Then why not
We had eleven riders at Low Bridge, including Terry Smith (nice to see you again Terry) and John Russell who had some good news for us, he had been on a cycle ride with Theo, that is great, what we need now is a photo of Theo on his bike for us all.
The destination chosen was Ripon (Spa Gardens cafe first stop) then North, the reason being that over the last few Wednesdays and Sundays routes have been in the direction of Tadcaster and Wetherby.
However Terry W had phoned Norman to say he would be at Wetherby, so Norman and Bill W headed for Wetherby with Dave Watson, who is still on the recovery road and did not want a long ride (take care Dave).
The eight of us left at 10-00am, no need for Eric time as he is playing an away game at Stamford Bridge, final score Eric?.
On the way the Occaney downhill (for the slower group was won by a slimmed down Dan).
Then in to Spa Gardens cafe for “brekky” (see photo) and good news for one Lady (always kind and cheerful) and her Husband.
After which the “Elecric “ eight ?, no not yet quite there chaps, headed for Wath and towards Kirklington but hanging a right before and under the A1 to Ainderby Quernhow, Skipton-on-Swale, Catton,Toppcliffe, Cundall, Norton-le-Clay and Boroughbridge, where the choice was Bean? cafe, no not Morrisions, where they had some high tech tea making procedures (see photo), the Japanese tea making ceremony could learn from this.
Then home, a nice ride pushing 50 miles, roads that can be “damp” were dry, thanks to Colin P, Dan, Dave S, Geoff, John R, Nick and Terry S for good company and good riding skills.
Wednesday Wanderers Ride
This was Route 14/27 miles, principally flat. We were set off punctually by the Grande Dame des Poddleurs, and by twenty-five to were burning rubber down the showground hill.
Eleven started, to be joined by a twelfth who was 30 seconds late. On to Spofforth and the Harland Way with the intention of finding the new cycle path to Walton. And there it was, all smooth and new and flat and nice.
Since the café stop was to be near the end, we pulled in near Cowthorpe for a suggested banana break. There were neither bananas nor flapjacks. In fact, not a snackette to be seen, so off we went via Little Ribston to the Riverside Café in Knaresborough were seven paused for succour.
On just about every ride one sees new faces. Thus it was today with, for me, four strange faces. (Not that kind of strange!)
We had the same officials as last Sunday’s medium ride, ie with Mike Wosname as back marker (I’ll get his surname one of these days).
He doubled up as Overtaking Monitor and reported that our overtaking gaps “weren’t bad”.
Away Day Faster Group
About 3 weeks ago, the weekly newsletter requested a volunteer to lead a possible fast group on the forthcoming Awayday. I offered my services but insisted it wouldn't be an "eyeballs out" fast group. No, this is the Yorkshire Wolds, which like a good wine, needs to be sipped, savoured and caressed: not poured down the throat in the fastest possible time! So, rather than speeding round the route and getting back to Stamford Bridge way before everybody else, we would go only just a little bit faster and use the time saved to go a little bit further, and thereby enjoying even more of the Wolds. !0 other riders seemed to like the philosophy, and set off just after 9.30am from Stamford Bridge. We'd hardly gone a mile before I stopped the group to put on an extra layer having found it much colder than the weather forecast and car journey had led to me to expect. Several others also put on their extra layers too. Our "little bit further" was an extra 5 miles, which would take us from Stamford Bridge to the coffee stop at Sledmere via Pocklington, Huggate, and Wetwang, mostly following the Way of the Roses route. This includes the most delightful dry valley between Millington and Huggate (see photos). Sadly the resident buzzards in the valley didn't grace us with an appearance today, but this was compensated by the the sight and distinctive call of the curlews a little further on the ride. Our detour ended when we rejoined the original route 1 mile before Sledmere, and as expected all groups arrived there at the same time.
Leaving Sledmere was a little chaotic with 30-40 riders all setting off together, and after a few miles when we'd all sorted ourselves out into our respective groups, I discovered - to my shame - I only had 9 other riders. I'd lost one! On any other ride, I would have turned back and searched the hedgerows and ditches for the lost lamb, but today I was pretty confident that the missing person was enjoying the company and support of another group, and not marooned at the side of the road with some mechanical or medical problem. My apologies to the lost soul!
Malton was suggested as the lunch stop as it has a selection of cafés which could accommodate the various groups. We selected "The Kitchen" in Norton, which Peter confirmed is part-owned by Wheel Easy member Terry Barker. Terry's business partner looked after us all very well, with efficient service and excellent food. The Kitchen can be certainly be very well recommended to any cyclists passing through Malton and Norton. Well done, Terry!
After lunch we continued via Castle Howard back to Stamford Bridge where we arrived at 4pm. We'd covered 55 miles of delightful Yorkshire Wolds scenery, with long range views, undulating terrain, on mainly traffic free roads, most of which were surfaced to a quality rarely seen in North Yorkshire. Average speed 13.1mph, 3,600' ascent. Many thanks to my 9 (or 10!) fellow riders for their company, and to Colin and Kevin for their organisation. A great Awayday ride. Eric
Away Day Regular Ride
It was a chilly morning as people gathered in the car park for todays Awayday ride. The uncertainty of how cold it was going to be was shown in the variation of gear- a smattering of shorts( the brave) to almost full winter gear ( the sensible). We welcomed back Sue C who was on her Brompton and was aiming to complete the ride to Malton and then (with Paul T, who was also on his folding bike) get the train home.
When everyone was assembled there was a massive 32 riders(a new record) which caused a few logistic problems of splitting up the groups.
Eric gathered a slightly faster group who were going to tackle a longer route but that still left 20 plus riders -step forward Monica and Andrew who agreed to marshal a second group around the route as they had it on their Garmin!
With everyone sorted we set off towards Thixendale and we soon warmed up as we got into climbing mode – but the reward was, once again the views over the Vale of York.
Good time was made and we soon came to the first big treat of the day- the ride down Thixendale valley which was superb and must is one of many peoples favourite ride in this area. We stopped just short of the village at Hockneys trees to take a photo and then set off towards Sledmere and a well earned coffee.
All went well until we realised that all 3 groups were arriving at the coffee stop at the same time! The staff in the cafe were brilliant and worked hard to get us all served and on our way. A great effort on their part.
After coffee we had another rolling landscape as we made our way to Malton and lunch. Sue and Paul left to catch the train and the faster group decide on Norton for their break whilst everyone else spread around the square in Malton to various cafes for lunch. It seemed to work for everyone as report on the cafes visited were all good.
Suitably refreshed we headed for the second treat of the day as we headed for Castle Howard and some great views of the House and the Estate. The route along the estate road was the usual rollercoaster ride but there was not too much traffic so it was enjoyable.
With legs getting tired we welcomed every down hill run and took our time up the climbs as we made our way back to Stamford Bridge to complete the 50 mile circuit.
Another great days riding taking in some great routes and good views (Thixendale and Castle Howard in the same ride is a real treat) and with 900metres of climbing it was challenging for most of us.
Congratulations to Lesley on completing her first Awayday ride and well done Sue on tackling some of those hill on your Brompton- Respect!
Thanks to Colin for a great route and to Eric, Monica and Andrew for ride leadership/marshalling and thanks to everyone who came along. Hope you all enjoyed another great ride in the Wolds.
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