bit of banter, classic cars I think?

    Sean (Guisley), abandoned us from here and headed solo for west Leeds and his mandatory ton of miles, sorry mate don’t know your surname? The now Fab Four made their way back owert moor to Grewelthorpe and through Malzeard again and on to Galphay. The sun came out as we hit the city. Leaving Ripon passing the race course to the Skelton road, the welcome, previously scarce flatland was soon tainted by an increasingly fierce, unbroken SSW headwind to Boroughbridge.

    And then there were three. I left Nick, Pete and Mike here to make their way via the Dunsfords. Home to Knaresborough for me. I soon realised the wind was becoming a pain and I didn’t envy Peter’s trek to the Garforth area one bit. Felt really sorry for him as I downed my first pint! Honest. I had over 72 miles ( that’s a big 116km – you audaxers) including around 1650m gained elevation (5413 feet, 4 and 3/4 inches). Pete probably had another 20ml on top of that! Phenomenal.

    Thanks Mike for a good route.

    Dennis

  • Boston Spa – Beningbrough Hall, Tuesday 26th September 2023, 43 miles

    Turned out nice again…………….. eventually!

    None of us ventured out last Tuesday and only 4 riders the week before so it wasn’t a surprise to see 11 riders ready for the off at Boston Spa. Unfortunately, we had only ridden a couple of miles when the rain returned as, shortly after, did 3 riders. That left 8 riders (Pete C, Pete D, Steve B, Bob L, Neil P, Stuart W, Dave W and me (Keith)) getting decidedly wet as we headed out through Wighill and Healaugh towards Askham Richard and Rufforth. We made our way over to Poppleton on the mostly excellent cycle path keeping us well away from traffic. After Poppleton, we crossed the river and then followed another cycle path this time at the side of the river heading North. After that it was quiet lanes to the Home Farm café at Beningbrough Hall. We were split across two tables with ours having some discussion about the value of a clear business strategy.

    By the time we returned to the bikes, the rain had stopped so we had a dry return run albeit into a stronger headwind than we would have liked. We took the long loop round the top side of Poppleton before a short stretch on the A59 then turning towards Hessay. After that, we went through Long Marston and Tockwith before the usual route down Rudgate and through Walton.

    Rides don’t come much more traffic-free than this one so it was a very pleasant morning especially once the rain stopped!

    Keith

  • Wetherby – Boroughbridge, Saturday 23rd September 2023, 40 miles

    The forecast was good, dry, with little wind, but only three old fogeys messaged saying they would be at The Shambles, with Phil R. texting that he was going to a cycle jumble and meet us in Boroughbridge later. So the three elderly riders, namely Bob L, Gavin, and I met up on time, and it was raining, Wet Wet Wet [ is that a pop group] The weatherman got it wrong. Gavin decided he was not going ride due to the weather conditions and went back to his car. Bob and I set off on a route normally chosen by Steve B Knaresborough, Farnham, towards Bishop Monkton to Boroughbridge It was still raining !!! After refreshments at a very quiet Plenty cafe we set off back to base via the Dunsfords and hey-ho it stopped raining, with the sun coming out to let us enjoy the ride. We never met up with Phil, but hopefully he picked up some bargains. We did however meet near Thorpe Underwood Pete Dack who was coming the other way. Only about 40 miles but we still agreed that it was the right decision to carry on with the ride.

    Pete C

  • Wetherby – Pocklington, Sunday 24th September 2023, 60 miles

    Destination: Malton changed to Pocklington
    Riders: Nick (reporting), Graham, Geoff and Bob (sort of)
    Weather forecast: bad enough to deter some again

    I had planned to contribute a few pedal turns to the York Cycle Campaign Mass Rally before going on to meet any others at the Breezy Knees Café. Alongside a seasoned campaigner I had my photo taken through the early morning mist,( or a mucky lens), before leaving the ride straight away because I didn’t want to keep the others waiting. I needn’t have worried. They had been held up by the Rally and gone a few yards with it so the Wheelers contributed a bit, one way or another. Out at Breezy Knees we checked the forecast repeatedly but it made no difference. Malton was still promised heavy rain. Geoff was going to turn back anyway. Bob phoned but was miles away, and Graham and I decided that Pocklington, being of less altitude might not get so much rain. Given that it was a bit nearer home if we did get drenched, we decided to go there. After some nice lanes Pocklington itself was quiet so the café at Allerthorpe got our shillings. The young lady on the till was confused by my order of beans with an egg so she called a senior who came over and told her that there is a special button on the till for cyclists!
    Coming back, the wind which had been blowing all over the place in the morning gave us a good push up the stretch by Thornton but then decided to help us no more and I was very glad of a companion to help battling into it. The sun came out sometimes, just enough so we could chase our shadows and we arrived back home without any rain. Probably pelted in Malton though.

  • Wetherby – Hovingham, Thursday 21st September 2023, 75 miles

    A Magnificent Seven left the Shambles at 9.30am as planned, heading for Hovingham in the Howardian Hills on a clear, sunny day in early Autumn. What awesome weather compared with the downpours of the week so far, we seem to be blessed on Thursdays……well, most of them anyway! The Seven comprised Graham B, Sean C, Sean F, Geoff M, Pete D, Greg C and me, Phil W. we soon became a Magnificent Eight as we met Nick H on the A168 by the Cowthorpe turning, as we headed north towards Walshford.

    We cycled past Walshford, over the bridge to Hunsingore, through Cattal and across the A59, through Whixley, turning right past the Cricket Club along Thorpe Green Lane towards Little Ouseburn. As the Aldwark Toll Bridge remains closed (until December now apparently), we cycled towards the bridge and then took the slip road left, skirting the Aldwark Manor Golf Course and over the footbridge. This was quite a rare experience for me, to spend quality time on a golf course without losing a few golf balls, a pleasant change and Aldwark is a lovely village – especially the church! Then onward through Tholthorpe, Raskelf and into Easingwold where we stopped for a traditional morning break and refreshments.

    At this point we decided to split into two groups, Nick, Geoff and the two Seans planned to head towards York, Naburn and back towards Wetherby, leaving the remaining four of Graham, Greg, Pete and I to head for the hills as planned. On leaving Easingwold we cycled via Crayke, Brandsby and up Snargate Hill to open countryside. We had a cultural stop to look at the City of Troy Turf Maze, one of few surviving puzzle games used by shepherds back in the day. I can’t fault their chosen location, what a view! We pressed on into Hovingham, stopping at the bakery, by the ford in the centre of the village – perfect!

    Heading north and then west out of Hovingham, we went through Stonegrave, Osbaldwick, Amplethorpe and Wass before passing Byland Abbey on the way to Coxwold. There were fantastic views all the way, helped by the weather of course. Once through Coxwold we turned right to Carlton Husthwaite, Hutton Sessay, turning onto Helperby Lane and into Boroughbridge. From there we considered various options but decided to head due south to Wetherby along the A168, maintaining a brisk pace all the way. It was a cracking ride with brilliant scenery – thanks to Graham for leading. (75 miles)

    Phil W

  • Wetherby – Cracoe, Thursday 14th September 2023, 80 miles

    Thursday’s ride to Cracoe was started by 9 riders setting out from the marketplace in the hope that the weather forecast was going to improve. A grey day with some rain had been promised. However, some blue sky soon emerged as we made our way along the Wharfe valley towards Addingham. I had said we would have morning coffee in Addingham and the Joyful Deli just before Addingham was our destination. The sun was now out and it was surprisingly warm as both Seans, Mike B, Nick, Phil, Steve P, Geoff, Pete and myself, Graham, settled down to enjoy the quality refreshments on offer. I was reluctant to leave but eventually, the group set off for Cracoe while Nick and Geoff turned for home.

    The way ahead was now down to Bolton Abbey, over the gated road to Embsay, up to the Grassington road and towards Rylstone. Lunch was to be at Jackson’s Farm shop in Cracoe. 

    Sean Christie was having a rare full ride but made a disastrous meal choice while Sean F., skipped lunch altogether and turned for a solo ride home. The egg and beans were a good 9/10. The ride from Cracoe to Burnsall is lovely, especially in the sunshine and thankfully the weathermen got this one completely wrong. We did the back roads to The pavillions where we stopped briefly before taking the normal north side of the Wharfe valley road home.

    If I could just mention ride reports. I would like to thank everyone who has taken these on during the year. It is especially nice when someone volunteers during the ride. It is clear that some people put a lot of thought and effort into them.

    Graham

  • WW Saturday ride to Birkin, 16 September 2023, 45 miles.
    Despite there being a northerly wind, I decided to stick to my plan of riding south to Birkin knowing we would have a headwind for the return. Just Phil Robertson and myself met at the Shambles with Pete C, Bob L and Gavin who had ridden from Sherburn meeting us at Bowcliffe Hall. With the temperature just into double figures we duly set off and met the guys as planned and rode on south or should I say free wheeled south with the help of an excellent tailwind. Our route took us through Aberford, Micklefield and onto the Great North road before turning left down Westfield Lane to head for Lumby. We then headed east to Monk Fryston and Hillam. The forecast suggested a fine day with only a 10% chance of rain. However at Monk Fryston we met wet roads and plenty of standing water as we went through Hillam. Presumably the good Lord felt their sins needed cleansing. A couple of the troops decided on a ward robe change although there was barely any moisture in the air. Less than 4 miles later we arrived at Birkin Fisheries for 10.30. Parking our bikes we gazed around to see a few hardy souls handling their fishing tackle. Once inside we sat down in the conservatory where a pleasant member of staff took our orders of coffee, tea, cake, bacon sandwich and 3 rounds of scrambled eggs. Service was good apart from them not making my scambled eggs. I had to ask them! Gavin enlightened us along with Phil on the background of current coffee names and history, the americano going back to WW2 origin in Italy. I had planned a return which kept us out of the wind for as much as possible. Retracing our route back in the direction of Hillam but turning right to Gateforth and then up to the A63 and into Thorpe Willougby. Here we turned north over the railway and headed to Bishopwood and then Biggin, Church Fenton and Ulleskelf. It is clear these roads are the home to boy racers with the desires to overtake everything oblivious to hazards. Three of us shared the honours on the front with Gavin and Pete being the protected riders. Gavin had come on his electric bike which weighed as much as a small elephant and Pete was finally back out after a spell of illness. Apparently I give him headaches. Gavin peeled off for home at Church Fenton leaving the four of us to head for Stutton and the climb up towards Toulston and Bramham. Pete didn’t let us down as he poured on the after burners leaving us in his wake as we rode up the hill. Well he was the protected rider. With Bob leaving us at Bramham the remaing three headed to BS where we left Pete as Phil and I crossed the Wharf to Wetherby. Phil was adament he topped his mileage upto fifty so he did an extra tour round Wetherby and the car parks. Enjoyed our ride and thanks to Bob and Phil for their work on the front.
  • WW Tuesday Socal ride to York, 12 September 2023, 40 miles.
    On Monday morning I looked at the weather and it was showing white cloud and fine all day for Tuesday, by the afternoon there were rain showers. Clearly the hallucinatory drugs the forecasters take were beginning to wear off. By Tuesday morning they were having withdrawal symptoms as it was 90% chance of rain in all directions, the true forecast. Unperturbed four club stalwarts girded their loins and met at BS church. They were Wet Wet Wet, Pete D, Bob L and Stuart, plus extra Wet, me, Steve B. Full marks go to Pete for cycling from Leeds to join us. Stuart blamed Bob for being so gung ho as he felt obligated to ride and I, as organiser, was expected to be there. Whilst three of us had long bibs or leg warmers, one rugged soul was in his short bib, Mountain man Bob. We decided to keep the ride a little shorter in view of the conditions and with rain still falling and the temperature at only 10 degrees we set off. Much colder than it has been. Our route was back over the Wharf to Walton, Wighill and down to Tadcaster. From there we rode to Bolton Percy, Appleton Roebuck, Acaster Malbis, Bishopthorpe and across the Millennium bridge into York. We weren’t the only hardy folk enjoying a cold shower! I remember saying to Stuart that electricity and water were not a safe mix as he was on his Electric bike, thankfully his rubber tyres no doubt kept any issues at bay. Arriving at Cycle Heaven we we entered the premises to be greeted, cafe isn’t open. This despite the sign outside saying it was Monday to Sunday. Apparently new owners were now in charge of the nutrition. Fortunately the gentleman inside directed us to another cafe not far away, by the name of Sunnys. Up the road to the lights, left and two hundred yards down on our left. Perfect, if only the forecasters could be remotely that accurate. We parked up and tethered our steeds, deciding not to sit outside as the place was open but no customers inside either. We were all glad of some respite and Pete especially as he was suffering with cold hands. Our timing was perfect since having ordered, the place soon attracted many more customers. With the three Wet Wet Wet tucking in to scrambled eggs on toast and me with beans on toast we soon perked up. I suspected they never got scrambled eggs at home hence their gleaming enjoyment as they demolished them, wile we listened to Dusty Springfield serenading us. “You don’t having to say you love me just be close at hand”. Alas it was time to return home, so with the rain still falling we set off back over the river, the Ouse was a lot higher than usual, to Bishopthorpe, Copmanthorpe and Askham Richard. Thankfully we didn’t need a ferry. It was leaving Bishopthorpe that the rain subsided and the skies lifted, leaving us somewhat drier conditions for the rest of our journey. Pete peeled off after AR to Tadcaster and home with three of us heading to Wighill and Walton where we said our goodbyes and turned for home. Once out in the weather it seemed no problem and a cold shower is always refreshing. It maes the hot one at home more enjoyable. Thanks guys a good ride.
  • WW Saturday Social Ride to Bishop Monkton and Boroughbridge, 9 September 2023,
    Just 4 out for a 40 mile circuit, Bob L, Stuart, Sean and me Steve B. We were fortunate there was early light cloud to keep the temperature down but it soon got up to 30 degrees later in the ride. While waiting for the clock to roll over to the equivalent of Kilometer Zero, Sean noticed one of his rear stays looked longer and was slightly curved, something he he had not noticed before. We all looked and wondered if it was normal or whether he had been sold a “pup”. Didn’t detract from his riding though. Setting off we took the usual route out to Knaresborough, Scriven, Farnham, Copgrove and the Ripon road onto Bishop Monkton, with everyone sharing the workload. On the run to Copgrove we passed a determined peleton going the other way, with barely enough time to acknowledge each other. Well they were going down hill as we went up! with a light westerly we made full use turning to Boroughbridge and duly arrived at 10.45. it was surprisingly quiet and we sat outside in the shade enjoying tea, coffees, cake and sandwiches. On a sombre note we acknowledged the disaster which had struck Morocco, with the large number of deaths. The conversation covered in detail the issue of punctures especially affecting tubeless tyres. The issue of inserting plugs and the care to have the right tyre pressures, not to mention the difficulty removing tyres from aero wheels. We moved on and compared injuries caused by not dis ounting our bikes correctly, I believe the mountain bike term is stacking it! Our route home was through the Dunsforths, Great Ouseburn, Thorpe Underwood, over the Wixley bump, Cattal and up Rudgate to Walton for our debrief and home departures. Leaving Boroughbridge we passed coming in the opposite direction some vintage classic cars looking very splendid. Unfortunately I couldn’t tell you whether they were a Riley, Alvis, Austin, Rolls, Morris, Armstrong Siddeley, Clyno, Bentley, Humber, Hudson as my knowledge doesn’t stretch to such detail. Again sharing the work we headed home in the increasing heat and have to say an enjoyable morning’s riding. Thanks for the company guys.
  • WW Tuesday ride to Allerthorpe, 5 September 2023.
    [comments off Despite some of the regulars being away, holidays etc, there were still eight of us gathered for the round trip ride, to and from BS church, of 65 miles to Allerthorpe. Front and centre were Bob L, Keith, Gavin, Kathy, Bill, Steve P, Neil and me Steve B, (renamed Crasher). Pete D decided to try a few hills as he had only ridden to Allerthorpe on Sunday and the prospect of Steve P donning his cossie for a swim dampened his ardour further, so he gave us a miss. Before setting off we welcomed Keith back to the club and I gave an update on Pete C who was unwell but now on the mend. Having been on the sick list for over two weeks I suggested a steady one and Bill said he would put his many talents to work by riding on the front. Chapeau. Riding out of BS we turned right up Rudgate and onto Stutton, Ulleskelf, Cawood on our way to Escrick. With Bill ably supported by his lieutenants Kathy and Steve P he set a steady tempo despite the increasing temperature. Wheldrake, Elvington, Sutton on Derwent and Melbourne were all ticked off in even time. The bridge at Sutton presented no prob;ems to us even though the local Councils all looked to apply the standard political approach of passing the buck when an explanation is needed of procedure Maybe they will have a plan in their next manifesto!! LOL. We arrived at Allerthorpe Country Park Lake for 11.45 and while we queued to order there was plenty of room and service was good. The breakfast bun of sausage and egg and coffee for £5.50 was good value. Sitting at two tables in the decking section, Bill Steve and myself proceeded to put the world to right by having the schools repaired immediately, the trans pennine rail route built and all funded by binning the ,majority of the HS2 project. Good Yorkshire commonsense. Unfortunately table one were further way and their conversations remain secret! Alas no time for a paddle Steve and 45 minutes later we set off back via Thornton to Sutton on Derwent, Elvington, Wheldrake where a brief stop for me to have a rest before cracking onto Crocky Hill and Naburn. The river looked inviting and as the heat rose I decided a stop at Copmanthorpe to get a cold drink was necessary and t allowed Kathy to indulge in an ice cream. The usual route back via Healaugh and Wighill to Walton where we split to take our separate ways home. Excellent ride and top company, thanks guys. Certainly a warm one.
  • Sunday
  • Wetherby – Cusworth Hall, Thursday 31st August 2023, 90 miles

    Thursday’s ride this week was south to Cusworth Hall near Doncaster. Graham, Bill, Nick, Glyn, Kathy, Tim, Shaun and myself set off to Aberford where we picked up Pete, Michael and Mike, and said goodbye to Glyn who was nursing a sore knee – but still did 52 miles. Southwest to Sherburn in Elmet and on to Birkin Fisheries Cafe where we relaxed outside in the sun with our coffee and cake. Steve Ward, on home territory, joined us here while Bill, Michael and Shaun turned homeward for an early finish. The rest set their compasses due south then followed Graham’s devious but faultless directions to the outskirts of Doncaster and Cusworth Hall. Blessed with sunshine and light winds we enjoyed great views across the flat farmlands of South Yorkshire. On the steepest climb of the day, the bridge over the A1 at Skellow, we all had to push our bikes! Still at least one of us, Mike, cycled down the steps on the other side.
    Cusworth Hall was a new destination for me and what a pleasant one. The Hall is an 18th-century grade 1 listed Georgian country house, and now also a museum, set in parkland and gardens (Lady Isabella’s apparently). The cafe/restaurant was busy and friendly and again we sat outside in the sun.


    After a photo shoot in front of the old house, we made our way to the A19 and headed back north, through Askern, to Eggborough, turned to Beal, where Steve split off for Wakefield and we retraced our route to Birkin then Sherburn in Elmet. Myself and Pete carried on to Aberford and home while the all others turned toward Church Fenton and Wetherby.
    Another excellent Wheelers ride of around 90+/- miles for most. Cheers all and Graham for organising.

    Greg

  • Wetherby – Risplith, Sunday 27th August 2023, 51 miles

    Four members met at the Shambles at 9:00 a.m. where all agreed that due to the poor weather forecast, a shorter ride to Risplith was preferable to the carded ride to Pateley Bridge.

    Nick, Pete D, Greg and myself (Bill) were present. The heavy rain started just after we had reached Markington and we took shelter under a tree while we put on our waterproofs.

    Refreshment was taken at G & T’s Ice Cream cafe at Risplith after which we returned home via Ripon, Boroughbridge and the Dunforths. After saying goodbye to Nick at Tockwith we were thoroughly drenched by another heavy downpour on our way home.

    A very soggy day out but probably better than sitting on the couch.

    Nick

  • Boston Spa – Selby, Tuesday 22nd August 2023, 70 miles

    Downtown Boston Spa, just gone 9.00am, and things were stirring outside ‘Saint Mary the Virgin Church’.

    In the shadows 10 local gunslingers, aka WW, were not there to preach but keen to head east for their first ‘kill’ of the week….another 50+ miler, maybe more.

    Sheriff Booker absent, Pete C deputised and was in command. A no nonsense and calculative approach meant a group of 10 would be split into 2 crack groups

    of 5, destination Selby. The posse included: Pete C, Keith, Alec, John, Bill, Sean, Dave W, Fred, Bob and a guy with a silly pink water bottle.

    Southbound the group sped through Bramham, Aberford, ‘Mickie’ before joining the Great North Road for a while. Passports enabled, the club cut east into North Yorkshire through the hamlets of Lumby, South Milford, Monk Fryston, Birkin, Gateforth and, penultimately, Brayton before lunching in Selby.

    Unfortunately, a minor comms mix-up meant 3 riders arrived at Birkin a little late… Sean, Fred and Steve P.

    A 15-minute wait was in error as the main peloton had already passed through. However, this short break in the tranquil, isolation of the deserted fishponds proved very therapeutic for some of the party. They sped on but missed a turning at Gateforth. Arriving at Chapel Hadelsey the trio split …Sean and Steve P risked turning back up the A19 towards Brayton whilst Fred departed for an alternative route.

    Arriving in the Market Place, Selby seemed like a scene outside Le Cafe Ferroniere, in the Champs Elysées. Claiming to be a ‘regional magnet for passing cyclists’ the ‘Hub’ cafe certainly appeared a welcoming hub of activity….sun-drenched, the earlier group were feasting on a variety of sausage, bacon and other snacks. At £3 for a ‘jumbo’ Americano it’s no surprise this is a favourite stop off for WW easterly bound trips.

    Locally owned and run the cafe claims to buy only local produce with the exception of the 100% Arabica top Italian coffee.

    Lunch digested the group then set off north through Wistow to Cawood. A planned split then occurred (not in someone’s tights!) as Bill, Sean and Alec headed for Ulleskelf, Tadcaster and then home. The remainder followed Pete C on an anti-clockwise loop via Stillingfleet, Naburn, Copmanthorpe back to Wighill.

    There, Pete C, Bob and Keith turned left to Boston Spa whilst the author escorted Dave W back home to Wetherby.

    John Baker’s movements were unknown to the author …apologies John.

    This was a thoroughly enjoyable, rather pacey ride in good weather and well captained by Pete C in the ‘Guvnors’ absence. Get well soon Steve.

    Steve P

  • Sunday27 Aug
    Ride Report for Sunday 27th August 2023 – Destination Risplith – Distance 51 Miles Four members met at the Shambles at 9:00 am where all agreed that due to the poor weather forecast, a shorter ride to Risplith was preferable to the carded ride to Pateley Bridge. Nick, Pete D, Greg and myself (Bill) were present. The heavy rain started just after we had reached Markington and we took shelter under a tree while we put on out waterproofs. Refreshment was taken at G & T’s Ice Cream cafe at Risplith after which we returned home via Ripon, Boroughbridge and the Dunforths. After saying good bye to Nick at Tockwith we were thoroughly drenched by another heavy downpour on our way home. A very soggy day out but probably better than sitting on the couch.
  • Wetherby – Skipton, Thursday 24th August 2023, 72 miles

    Skipton via Silsden was the advertised route and 9 Wheelers duly assembled at The Shambles (Graham, Mike, Phil, Sean, Shaun, Steve, Bill, Pete and me).  The expectation was to pick up further riders en route at the first coffee stop (Corner Cup in Bramhope).

    Conditions were dry and reasonably humid under low grey cloud as we made our way through Linton, Collingham, up Jewitt Lane and across Scarcroft Golf Club via Syke Lane.  By now there was light drizzle, but it had cleared by the time we got through Alwoodley and across to Bramhope where Cathy, Geoff and Dennis were already waiting.

    After refuelling and a brief ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ appearance by Greg C, Bill and Sean left the main group to return early, and the remaining 10 headed up through Bramhope, up Old Ln towards the Chevin, but then dropped down into Guiseley before heading up through Hawksworth and onto the Bingley Road. Airedale views opened up as we passed Dick Hudsons and dropped steeply into East Morton, before more climbing led up to West Morton, riding into a mild headwind and persistent drizzly rain drifting down the valley.

    More steep descending on greasy roads into Silsden, where Steve bade us farewell to head back whilst the main group continued to head West, past Kildwick Hall and down into the valley bottom which was now dry.  We crossed the main Keighley Road at Farnhill, Geoff heading straight for Skipton and the lunch stop whilst the rest of us had a brief level-crossing-delayed extra loop via Cononley and a couple more hills before heading into busy Skipton and lunch at the Coffee Mill café tucked away behind the High Street.

    With time ticking on after lunch, we took the main road past Chelker Reservoir back to Addingham, and then the back roads to Askwith (keep it in the big chainring J) where Dennis, Cathy and Geoff said goodbye and headed up the hill. At Otley Pete headed home leaving 5 of us to climb over Farnley as the weather was showing signs of a lovely evening ahead. After Kirby Overflow, Shaun headed down Kearby Cliff to make his way home, and Phil, Graham Mike and I continued to Wetherby. 72 miles for the round trip, with over 5000ft of climbing despite no big set piece climbs.

    Tim

  • Wetherby – Fridaythorpe, Sunday 20th August 2023, 90 miles

    Bonas dias amigos.
    Dos amigos, Nick and Pete D yours truly, both of a good vintage, like well matured wines, met at the Shambles in Wetherby.
    The turn out was low probably due to the Lionesess football final, Paris/Brest for Bob and one who shall remain nameless who thought the distance two far.
    Not dismayed we decided to head via Wighill and Askham Bryan for York and go through the centre past the Minster. Traffic seemed light and unusually even around the Minster tourist activity was minimal.
    A steady ride brought us to the Breezy Knees Garden Centre, the weather was comfortably warm and pleasant so we sat outside for a coffee and a cake.
    We resumed our ride heading for Stamford Bridge and Bishop Wilton followed by the climb up to the top of Garrowby which as you know is a bit of a slog.
    At the top, we had a Pow Wow as the traffic was getting very busy heading towards the East Coast and large numbers of motorbikes, no doubt stopping off at our intended destination, Fridaythorpe cafe, we decided to go to Millington instead.
    We headed for Huggate and Millington Woods, a very pleasant ride, not Thixendale, but just as nice.
    The cafe at Millington was relatively quiet and we sat outside for nourishment and coffee.
    We could not get an internet connection for the footy result but the nice waitress sadly informed us that the Lionesses had bitten off more than they could chew and been beaten by Spain by one goal.

    With heavy hearts and replenished we set forth on the return leg home via Allethorpe then towards Sutton upon Derwent and Elvington as Nick wanted to get a photo of the notice on the bridge spanning the River Derwent so he could progress his questioning of the legal situation for cyclists with regard to the traffic lights and cycle lane up to the bridge, “good luck with that Nick’
    We continued homeward bound via Wheldrake, Escrick towards Naburn where we split and went our separate ways.
    It was a very pleasant ride, the rain showers forecast did not appear and the sun kept on shining, “a good day out” as Wallace and Gromit say.

    Pete D

  • Wetherby – Riccall, Saturday 19th August 2023, 45 miles

    Quite an eventful ride as it turned out for 6 club members. Steve B and Gavin met at the Shambles expecting Fred and possibly Bob J but they were conspicuous by their absence. Phil R had already posted his apologies as he had ridden the proposed route the day before. Steve and Gavin picked up en route Stuart, Bob L, Alec and me, Pete C near Windmill Hill. After a short discussion, we set off only to hear a shout as Gavin’s foot slipped off his pedal and he hit the deck. Fortunately only a graze to his knee and elbow. So, on to Toulston Lane, Stutton, Ulleskelf, Cawood and the cafe at Riccall. Alec had already phoned ahead to book a table. After bacon butties, scrambled eggs, cakes and coffee we then continued and joined the cycle path to Naburn and on to Copmanthorpe, Healaugh, and Wighill with Steve and I taking turns at the front but just after the roundabout at Thorp Arch as I was passing Steve to take my turn he either drifted out or I drifted in and our bodies touched. We were not going very fast at this point. Steve wobbled and hit the tarmac with a shout and thud, receiving nasty grazes to his arm and hand. After a short time, we resumed the ride, taking it easy. Alec and Gavin accompanied Steve back to Wetherby and Stuart, Bob and me turned off to B Spa. An unfortunate incident which is easily done but still shouldn’t have happened. I visited Steve later that day and he was ok, having taken his bike to Cycle Sense for a rear gear hanger. Fortunately, Steve is still talking to me! Only 40 miles for Bob, Stuart and me and about 50 for Steve, Gavin and Alec.

    Pete C

  • Wetherby – Rosedale, Thursday 17th August 2023, 110 miles

    Ride Leader Graham B doesn’t exaggerate, in fact far from it.  So when he said we were going to Rosedale and it would be ‘quite a long ride’, we knew we were in for a challenge, especially when Geoff M asked if we were going up or down Rosedale Chimney.  As hills aren’t my greatest strength I checked online, Chimney Bank was reported as being one of the steepest in England.  Someone had helpfully shared a video riding up the hill and it looked OK,  except the rider was on a motor bike…..

    The group met in the Shambles, including Graham B, Steve W, Steve P, Michael B, Mike B, Fred L, Sean C and me, Phil W. Michael wrestled with loose spokes before going for a repair with a promise to meet us en route. We set off along the A168 collecting Nick H on the way and met Dennis M in Boroughbridge, before pressing on to Easingwold. The wind direction was kind and we had hit a reasonable pace into Easingwold for our first stop, just as Michael arrived with wheels intact. Common sense or other arrangements had got the better of Nick, Sean, Steve P and Fred who all advised that they were doing shorter rides back to Wetherby via York, leaving the remaining six to head for the Yorkshire Moors.

    On leaving Easingwold the daring six cycled east through Stillington, Marton-in-the-Forest, Farlington and Sherrif Hutton, then turning north up Terrington Bank, through Shaw Wood to Coneysthorpe and Amotherby, further north along Newsham Lane to Appleton-Le-Moors.  Once we passed the sign for the Howardian Hills, we went up and down several before cycling into Rosedale, 62 miles into our ride.  We stopped at a cafe called Graze on The Green, having lunch outside and admiring the lovely scenery and village of Rosedale.

    Straight after lunch we headed up Gill Lane to Chimney Bank, needing to tack the full width of the road to help get up the 1: 3 hill. Congratulations to those who made it without stopping, I wasn’t one unfortunately, (I would have needed the motor bike!).  Steve took a photo, all smiling with a sense of relief as we would enjoy a long descent to Hutton-Le-Hole and then to Kirbymoorside.  We were then in more familiar territory through Hovingham, Crake and back to Easingwold before the final leg.  We decided to head for Alne and towards Aldwark Bridge which is closed until October, so we used the public pathways and bridge on Aldwark Manor Golf Course to take us on our traditional route home, via Whixley, Cattal, Hunsingore and the A168 into Wetherby.  Thanks once again to Graham who was absolutely right, ‘quite a long ride’, about 110 miles return, a great cycling challenge with tremendous scenery.

    Phil W


  • Howden – Humber Bridge, Tuesday 15th August 2023, 72 miles


    Humber Bridge ride
    Up for it? Steve B, Pete C, Pete D., Neil, Nick, Kathy, Bob L, and visitors Dave Keith and Andrew.

    We are pretty familiar with most of the routes which we can do from Wetherby so driving to Howden and going South had something of a holiday feel about it. We met in good time at the planned car park and set off. Quiet roads took us to our first crossing of the day at Boothferry Bridge and then Goole. The church clock at Whitgift raised a laugh with its Roman numeral XIII (yes), at the top and we climbed the small embankment( on foot) to admire the River Ouse, much enlarged from the bit we know in York. After this the road has to follow the side of the northbound River Trent also, incidentally, much enlarged from its bankside where I was born in Nottingham. The villages down here feel as if they haven’t changed much in the last 60 years – some have fine war memorials with statues of soldiers in WW1 battledress standing by their rifles- and pubs in which you might expect to find black and white TVs (if any!) The terrain is all flat and with arable farming and vast skyscapes, made interesting by the cloud patterns which were helped on their way by a moderate breeze which didn’t seem to slow us down much. The Trent crossing comes at Gunness. Now quite near to Scunthorpe there are some signs of industry as well as a lot more fields and after more than 30+ miles we arrived at our coffee /lunch stop on a small industrial estate near Flixborough. Not a posh “ caƒé” then but absolutely fine for us with cheerful staff who took two pictures, one for the cafe and another one for us!
    We are now in North Lincolnshire of course, and the next water flowing into the Humber estuary is the little River Ancholme. Actually, there are two River Ancholmes. The old one is a small meandering stream and the new one is a manmade straight cut which was intended to take traffic to the town of Brigg. ( This is the Brigg which had the Brigg Fair which had the song after which a piece of music by Delius is named ). Not thinking about this, we rode on a track by the New Ancholme to a board bridge much like our one at Aldwark. Here two young ladies in swimming gear were passing the day by jumping off the bridge into the water below, swimming ashore and doing it again. It was quite a drop and we reckoned we wouldn’t want to drink the water. However….
    On we go to the spectacular bridge over the Humber estuary. Getting there involved a couple of small hills unlike the rest of the day, but the gradient on the bridge is very gentle and it is an exhilarating crossing , probably more so in less good weather. After North Ferriby we were back on to lanes which seemed to twist and turn all over the place in getting us back to Howden , but, as before, nice lanes for riding with very little traffic. Throughout the day we had one or two incidents where the group split by missing turnings but we were soon together again .

    The ride was about 72 miles and top marks to Steve B for the route and leading it. In all those 72 miles we were on little used and unfamiliar roads .The weather had been kind and we all agreed it had been a great day.

    Nick

  • Wetherby – Hoveringham, Sunday 13th August 2023, 80 miles

    Destination: Hoveringham

    Riders: Graham, Michael Brawley,Nick, Geoff,Bill, Steve W and Bob J

    A good turnout for Sunday . I had modified the destination since the Thursday Ride had been to Helmsley although there wasn’t much overlap of personnel. The forecast looked good and deciding to go out via Sutton-on-the-Forest, the route around the NorthWest of York seemed to make sense. ( No Aldwark Bridge just now). Through Tockwith then, and the Rufforth cycle track leads to a busy bit on York ring road and A19 but turning off at Skelton it all gets more enjoyable. By the time we arrived at Sutton-o-t-F we reckoned it was coffee time and were not certain of its availability in Stillington so we called into the Café in Sutton Park. It’s a pleasant place and nice to sit in the sun and the coffee and cakes were good but we had to wait for ages to get them. Leaving there for Stillington we found the pop-up coffee van on Stillington Green was operating. I think this had been Bob’s first choice and since we had liked it on a previous ride, I paused to ask them about their opening times. They will be there every Sunday throughout the year except for 27 Aug (this year), so now we know. Incidentally, there is another small caff just as you leave Stillington in the house by the stream in case you are there on any day but Sunday. We seem to have found a lot of new cafés this year.

    From here it went a bit haywire. Bill turned for home and a shorter ride, Bob Geoff and Steve W rode off the front and either forgot or didn’t see the left turn towards Stearsby. We never saw them again but had a phone call from them in Sheriff Hutton, by now well off our route so they went independent. A pity because the next few miles are nice roads. You don’t see much traffic on the road from Marton i-t-Forest to Stearsby and after that comes a moderate but rewarding climb on a very little-used road which the NYCC kindly decided to resurface a few years ago. As we enjoyed the views on the way up we commented on the recent passing ( at a good age ) of Federico Bahamontes, the first Spaniard to win the Tour de France, who had once bought an ice cream at a mountaintop to wait for the peloton to catch up. That doesn’t happen these days. Another quiet road to Gilling before turning along a flat valley to Stonegrave, so approaching Hovingham from the other side, as it were. At the Bakery we exchanged a few words with an ambulance driver who was patrolling the lanes looking for injured cyclists, so we were pleased not to make his day. He was glad to have the shift out there rather than York centre. We agreed .

    The three of us then returned, crossing the river at B’Bridge rather than York for a final Café stop there. Thanks to Graham and Mike for the company. I was surprised to see that I had clocked up over 80- it didn’t seem that long.

    Nick

  • Wetherby to Crockey Hill, Saturday 12th August 2023, 50 miles

    The plan was to ride to the Pool Bridge Cafe at Crockey Hill. The weather looked fine even though there was a strong southerly breeze.
    Only Phil Robertson had indicated he would join me at the Shambles, with Pete D and Bob L meeting us at the top of Bramham hill. Sneaking out of the crowd to swell our numbers was Fred in his jolly giant green outfit. Fred asked me where we were going to which I replied by giving a summary of the route. He said he didn’t know the cafe we planned to stop at, I responded by suggesting he knew very few cafes as he never stopped at any of them. 😜
    We headed out via the A168 to Bramham and the two waiting on our arrival. Our route took us along Toulston Lane turning to Stutton before we turned right onto the A162. Phil was recovering from a knee injury and had said he would start with a shorter effort to test the leg out. Consequently, he turned back towards Tadcaster and home as we headed on to Ulleskelf and Cawood. At a steady pace, we set about our task with Pete setting the tempo for the rest of us.
    At Cawood Fred peeled off to head back leaving just three club Titans to ride on.
    Sticking to the plan we rode to Stillingfleet and then Escrick after which we took the Wheldrake road before turning very sharp left to Crockey Hill to start our journey back. I was guilty of doing a Pidcock forcing Bob into the grass verge as we turned left. Thankfully no grief and apologies to Bob. Two miles further on we turned into Pool Bridge Farm and Holiday Park. Fishing, caravans, open-water swimming are also available.
    As we settled inside the cafe there was a very short hardly noticeable shower, which stopped as quickly as it started.
    Eggs seemed to be the order of the day with scrambled, poached on toast. Pete had smoked salmon with his scrambled eggs, extra brain power!
    Our ride back took us down Howden Lane where some wild numpty charged past us far too quickly on the broken road. On to Naburn Acaster Malbis and Copmanthorpe. The wind certainly helped a little at this stage. Pete was doing a great job pulling Bob and me along as we headed to Healaugh, Wighill and Walton. Thankfully they took pity on me and knocked it back a touch.
    Bob was visiting the grandkids so he peeled off at the Walton industrial estate, leaving Pete and I to say our goodbyes as he rode on to Leeds and me to Wetherby.

    Thanks guys a great ride and top company.

    Steve B

  • Wetherby to Helmsley, Thursday 10th August 2023, 82 miles

    9 Wheelers (Graham, Shaun, Shaun, Bill, Pete, Mike, Gregg, Kathy and Fred) set off from the Shambles in Wetherby on a warm humid day. As Aldwark bridge is still closed for repairs we did a detour via Boroughbridge up the tried and trusted A168 helped along by a nice tailwind. Fred had just turned up to say ‘hello’ and parted company with us just outside Boroughbridge. The rest of us headed on to Easingwold where we stopped for coffee and various snacks at TeaHee sitting out the back of the cafe in the sun discussing tandem riding with Mike our club expert. Kathy had just returned from the UCI world championships in Glasgow where GB had won gold in both the men’s and women’s tandem riding on the track.

    Bill and the 2 Shauns turned for home after coffee at Easingwold leaving a hardy group of 5 to carry on to Helmsley. The route took us through Crayke, Hovingham and then Nunnington. Graham had recently had a tustle involving a hedge trimmer and was feeling a bit bruised and battered so we decided to avoid White Horse Bank and get the average speed up instead.

    Helmsley was as busy as expected on a sunny day in August but being locals we knew where we could get good coffee and sandwiches from a club favourite bakery away from the main square. Unfortunately, the bakery had taken down the wall that we always sat on to eat our sandwiches. Ever resourceful, Mike limboed under a barrier and reserved a table belonging to the cafe next door. As the cafe was closed no-one seemed to mind.

    The route back took us through Oswaldkirk, Ampleforth and Husthwaite then back to Boroughbridge again. We had been expecting a headwind as we had benefitted from a good tailwind out but the wind must have changed direction as it was mostly in our favour again. Me, Graham, Pete and Mike stopped for another coffee in Boroughbridge at the Tiny Teapot. The cafe had sold out of cakes so we made do with a croissant, some crumpets and the last cinnamon roll to fuel us for the last 15 miles home.

    We decided to take the more scenic route home through Knaresborough rather than straight back up the A168 but Graham unfortunately had a puncture from the loose stones on the road. He made quick work of repairing it and we were soon on our way again. Back in Wetherby, I clocked 82 miles at an average speed of 16.1mph. A lovely day out with good company in beautiful countryside.

    Kathy

  • WW Tuesday Ride to Easingwold, 60 miles, 8th August 2023.
    In Bingo calling, legs eleven was our number for the day. On what promised to be a sunny day despite a stiff westerly wind we assembled at BS church for the start. Neil, Keith, Bob L, Pete C, Pete D, Steve P, Gavin, Stuart, Alec, [don’t forget your subs everyone], Bill and me. Our ride was to Easingwold as we hadn’t been there for many weeks with a different route home. Setting off in two groups across the Wharfe to Walton and onto Rudgate towards Cattal, it didn’t take me long to realise what a numpty! I had left my drinks in the fridge at home. This meant an extra stop at Whixley to buy a drink. From there we turned to Thorpe Underwood and onto the Dunsforths to Boroughbridge. We turned at Thornton Bridge for Easingwold and after 30 miles we arrived at the Fika Tea rooms for refreshments. It was excellent timing as both groups arrived within a minute of each other. Tea, coffees, flap jack, scrambled egg, poached egg and scones were the order of the day. Alec didn’t let us down as he had old faithful, sausage and bacon sandwich. Inside the cafe I had a conversation with a mother, with a very young baby alongside her parents. The little one was only 4 days old, very sweet, just like me. Our route home was via, Huby, Sutton upon Forest and on towards Wiggington. We turned shortly before to hea to Skelton, on a road which was new to most of us. Crossing the A19 at Skelton to Overton we took the cycle path enabling us to cross the river and get past the ring road as we turned for Poppleton. It was here we had our right left interludes, thankfully no one got lost. We crossed the A59 and took the cycle path to Rufforth and then turned for Askham Richard , from there we headed to Catterton where Pete D peeled off for home, then Healaugh, Wighill and Walton. The wind was certainly stronger in the second half and we started to get gaps in the peleton but it didn’t detract from a good day out and some fine riding by everyone sharing the load. From Walton we all took our separate ways home. Thanks to all.
  • WW Saturday Ride to Askham Richard, 5 August.2023.
    With the forecast suggesting plenty of precipitation, one Wheeler suggested we might need arm bands for swimming or paddle boards. Ye of little faith, yes we had drizzle and light rain but nothing was going to stop an iron four venturing out for a ride, even if it was shorter than usual. Two of us met at the shambles, Alec and I and we collected a further two at Walton, Bob L and Pete C. Our route took us to Wighill, Tadcaster, Bolton Percy and onto Appleton Roebuck.We were clearly not alone with our endeavours as we passed a number of others showing their metal. Bob and I were chatting about how easy it seemed for the Revolutionaries to gain access to the PM’s house while Pete and Alec were deep in discussion on electric cars. Takes your mind off the water down the back of your neck. We took the back route past Acaster Airfield and then onto Malbis and Bishopthorpe turning to head to Copmanthorpe and Askham Richard for a cafe stop at the Grange. Unfortunately they no longer do bacon, sausage or egg sandwiches! It didn’t stop us making full use of the usual £6 offer. Well the rain had stopped, even the sun poked its nose out which meant we had a pleasant last few miles home. Glad we made the effort.
  • Tuesday 1st August WW ride to Ripon
    A late report so apologies to all. With what looked like a fine day albeit with a stiff westerly breeze ten energetic souls took part in the ride. Eight of us meeting at BS, Bob L, Pete C, Stuart, Steve P, Keith, Neil, Dave W and me with Kathy, who had ridden from Hampsthwaite and Bill who skipped the meet at BS, joining us at Kirk Deighton. In professional style we formed two groups and headed out to Knaresborough and onto Scriven, Scotton, Nidd and Ripley. Having had our noses in the wind we then enjoyed an easier effort as we climbed Scarah Bank on our way to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. We did have a hiccup as Pete C had seen a Wetherby Wheelers jersey riding into Ripley and decided to give chase, suffice to say the ghost rider was gone and fortunately Keith waited for him to turn back and rejoin the group. It did mean i wasn’t last up Scarah Bank! Even though we maintained a disciplined two groups we encountered little traffic on or way to Oliver’s Pantry at Ripon. The outside seating was available and with good service we all participated in drinks and solid refreshment. Our route back took us through Skelton to Boroughbridge where we said our good byes to Kathy who turned towards Bishop Monkton and onto Hampsthwaite. The rest of us headed through the Dunsforths and Whixley towards Cattal where Bill headed to Wetherby and the remaining eight rode to Walton where we went our separate ways home. A Good day out and over fifty miles. Top company., thanks guys.
  • Saturday 29 July 2023 ride to Broughbridge 42 miles

    Saturday saw 5 of us assemble for the 9.15 start, Bob L, Gavin, Pete C, Stuart and me. In addition the Wetherby Nomad joined us namely Fred sporting his usual green attire. Needed him to ride separately from us as we all sported Wheelers red Jerseys. Members Fred honour the Jersey.
    Anyway with the weather looking fine despite a westerly breeze we set off to Knaresborough, Scriven, Farnham, Bishop Monkton and our cafe stop at Plenty in Boroughbridge.
    Pete C grumbled I had stolen his thunder for next weeks ride as he was planning to lead the troops. Sorry Pete I’m sure we can find an alternative route.
    True to form Fred peeled off and skipped the cafe stop, well his loss as Pete C honoured his birthday by treating us all to coffee and cake. Many thanks Pete you don’t look a day older than you were Friday.
    Our morning’s entertainment was further enhanced by Phil W who was out with his regular Saturday mate for a sausage roll ride. Did the extra weight cause the puncture Phil?
    In addition Kathy turned up with John, he was getting his Saturday exercise.
    Our route home took us via the Dunsforths to Whixley and Cattal to Walton where we said our good byes and headed home.
    This was my first ride for over a week as my left knee had been swollen, thankfully all seemed okay and the guys looked after me as we kept the pace a little more sedate.
    Thanks guys for the company.

  • Boston Spa – Copmanthorpe, Tuesday 25th July 2023, 37 miles

    8 club members met at Boston Spa Church: Kathy, Steve P., Stuart, Nick, Bill, Steve B and myself although Steve B had forgotten his bike! He arrived by car as his knee is still playing up, so he nominated me as ride leader.

    We needed a short route as the forecast was iffy with rain by lunchtime. As Steve B waved us away, we set off through the village towards Tadcaster, turning right up towards Toulston picking up the road to Stutton. Then on to Ulleskelf and over Cawood Bridge where Stuart bade us farewell due to family commitments. We then headed to Riccall picking up the cycle path to Naburn and Little Acorns cafe at Copmanthorpe for refreshments. Steve P must have been opening Xmas crackers as the jokes he was telling were corny but we pretended to laugh so as to not offend! (Sorry, Steve!). My plan was to leave Copmanthorpe and go through Askham Richard, Long Marston to Tockwith to keep Nick company, but as the sky darkened we decided to take the shorter route through Healaugh and Wighill saying farewell to Nick at Rudgate and then Bill at Walton, leaving Kathy to pick up her car in Boston Spa. Steve P came back to my place for coffee and Ann’s cake and just as he was leaving the inevitable happened ….. rain! I guess Steve was the only one to get wet. Probably only 40 miles for me but 55 for Steve P. An enjoyable ride for me as I haven’t ridden for a few weeks.

    Pete C

  • Wetherby – Malham, Thursday 20th July 2023, 94 miles

    Despite Graham’s ominous words “home when we’re home” on the WhatsApp ride announcement, 7 riders (Graham, Michael, Mike, Nick, Pete, Steve and me) assembled at The Shambles, mentally prepared for a lengthy trip past Harrogate, skirting the Washburn Valley, into the Craven Dales and on to Malham, back via Skipton and Wharfedale.

    Shortly after leaving, Steve expressed to me some concern about the number of ‘strong riders’ in the group.  I reassured him that all would be fine just as long as he didn’t have any problems with his transmission.  Sometime later it transpired he was unable to select bottom gear…

    But anyway, after a steady spin out via Kirby Overblow and Pannal, we met Kathy in Beckwithshaw and 8 riders proceeded over the moors to Fewston farm shop, where special guest Bill had independently ridden up to provide a nice surprise of buying everyone birthday coffees and teas – thanks Bill!

    There were some mutterings about the vast and hilly distance to lunch, only further brought into relief by the long slog up to Greenhow against a solid headwind.  Graham promptly dispatched Michael to form a breakaway and get him some sustenance at the Nisa shop in Grassington (which was decked out with a generous display of Pride flags https://www.prideinthedales.co.uk ).  Exhausted by his flapjack buying efforts, and with an evening commitment, Michael shortly bade us farewell and headed back down Wharfedale.

    After Grassington, the main group headed up Wharfedale via Conistone, past Kilnsey Crag, and took a left up Littondale to Arncliffe.  From here, the only way was up (Brootes Lane), and Steve’s lack of lower gearing took its toll.  But there were great views riding over the tops, despite the headwind, and we all soon reassembled for lunch at the Old Barn Café in Malham – handily queueing for lunch at 2.29pm, shortly before they stopped serving hot food at 2.30pm…

    Lunch eventually dealt with, plus a positive update on The Ashes, we headed off on the rolling roads through Kirby Malham, Airton, Hetton and eventually to Skipton.

    Time was ticking on, so a brisk tailwind assisted run along the main road soon brought us to Addingham, Ilkley and then Askwith, where Cathy headed left up Askwith Moor Road amongst much sympathy from the rest of us who were soon bombing downhill into Otley.  Here, Pete and Steve peeled off to take on the slog up the Chevin, heading East.  For the remaining four, a flat spin to Pool, the climb from Castley, and the descent through Weeton soon had us on the final stretch via KO and Sicklinghall at around 6.30pm, chasing what looked like heavy rain just ahead of us. 

    Back home I had 94 miles for the round trip from The Shambles and 5800ft of climbing. Average speed of 14mph more-or-less J Thanks to Graham for the planning, and everyone for the company.

    Tim

  • Wetherby – York, Sunday 16th July 2023, 35 miles


    Riders Steve B and Nick
    Destination Local

    Not much to report. The weather had improved slightly from a wet and windy Saturday but not much. In addition, I found I had some additional domestic duties so I could only do a short ride. Steve kindly agreed to compromise his plans and we went to Cycle Heaven in York for coffee and sausages. Coming back via Rufforth gave me time to get on with stuff and at least we had turned some pedals round and had some fresh air.

    Nick

  • Wetherby – the Elmets of Barwick & Sherburn, Saturday 15th July 2023, 38 miles

    Riders: Bob Lunt, Alec Marley

    Route: Shambles – Linton – East Rigton – Thorner – Leeds Orbital – Barwick in Elmet – Aberford – Sherburn in Elmet – Stutton – Bramham – home

    Two lone riders turned up prepared to combat the weather conditions that was about to be thrown at them. I thought a route including the cycle paths following the Leeds Orbital might be a first for a WW ride … please let me know if this assumption is correct. I was also hoping to follow the yellow brick road but after all the overnight rain the track was very tacky so we diverted to the other side of the orbital and travelled along the tarmac cycle track … wow we cyclist are spoilt for choice!?!? The only spoiler was having to pass through a gypsy encampment and having to pass clutter and free range dogs!

    However we were kindly treated by the weather as the downpours were short lived and we could admire the lightning bolts off afar over York area! As a result you could foretell the topic of conversation when we got to Penny’s for our mandatory cake break was about sunnier climates and our forthcoming holidays!

    A good social ride enjoyed by Bob and Alec … thanks for the company Bob.

    Alec

  • Wetherby – Richmond, Thursday 13th July 2023, 100 miles

    Not quite a dozen Wheelers – unless I’ve forgotten someone – set off from the Shambles this Thursday morning: Frank, Graham, Phil, Steve P, Glynn, Mike, Steve B, Michael, Steve W, Shaun F and myself. We collected Nick along the way and then Geoff and Dennis in Boroughbridge but said good bye to Frank (good to see you Frank). We split into two groups and headed north for Topcliff. Very (very) unusually there was no perfectly placed morning coffee stop on our route to Richmond so while we sat in the sun and waited to regroup in Topcliff, some of us made do with the coffee machine in the local Post Office.

    For three Richmond was a bit too far today so they turned here for home: Michael, who had a TT training session (which, to me, sounds harder than the real thing), Steve Ward (who has returned to competing and representing the WW in our local TT league – well done Steve) and Shaun who may have fallen short of a 100 mile ride and therefore will not complete his usual weekly 100+ miles x 3 – though somehow I suspect he will.

    It was a bit of a staggered start out of Topcliff (no fault of Graham) and I for one thought I’d never see half our number again that day was amazed to finally catch up, a few miles from Richmond, with a seamlessly reunited WW.

    The route north, on quiet and pleasant roads, roughly follows the River Swale, though you don’t get to see it until passing through Great Langton. We stopped once for Phil to repair a punctured and for one of us to show the rest how to fall painlessly onto a grass verge without unclipping!

    Richmond was warm and sunny so some sat in the Market Place eating their Greggs takeout while others retired to a nearby cafe.

    We followed the most direct route home passing by Catterick Garrison, then some fast good roads before skirting Masham and on though Ripon to Knaresborough where we said good bye to Dennis and would normally have said good bye to Geoff but we’d lost him along the way (last word was he was in Snape – hope you got home safely Geoff).

    Just over or just under 100 miles. I think we all had an another excellent day riding. Thanks all for the company.

    Greg

  • Wetherby to Selby, Tuesday 1st July 2023, 48 miles

    On the Monday evening the weather suggested rain after lunch on the Tuesday. I needn’t have worried as Carol Kirkwood messaged me to say don’t believe the forecast as it would stay fine., pleased to say we had a dry one.
    I had posted we would have a shorter ride due to the uncertain conditions with a stop at Riccal.
    I was not expecting a large turnout but my charisma clearly was in mint condition with ten riders plus me intending to be at BS church for the start. They were Pete C, Bob L, Neil, Keith, Bill, Gavin, Pete D, Stuart, Phil R and Steve P. Apologies accepted from Kathy and Nick.
    On Tuesday morning roll call we had the usual miscreants needing to attend the sick bay, namely Pete C and Steve P, with Phil R AWOL. A brief discussion took place as the numbers meant we might be struggling to get into the Riccal cafe and with the weather certainly brighter as Carol had suggested we agreed on a ride to Selby and the Hub cafe.
    We set off through BS turning right onto Rudgate heading to Stutton, from here we headed to Ulleskelf, Church Fenton, Biggin, Bishopwood, Thorpe Willoughby and Selby.
    After the cafe stop we headed to Barlby and the cycle path back to Naburn, but not before getting a message from Phil R saying he had arrived at Riccal and wondered if we were on our way. Apparently, he had one of those days where things were not going to plan.He met us at Riccal and we all rode onto the cycle path. Unfortunately Phil’s woes didn’t stop there as he had a puncture requiring at least seven wannabes hanging around to assist.
    Moving on to Copmanthorpe we headed the usual route back to Walton, BS and Wetherby.
    Thanks guys a great ride and top company.

    Road Etiquette

    As ride leader I have to accept the responsibility when events on the road result in tricky maybe even dangerous situations.
    With there being far more of us in the group, eight, it is important we ride respecting each others safety. There were three occasions when this nearly resulted in awkward moments. Stopping at the straw bales outside Ulleskelf, Bishopwood and in Selby. On each occasion the signaling wasn’t seen and the shout of stopping wasn’t heard or even said, plus a big 20 ton truck close to the rear meant such a sudden action might have been deadly.
    It is important signals and calls are passed down the line for everyone’s safety. These issues will certainly happen again as we are human but it is always worth having the reminder.
    Finally overtaking on the inside is not recommended and could be dangerous, riding out wide will encourage that practice when we are lined and again a call to the rider in front of on your right or left will help if they are much nearer the middle of the road.
    These comments are made following two people advising me of the events and rightly so.

    Thank you.

    Steve B

  • Wetherby – Masham, Sunday 9th July 2023, 71 miles


    Riders: Graham and Nick ( reporter)

    A lack of response to the What’s App suggested that we would have a low turnout today. There was nobody else in the Shambles when I arrived but Graham soon appeared. We discussed our options and decided to take the longer Ringbeck road to Masham. A coffee stop at the Park in Ripon came before we took the road towards Grewelthorpe, but turning before there towards Kirkby Malzeard. Here we rode down the long village street and took the right fork signed Ringbeck at the end. I only explored this for the first time quite recently. The road has some ups and downs but there are no 20% shockers and with good road surface, hardly any traffic and fabulous views most of the time ,it makes an excellent cycling route bringing us out just above Swinton. Here you have a choice. Turn right and you get a swooshing downhill to Masham. Turn left to Ilton and you get a similar stretch but later. We went left which means two descents with hairpins and a medium ascent in between. The first decent could be scary if you haven’t done it before while the second one brings you to a pretty 3/4 mile beside the River Burn and a ford. The cobbles in the ford are designed to dismount cyclists as I discovered a few years ago so now I take the footbridge. The other thing that you need to know is that there is a short but quite steep ascent on the other side and the gradient starts just about at the waters edge so it’s best to get into a low gear first. We forgot this so changed down, off the bikes, by spinning the pedals round before the hill start.

    Anyway we then got the swooshy couple of miles down into Masham. It’s nice, is Masham. The Square was very busy with a market and all the tables outside Johnny Baghdad’s Café were taken but there was room inside so no problem. Very generous beans on toast, since you ask. Second helpings of caffeine meant we didn’t need to stop again on the way home which came by the more familiar route of West Tanfield, Hutton Conyers and Copt Hewick. I mention the places with funny names for our international readers. Then B’bridge of course and a little headwind on the A168.

    With riding into Wetherby in the morning that was 71 miles for me. They were all good and many of them were brilliant. Oh ,and the sun shone. Thanks to Graham for the company.

    Nick

  • Boston Spa – Bedale – Boston Spa, Tuesday 4th July 2023 – 76 miles

    Cycling Club Ride Report: An Exciting Adventure with Friends!

    Introduction:

    Once upon a sunny day, our super cool cycling club got ready for an amazing ride! Steve B, Pete C, Bill, Neil, Kathy, Gavin, and Keith were all geared up and excited to hit the road. We planned to cover a total distance of 76 miles, starting from Boston Spa and going through Wetherby, Scriven, Ripon racecourse, Sharow, Bedale, Wath, Boroughbridge, and back to Wetherby. Our ride was filled with fun, laughter, and of course, a delicious lunch at the Tandem Cafe in Bedale. So, let’s jump right into this awesome ride report!

    Riders:

    Our riding group was made up of the coolest gang of riders. We had Steve B, Pete C, Bill, Neil, Kathy, Gavin, and Keith. Each rider brought their own unique style and skills to the group. We all loved cycling, and we were thrilled to be riding together on this fantastic adventure.

    Route:

    Our adventure started in Boston Spa, where we said our hellos and hit the road. We pedalled through Wetherby, enjoying the cool breeze and the beautiful views along the way. Next up was Scriven, a lovely place with pretty houses and friendly folks. We waved as we rode past, feeling the excitement building up.

    After Scriven, we reached Ripon racecourse. It was a big open space with a cool track where people raced their horses. We didn’t race horses, of course, but we sure raced on our bikes! We had so much fun zooming around the track, feeling like real champions.

    From Ripon racecourse, we rode through Sharow, which was like a tiny village straight out of a storybook. The houses had cute little gardens, and the smell of flowers filled the air. It felt magical!

    As we continued our journey, our tummies started growling, telling us it was time for lunch. Hooray! We arrived at the Tandem Cafe in Bedale, where the friendly staff welcomed us with big smiles. The cafe smelled amazing, and we couldn’t wait to fill our bellies. We had sandwiches, salads, and the most scrumptious homemade cakes. Yum! It was the perfect spot to rest, refuel, and have a good chat with our cycling buddies.

    Incidents:

    During our ride back home, Gavin had a bit of bad luck. His front brake suddenly stopped working. Oh no! But Gavin didn’t panic, and neither did we. We all gathered around to help him fix the problem. With a little tinkering and teamwork, we managed to get Gavin’s brake working again. Phew! Crisis averted!

    We also had a couple of friends leave us along the way. Kathy said goodbye at Boroughbridge, and Steve and Bill left us at Wetherby. We waved them off with big smiles, knowing that we had shared a fantastic ride together.

    Conclusion:

    As we rolled back into Boston Spa, we couldn’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment and happiness. Our cycling club ride was a huge success! We covered a total distance of 76 miles, explored amazing places like Wetherby, Scriven, Ripon racecourse, Sharow, Bedale, Wath, Boroughbridge, and Wetherby. We even had a yummy lunch at the Tandem Cafe in Bedale.

    Special thanks go to our awesome riders—Steve B, Pete C, Bill, Neil, Kathy, Gavin, and Keith—for making this ride incredible. We had so much fun, laughed together, and overcame challenges along the way. This ride was a reminder of the joy and camaraderie that cycling brings. We can’t wait for our next adventure together!

    This ride report was created using ChatGPT (AI) using these instructions:

    write 1500 words for a cycling club ride report using simple language suitable for someone with a reading age of 10

    riders: Steve B, Pete C, Bill, Neil, Kathy, Gavin and Keith

    route: Boston Spa, Wetherby, Scriven, Ripon racecourse, Sharow, Bedale, Wath, Boroughbridge and Wetherby lunch: Tandem Cafe at Bedale

    incidents: Gavin’s front brake stopped working on the way home

    distance covered: 76 miles from Boston Spa

    Kathy left us at Boroughbridge

    Steve and Bill left us at Wetherby

    I think we still have a job for now!

    Keith (and AI friend)

    All comments

    

  • Ilkley Half Marathon Sunday 16th July – Road Closures
    Begin forwarded message: From: Andy Subject: Ilkley Half Marathon Sunday 16th July – Road Closures Date: 3 July 2023 at 14:46:57 BST To: “nickhopkinson100” Hello Nick I’m getting in touch to ask you to let your members know about the road closures for the Ilkley Half Marathon on Sunday 16th July Attached is the information – basically roads that your members might use (Denton Road, roads through Addingham, Nesfield, Beamsley etc) will all be closed for most of the morning It’s probably best to plan rides to avoid the area that day. Please can you circulate this information Many thanks Best regards Andy Ilkley Cycling Club Community Liaison Sent from Mail for Windows
  • Wetherby – Leyburn, Thursday 29th June 2023, 90 miles

    Our normal 09:30 meet in the Shambles was proceeded by a visit by Mark Lawrence for a coffee and chat prior to going to his dentist.
    Mark looked in good health although he is still not fully recovered from his cycling accident last year.
    Coffees and chat done the group consisting of yours truly Pete D, Graham, Sean, Michael Brawley, Steve P, Nick, Bill, Glyn, Kathy, Greg, Geoff and Phil, a nice round dozen set forth.
    Our route to Leyburn was the usual B6164 to Knaresborough and onto Boroughbridge.
    As we numbered twelve riders we split into two groups, Graham leading the front bunch and a joint effort for the leadership of the second peloton followed.
    Our first stop for coffee was Melmerby, one of our regular watering holes, with Graham adding an extra loop for his crew to enable a regrouping of the club for coffee, and it worked.
    The proprietor of The Hub cafe took a team photo for his Facebook page that everybody was happy to smile for, one to look out for.
    After a slightly longer than normal coffee break we set off north to our destination Leyburn, Bill deciding that he was going to return home and left us to continue our journey.
    We turned west at Bedale and continued into a stiffening breeze to the Post Horn Cafe in Leyburn.
    With plenty of tables available outside and the sun deciding to show its face, six of us decided to eat outside, three softies ate inside and two decided on a bench and sandwiches from a local shop.
    The service unusually was slow for the sunshine group and they almost forgot Mike B’s coffee, not to be messed with he quickly sorted it out, the softies inside seemed to fair better.
    Still, fed and nourished we prepared for our wind-assisted return home.
    Our return route was very pleasant with the wind at our backs and the sun shining we made good progress via West Tanfield, Ripon and onto Knaresborough. A majority decision not to stop for coffee in Ripon was accepted without any Brexit problems and whinges.
    Geoff left us at Knaresborough and a quick stop at the garage for some to refuel was followed by a swift final leg back to Wetherby, with Nick leaving us near North Deighton to return home to Tockwith.
    On reaching our usual stopping place in Wetherby the remaining group split and headed home after agreeing that it was an excellent ride, well managed and enjoyed by all.
    Thank you one and all for a good day.

    Pete D

  • Wetherby – Tockwith Audax, Sunday 25th June 2023, 82 miles

    This week the normal runs card was discarded and replaced by an introduction to Audax riding. Nick decided that we would enter a 100k event starting from the Sports Club in Tockwith. We largely failed to appreciate the logistics required and the start was a bit of a panic, especially on my part as I was informed, I needed to be at the venue far earlier than expected. Thus, I was the last one to sign in and I think we were the last to start. It was all very relaxed however and 5 wheelers, Nick, Bill, Steve Booker Pete Cart and myself Graham paid our £8, collected our control cards and set off. Unusually I had no idea where we were going and put my faith in the hands of Nick and Steve. We hadn’t even got as far as the Wetherby to Knaresborough road when we were joined by Bob Johnson who took over the route finding fairly quickly. 

    We were diverted down Abbey Road and the Waterside as we headed to Ripley which was our first control. After following the Beryl Burton way, we found ourselves in the Ripley car park and needing proof of our presence there. We decided that the answer was a photo at each control. At this point Bill and Steve decided to head home with Bill still wondering why he had paid his £8.

    The route now started to get a bit hilly as we headed to Burnt Yates and the nice country side of Nidderdale. I was still confused about the route and was beginning to wonder where we were having lunch and or coffee. Would it be Fountains, Ripon, Masham? I was disappointed to find out we were going to a shop in Kirkby Malzeard. Luckily the shop was closed because if it had been open, we would never have found the village cafe.

    This was new to all of us, a cafe called Roselea that is only open in the summer and then only Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We perched ourselves at the owner’s dining table, literally in her front room. It was excellent and Bob and I had a hot sandwich, cake and coffee.

    Once back on the road we were heading for Masham. A quick chat with a cycling fan, a photo and no need to stop now and we were heading for Ripon. The weather was now hot and humid and we picked our own route to Ripon via West Tansley. We had to get to Boroughbridge for the last control but we stopped in Ripon marketplace to rest and cool down. The sky was beginning to look threatening and Bob decided to leave for home while the final three headed towards the Courtyard cafe in Boroughbridge. Thankfully the cafe was open and there was a discussion about Mike and would he still be on his bike at 3.30. We’ve only got to get back to Tockwith while he’s about to start a marathon!!

    The last photo was taken and we then took the Dunsforths road on the final leg. Apparently, there is always coffee and cake at the end of an audax but you can’t have any until you have been certified. Nick’s photos did the job and we sat down for a well-earned cup of tea. Then a very windy eight miles back to Wetherby. Then a quick bath and a visit to the White Swan in Wighill for a couple of pints. Do you know what “Mike will still be running”. Legend

    Graham

  • Wetherby to Barnoldswick, Thursday 22nd June 2023, 88 miles and 5784ft

    8 Wheelers (Nick, Graham, Glyn, Shaun, Phil, Steve P, Mike and Fred) met in Wetherby on a warm sunny day for an inter-county ride to Lancashire. I met the group in Otley where Fred peeled off and then Mike who was tapering for an Iron Man and understandably wanted to make sure he was fresh for the big day. Mike has raised a lot of money for charity and we wish him well for Sunday! So glad I’m not running a marathon in this hot weather, or any weather at all come to think of it! Kudos to Mike for putting himself through it.

    From Otley we followed the back road to Ilkley and then stopped for coffee and cake in Addingham at The Joyful Deli which was a lovely cafe with tables outside in the sun, delicious homemade cakes and good coffee. Phil treated us all as it was his birthday the day before. Thanks again, Phil.

    After coffee and all warmed up from sitting in the sun we plodded up the hill towards Slisden taking a right turn at the top and descending on some quiet little roads into Farnhill and crossing the mainroad to Cononley where the serious climbing started. Up onto the top of the moors we could see for miles around. Was that Ingleborough and Whernside in the distance?

    A long descent into Earby and then to Barnoldswick where we stopped at the Cafe on the Square for lunch. Very generous portions of beans on toast on doorstop slices of toast! Another good cafe even if the people there did talk a bit funny compared to what we are used to in Yorkshire.

    The route home was thankfully not as hilly and we stuck to the valley floor wherever possible, cycling through the grounds of a stately home to avoid the main road. We made our way through the center of Skipton and back to Addingham where the owner of the Joyful Deli waved to us as we rode past! We stopped in Ilkey hoping for a much-needed ice cream by the river only to find that we had just missed the ice cream van which had left at 4 O’Clock!! Luckily we found a kiosk nearby where we could purchase some, although they were not as good.

    I left the group at Askwith to make my way directly home and the others continued on back to Wetherby via the back roads. No rain and lots of sun and hills, a great day out!

    Kathy

  • Wetherby – Haworth, Thursday 15th June 2023, 78 miles

    On a bright and sunny summer’s morning seven riders assembled at the Shambles. The group, led by Graham, consisted of Greg, Sean, Mike B, Geoff, Kathy and me, set off knowing that this was going to be hilly and so it proved to be. To get us in to the mood, the group made its way on a winding hilly route around the back of Collingham to Scarcroft and then through Bramhope and over the Chevin to Yeadon for our first scheduled stop at Mi Sucre for elevenses. Geoff couldn’t resist the temptation of a Welsh cheese scone and he was so excited that he decided to leave the group and rush home to tell his wife!

    This left six of us to navigate our way to Haworth over the moors via Bingley, Harden, Cullingworth and Oxenhope. The cobbled hill up to Cafe Verde was made easier by groups of cheering schoolkids urging us on.

    The cafe lived up to expectations and after talks about the state of our rivers and seas, concrete, floor screeds and house builders, we moved on.

    There was to be no respite and after many ups and downs, including the notorious hill at Gooseye we ended up in a traffic jam going in to Silden. Safely negotiated, we then approached our last big hill of the day with a promise of ice cream in Ilkley.

    From here, the usual route back to Otley was taken with Greg and me heading back to Leeds and the remainder on to Wetherby.

    A tough but most satisfying ride in good company and great weather.

    Approx 78 miles and 6000 feet of climbing.

    Well done everyone.

    Glyn

  • Wetherby – Richmond, Sunday 11th June 2023, 89 miles

    On a warm, sunny Sunday five Wheelers trundled up to the Shambles: Michael B, Geoff, Nick, Bill and Pete D. With Richmond as the destination we time trialled up the A168 to Boroughbridge, making our way through Rainton and Kirklington to Bedale. Coffee stop was the Cycleworx (sic) café/bike shop which was rammed with cycling customers but Stockton Wheelers’ departure freed an outside table.

    Our route to Richmond took us across the Swale at Catterick Bridge, through the Bromptons and past the unseen but lovely (and free entry) Easby Abbey and into Richmond’s spacious market square. Here the peloton spilt with Nick and Geoff lunching at the indoor market and Bill, Pete and myself joining the queue in Greggs. Bill and I had but one thought on entering Greggs which created a dilemma when we both saw there was only one delectable tuna crunch left on the shelf. Suffice to say all ended amicably as one of us opted for delayed gratification.

    The Greggs group lunched on a bench looking over the immense Norman Keep and swapped views on professional tennis and cycling before we met up and made our way through Catterick Garrison towards Masham. As we turned left before Masham towards West Tanfield we learned that old tractors are much admired in these parts as piles of traffic from the tractor rally clogged the roads.

    From West Tanfield we made our way to Boroughbridge through Wath and Hutton Conyers, Geoff peeling off towards Ripon along the way. In Boroughbridge we stopped at the Spar for much needed fluids, one Wheelers chugging the coke can whilst still in the checkout queue. We then split into two pairs as Nick and Bill made a leisurely return leaving Pete and myself to time trial back in the hot sunshine giving 85-105 enjoyable cycling miles.

    Michael B

  • Wetherby – Masham, Thursday 8th June 2023, 70 miles

    Graham’s absence resulted in Michael B seamlessly moving into position of rides Kapitan for the day, with a plan to visit Pately Bridge and Masham and the ‘promise’ of climbing Old Church Lane.

    9.30 prompt and 7 cyclists and myself departed on this somewhat bold and daring ride, these comprised:

    Michael B, Mike B, Greg, Glyn, Phil, Sean C, Sean F and Steve P.

    Up through Sicklinghall, Kirby Overblow, Burn Bridge and then a brief stop at Beckwithshaw where the troops were boosted by the arrival of 2 further quality climbers… Geoff and Kathy.

    Late morning and the club arrived at Fewston Farm Cafe where a delightful array of home made cakes and scones were on offer.

    Shortly after the group were heading north in sunshine up Menwith Hill Road and Duck Street. Thruscross gleaming to the west this passage is always a good steady tester, the hard work almost done when passing Rorkes Drift Farm on the left….currently for sale at a snip, £395k…a good future WW base camp ?

    Shortly after Greenhow Hill Top was reached and utter bliss for some….a long downhill stretch down Hebden Road to Pately Bridge. However, there is no pleasure without pain on WW Thursday rides and next on the agenda…the ascent out of Pately Bridge of Old Church Lane.

    The official Strava segment of Old Church Lane deceptively shows a 5•5% gradient. The actual ascent on the day felt a killer climb, a lot tougher and harder than Greenhow and Norwood at 10%-11%. The reason being is the Strava segment is a longer 1.5m climb. Indeed, the author noticed at the summit a warning to ascending drivers of 20% descent gradient.

    After a tortuous climb the Wheelers regrouped at the summit to take in the stunning desolate views, and posed for a picture. What followed was another lovely 5 mile descent to Laverton.

    The quaintly named Kirby Malzeard was next on the journey, then Grewelthorpe and Masham for a very well earned lunch outside in the sunshine.

    Shortly after lunch the group were further boosted by Graham’s arrival near West Tanfield.

    Business as usual as the peleton moved south through North Stanley and North Lees.

    Thee are certain times out cycling with the Wheelers when a ‘good feel’ type event occurs, something which spurs the members on, bonds the club and makes it all worthwhile. Mid afternoon exiting Ripon, just pass the Nidd, this was not one of those events. The group were confronted in the middle of the road by a deranged and disturbed middle age man who was, clearly, not seeking our autographs… but who was blindly swearing in the middle of the road threatening to kill us all. Local ale and the strong afternoon sun were probably to blame….and the Wheelers swiftly moved on to Knarebrough and then Wetherby.

    Michael B estimated 70 mile distance ride for the day – my Strava log showed 70.00 miles !

    This was a most enjoyable ride in the June sunshine into the North Yorkshire wilderness, no mechanicals and a great team effort, well captained thanks Michael.

    Steve P

  • Wetherby – Helmsley, Thursday 1st June 2023,

    With Graham taking a well-deserved break I (Mike) planned a route to Helmsley with one or two deviations from Graham’s usual route(s) and so it was that seven Wheelers, me (Mike B), Michael, Glyn, Phil W, Pete D, Bill and Kathy set off from the Shambles at 09.30 for Boroughbridge via the Dunsfords. In Boroughbridge we collected Dennis and so now eight Wheelers set off for Helmsley, avoiding the closed Aldwark Bridge. The route took us through Helperby, Husthwaite and to Coxwold for a very pleasant coffee and cake break, after which Bill, Kathy and Dennis turned back. The remaining five then headed for Wass, Ampleforth, Oswaldkirk and Nunnington before looping in to Helmsley. A convivial lunch was had at the bakery by the castle and then Glyn discovered that he couldn’t change from his inner chain ring to the outer chain ring. We re-seated the gear cable and then it was back to Ampleforth via Sprokton. After cycling through Brandsby, Crayke, Easingwold and Raskelf we rejoined our outward route to Boroughbridge. From there we took our usual route to Knaresborough and then back to Wetherby via Little Ribston. Most, if not all of the ‘fearless’ five clocked a hundred miles by the time that they had cycled home. Whilst cool in the morning with a bit of a headwind outward, the weather was pretty kind throughout. All in all a good day’s cycling.

    Mike Bo

  • Boston Spa – Riccall, Tuesday 30th May 2023, 39 miles

    Report by Pete Cartledge. I was designated to lead as Steve Booker had hospital commitments for Carol. Eight members met at B.Spa at 9.15am. The team being Phil R. Gavin, Sean, Neil, Nick, Keith, Bill, and me, but only Bill was appropriately dressed for the occasion. The weather was COLD. Because the previous four days had been very warm, the rest of us believed this day would be the same. How wrong can you be !! We set off towards Tadcaster, turning to Toulston. After only a very short time, although I did not know it Gavin was cold and decided he was turning back to his car…

    The rest of us carried on through Stutton, Ulleskelf, Cawood, Riccall, and onto the cycle path to Naburn. Then to the cafe at Copmanthorpe for a much-needed hot drink The weather had not got any warmer and Keith had difficulty in taking his helmet off as his fingers were so numb. Mine were not much better. My planned route back was to go through Askham Bryan, Askham Richard, Marston and Tockwith just to get at least 50 miles in, but some of our team wanted to take the quickest way home, so it was Healaugh, Wighill, and Walton, where Bill and Phil left us. It was only 41 miles for me and I was still cold.

    Within one hour of being home the sun came out and it turned out to be a lovely afternoon. Sods Law 😁.

    Pete C

  • Sunday 28th May 2023 ride to Kirkbymoorside 92 miles
    6 Wheelers (Nick, Geoff, Bob, Bill, Dennis and me) met in Wetherby for a sunny ride to Kirkbymoorside. Unfortunately there was a bit of a chilly easterly wind first thing and the sun was yet to make an appearance so we set off feeling a bit cold. We soon warmed up on the A168 before turning off towards Tockwith so that Nick could consider going back home to collect an extra layer. Nick had however, had the foresight to bring enough layers with him so he just put on his rain jacket and carried on. Our normal route to Kirkbymoorside would have been across Aldwark Bridge, but because that was closed for the summer Nick had devised an alternative crossing the railway line and skirting York by following the bike path alongside the ring road over the river Ouse.This worked out fine until myself, Bill and Geoff having been so busy looking out for the traffic as we crossed the ring road, didn’t see where Nick, Dennis and Bob had gone after this. After telephoning Bob to check directions we met up with the others further up near the turning for Skelton where Dennis decided to head for home feeling bit cold and the remaining 5 carried on to Wigginton and Sutton on the Forest. We were all in need of a coffee by then and there was a discussion as to whether to take a mile detour to Huby or carry on to Stillington where Bob had seen a pop up coffee van previously. The decision to carry on to Stillington proved to be the right one as we had excellent coffee and cake sat outside on very comfortable chairs in the sun which divided to make an appearance (and excellent clean toilet facilities as well!). After coffee we had a lovely climb up over the Howardian Hills towards Oswaldkirk where Bill decided to head back to save his energy for the club’s Tuesday ride (he still managed 70+ miles) and 4 of us (bob, Nick, Geoff and me) carried on to Kirkbymoorside. The cafe in Kirkbymoorside, the Gavel & Bean, was a good find from Nick and well worth the 48 miles to get to it, plenty of space to park our bikes and good food. The return journey was via a more easterly loop via Hovingham and then to Terrington. At the top of Terrington Bank we met up with the National Junior cycle race that was in progress with Bradley Wiggin’s son Ben competing in it. We watched the race go by and then had a lovely fast descent down Terrington Bank before climbing up into Sheriff Hutton where there were some fans by the side of the road to give us an extra boost to ride strongly up the hill. Arriving back at the York ring road we re-traced our route out back to Poppleton and had a much needed rest sat on the verge by the side of a quiet lane sharing energy bars. Bob also sharing stories of sleeping by the side of roads and in MacDonalds on long Audax rides. I clocked 92 miles round trip from Wetherby for the day out and had a much needed beer when I arrived home! I think Geoff and Bob were heading for a pub in Knaresborough having blown through the 100 barrier. Thanks to Nick for coming up with a lovely route and cafe. Kathy
  • Wetherby – Fridaythorpe, Sunday 21st May 2023, 79 miles

    A late report for last Sunday 21 May.

    Destination. Fridaythorpe.

    Riders. Graham, Michael Br., Pete D, Steve B., Nick, Bill, Phil W., Dennis.

    Route. Stamford Bridge, Full Sutton, Youlethorpe, Bishop Wilton, Thixendale, Fridaythorpe.

    Return route. Millington, Yapham, Sutton-upon- Derwent, Escrick, Copmanthorpe

    Climbs. Big one at Bishop Wilton. Then approaching Fridaythorpe

    After a photo in York we had our coffee break at Breezy Knees for the second week running and this time had no mechanical problems to detain us. Michael had to leave here tho’ for duties at home so the rest went off to enjoy the very quiet lanes, especially on the miles from Stam. Brdge. to Bish. Wilton. The long climb separated the group, some of us taking longer to enjoy the views on the way up,( who are you kidding? Ed), but we were soon reunited at the top on the busy Bridlington Road. Bill and Steve decided on an earlier lunch and headed for Pocklington- probably freewheeling all the way, whilst rest had an easy burst of speed down to Thixendale. These dry valleys in the wolds are very attractive and have decent roads with very little traffic. Curiously they seem to be farmed upside down with the corn on the high bits and the sheep in the valleys. I’m sure there is a reason for it.

    Anyway, on to the Seaways Café at Fridaythorpe which is a big destination for motorcyclists. It was packed with big, hairy and, (let’s be honest), mainly overweight men, all covered in tattoos, as were their partners, alongside their shiny and obviously powerful machines. I looked at my companions and thought that people have such different dreams.

    Everyone was friendly tho’ so we had our lunch and headed for Huggate and the glorious downhill dash and the next dry valley of Millington Pastures. The remaining ride was a fairly fast cruise through more familiar villages with more Viking-derived names. Nearly home and since Dennis’s route to K’bro was convenient for me, we split at Askham Richard leaving Graham and Phil on the usual Wetherby road. Smashing ride and company.

    Nick

  • Wetherby – York, Saturday 20th May 2023, 48 miles

    5 club riders met at The Shambles at 9am, raring to go. Bob L., Nick, Phil R., Gavin and myself were all wearing club tops although Gavin had on a similar red top which matched ours (one way to promote the club}. The weather was sunny but for a while it was cold. By the time we reached Wighill we were warming up due to the time trial speed (i wish!}. Then through Healaugh but due to our speed we missed the turn to Catterton. Then on to Bilbrough, Appleton Roebuck and into Acaster Selby. Nick then suggested we ride down the village road for about a mile which then became a dead end, just to get a couple more miles in. I guess not many cyclists ever go down there! Retracing the route back and then onto Bishopthorpe where there was a massive car boot being held. No time to buy any bargains though. Arriving at Cycle Heaven cafe we all plumped for cakes, coffee and hot chocolate. Gavin talked about all of his years living in Spain and how he took up cycling in his 60s to improve his health. It worked Gavin! Nick took over the conversation telling us about his bagpipe playing days. Fully refreshed we set off back to base going through Acomb, Knapton and on to the cycle path to Rufforth. This is a great route. Then on to Marston Moor and Tockwith. Bob and I turned off here whilst Phil, Gavin and Nick carried on towards Wetherby. A great morning ride with lovely weather for a change and thanks to Nick for planning the route.

    Pete C

  • Wetherby – White Horse Bank, Thursday 11th May 2023

    This Thursday ten Wheelers set off for the White Horse Bank and lunch at the Gliding Club café. Mike, Michael, Graham, Greg, Nick, Phil, Sean, New Sean, Geoff and Tim left the Shambles on a relatively calm day, but with rain forecast. Our route took us along the A168 to Boroughbridge, from where new headed for Boroughbridge and Raskelf. After coffee and various refreshments, we set off from Boroughbridge towards Coxwold, but unfortunately, Sean rapidly discovered that he had a puncture. However, he was able to pump his tubeless tyre up and it only required replenishing later in the afternoon. Perhaps there is something to be said for tubeless tyres! The climb at Oulston proved a decent leg warmer for the ascent up the side of the White Horse, which Geoff avoided by heading for lunch in Thirsk. After climbing White Horse Bank we re-grouped at the Gliding Club café, which is under new ownership/management. Food was good, but the coffee was only lukewarm! Dennis joined us at the café. It was good to see him and during the afternoon he showed us that his enforced payoff, due to wrist surgery, had done little to dim his cycling prowess. After lunch, we headed for Boltby, with the descent being as entertaining as ever. Shortly after Boltby, our luck ran out and we were hit by a heavy shower and then had intermittent rain for the rest of the afternoon. In fact, the last hour was pretty much persistent rain. We passed through Thirsk and Sowerby and made our way to Boroughbridge where Nick and Sean parted company with us. The rest of the group headed for Knaresborough where we left Dennis and headed back to Wetherby through Little Ribston etc. Once again thanks to Graham for a good route and to everyone for their company.

    Mike Bo

  • Wetherby – Hebden, Sunday 7th May 2023, 70 miles

    Ride report 7/5/23 By Nick

    Destination on Runs Card- Hebden

    Earlier in the week the forecast for Sunday had been poor and although the worst of it was to be postponed to Monday, the day got off to a bad start with one rider cancelling because of heavy rain in Knaresborough. My road into Wetherby looks in that direction and it looked pretty dark. Hebden is a fairly high level ride so when I met Graham, Bill and Michael Brawley in the Shambles I wasn’t too optimistic. Graham was much more up beat about it so we agreed to ride to coffee at Fewston and see how it looked. Graham was right. The sun was out by Sicklinghall and by Bassenthwaite it was obvious that we would be able to continue. I hadn’t expected that and was momentarily concerned about return time at the end of the day and so chose the slightly shorter but dull route along Pennypot Lane. I needn’t have worried and with Hebden inviting and the sun out I was going to go anyway. Pennypot Lane is a long and straight 4 miles with indifferent road surface and no decent views but it gets you to some good places,including the Farm Shop at Fewston. Graham and Michael were a bit ahead and as Bill and I got into the last small climb we became aware of a large bunch of cyclists coming up behind us. We put on an effort and entered the café courtyard just ahead of them and while they were looking for somewhere to park all their expensive bikes, we slammed ours against the back of a bench and got straight to the café counter, ahead of them and just joining Graham and Michael
    So….coffee, and Michael entertained us with Tales from the Times of a Teacher
    Bill has been building up the miles after a long break so was not up for Hebden. His journey home should have been OK in the now fine weather. That left three heading for Duck Street. This isn’t a street in the usual sense of the word but a long and windswept road over moors from Thruscross to Greenhow. There is mainly a gradual uphill gradient and in bad weather it is pretty grim but not so bad on a nice day. I once had the company of a Little Owl flying along the other side of the road with me here. The benefit from the gradient is that on arriving at Greenow, you have achieved some altitude with only a few yards to the next summit. From here to Hebden it’s all fun with some more climbs and good descents. Going down past Stumpcross Caverns you can see the road miles ahead with only moderate bends. The descent to Dibbles Bridge needs more care and brakes because of the sharp bend at the bottom which unfortunately stops you getting a run at the next up bit. There’s a few more of these before Hebden which is in a dip and so is approached at some speed ,courtesy of Isaac Newton. You can wipe off the speed by freewheeling up the next incline but instead we all wore down our brake blocks to take the left to the café.
    It’s a good place for lunch and popular with walkers and cyclists. We bought beans on toast and lots of caffeine. For some reason, Stephen Roche was mentioned- as far as we knew, the only man to win the Giro , TdF and World Championship in the same year. I was a bit put out to find that I remembered it well and it was 37 yrs ago. I checked this whilst writing and ,we might have guessed, Eddy Merkx did it too in 1972.
    Leaving Hebden we had some nice wind assistance and some very pleasant roads with Dales views and little traffic. We took the road to Bolton Abbey which has been closed due to a small landslide but is easily passable on a bike, although with some care. From there it’s familiar roads home. Michael left us at Poole so Graham and I rolled on to Wetherby A great day and thanks to Graham and Michael for waiting for me at the top of a few hills. I know they weren’t just admiring the scenery.

    Nick

  • Tuesday 2nd May 2023 ride to Ripon
    10 Wheelers met at Boston Spa for a ride to Ripon and Boroubridge on a scenic route devised by Steve which would have been 70 miles in total. However, shortly after leaving North Deighton the front group of 6 (Pete D, Bob, Gavin, Neil, Stuart and me) got separated from the other 4 (Bill, Pete C, Steve and John) and so we waited in a layby expecting them to catch up shortly. However, Steve rang to let us know that they were heading back as Pete’s crank had broken and told us to carry on. As we were all unsure of the route that Steve had prepared Pete D downloaded the route onto his Garmin and we set off towards Knaresborough, turning off towards Scotton and then onto Farnham. Stuart decided that he wanted a shorter ride and turned off towards Bishop Monkton whilst the remaining (not so famous) five of Pete D, Bob, Gavin, Neil and me, carried on to Burton Leonard and then Markington. Rapidly descending towards Fountains Abbey thinking I knew the way Pete shouted that we needed to take a sharp left turn uphill towards Sawley. At this point me and Gavin were in our biggest gears trying to make a sharp reverse turn up a steep hill and some extra power was needed to try and rejoin the others. A lovely not much used route up and down a few hills got us to Risplith where we had a long fast descent into Ripon. We had a good lunch in Olivers Pantry and discussed various topics, including why Council Tax was increasing so much in North Yorkshire when the newly merged Councils were supposed to be making savings from the merger, rogue builders in Spain and in the UK, money laundering and which way we were going back. Although Steve’s planned route heading north of Ripon to Boroughbridge sounded good, we decided that given the time we should head straight back a shorter way via Knaresborough, turning off towards Tockwith after Little Ribston. As there was no-one in the group that needed to get back to Wetherby we all then carried on into Walton and then over the bridge into Boston Spa. The sun decided to make an appearance for the final leg from Tockwith warming us all up at last after a very cold day. I understand Pete made it home safely with the other 3 Wheelers and the required mechanical repairs have been done and stabilizers fitted for next week.
  • Wetherby – Beverley, Thursday 4th May 2023

    On a blustery Thursday morning nine intrepid cyclists, alright nine Wetherby Wheelers, set off from the Shambles to Beverley. Led by Graham, Mike, Nick, Glyn, Bill, Steve B, Steve P, Greg and Geoff faced a strong headwind most of the way to Holme on Spalding Moor, our late morning coffee and cake break. Our route took us past Askam Bryan, through Copmanthorpe and then via the planets route near York to Naburn, Skipwith and Bubwith. In Copmanthorpe we stopped for a brief chat with two of Wetherby Wheelers elder statesmen, Frank and Pete Cartledge, who had Bob L and Kenn with them. Their route took them in the opposite direction to ours and they were clearly disappointed at having to cope with a tailwind! About a mile after leaving the planets route we realised that Steve P was not with us. We were all somewhat nonplussed as to where he was. Graham tried ringing him and I rode back, but neither of us were able to contact him. Thankfully, it transpires that he met up with Pete Cartledge later in the day/morning and so got home safely. A little way before Holme on Spalding Moor, Greg headed for home as he had a big Audax ride (Chevy Chase) at the weekend. The rest of us pressed on into the headwind and were grateful for the coffee and cake break after which Nick, Bill, Steve B and Geoff headed for home, leaving three (still) intrepid cyclist facing the headwind to Beverley.  Mike, Graham and Glyn arrived in Beverley at around 2pm and had a well-deserved lunch break. Glyn had clearly found the coffee – lunch stretch hard going, not that Graham and Mike found it particularly easy. Suitable refreshed we headed back towards Wetherby via Market Weighton and Elvington where we had a brief refreshment stop. From Elvington we headed for Naburn and then we re-traced our route to Wetherby, where we parted company at around 6pm and a very tired Glyn gratefully made his way to his car. Kudos to Glyn for completing the ride and thanks once again to Graham for his ride leadership. 

    Mike Bo

  • Wetherby to Sherburn Aero Club, Saturday 29 April 2023, 46 miles
    Five Monuments of the Club assembled at the Wetherby Shambles Terminal ready for departure, Alec, Pete D, Bob L, Gavin and me. One of our regulars was still absent, PC, I believe squatters have moved in mate. The weather was fine but cloudy and not overly warm. At 9.00 precisely our flight ✈️ took off towards Wighill, Tadcaster, Bolton Percy, Appleton Roebuck and Acaster Malbis. Captain and Navigator was whoever was on the front 😊🚴‍♀️. Bob L brought us up to cruising speed before a short descent across the water and onto Stillingfleet, Cawood and our destination at the Aero Club. Taking turns at the controls we built up a good speed for five turbo props but were soundly left in the vapour trails of 3 jets who flew past us. We were doing circa 19 mph at the time. With some fields bright yellow from the grape seed we enjoyed their scent as we passed, knowing that it’s properties are good for improving blood flow, reducing oxident damage etc. Making a safe landing we arrived. The Aero Club goes back to the 1920’s when the Yorkshire Aeroplane Club operated from there, flying de Havilland Moths. They must have been big buggers to carry the weight of a person. During the two wars they assisted with production and testing before becoming a flying club as today. Our coffee and food was excellent, Alec gave the bacon butty full marks while two of us wallowed in a large portion of cheesecake. Our conversation revealed one interesting fact not known to most of us. Motor home tyres have to be changed at five years even if the tread is still legal. Side wall strength being weakened by the weight, according to Alec. Best lose some timber dude. Yes my friends you heard it first on the WW website. I commented on Gavin’s cycling shoes as they were bright orange 🍊. He said the colour was not an issue since he always waited for the sales and bought what was left at half price. Even so they still looked like fairy boots worn by the football fraternity. Our flight home took us to Church Fenton, Barkston Ash, Lotherton and Aberford. Here Pete peeled off for home and at Bramham Bob and Alec went their separate ways leaving Gavin and I to complete the return to Wetherby. Thanks guys another top ride and company.