It’s always nice to show off a home you’re proud of to others. So to be able to take a gang of friends from the Ilkley Cycle Club over to ride some Wolds and climbs in the East Riding of Yorkshire was a real treat from me. Especially as the sun was out and the place really was looking it’s best.
Meeting up at Allerthorpe Lake enabled us old ‘uns to put liquid in and let liquid out prior to setting off through Pocklington on the flat then rising up towards Great Givendale. A short spell to the bottom of Garrowby Hill on the A road and then via Bugthorpe to our first puncture. Mine.
Ged was quickly disappointed with my laboured changing approach and employed his F1 pit stop technique while everyone else simply stared open mouthed!
Off again and we were straight away on to Hanging Grimston and the first of our two proper climbs. For those who know, this road has two gates that need to be opened and as I knew I sat back waiting to cruise through. However some local event ment that both gates were open but by then it was too late. Hoisted by my own petard is the phrase that pays.
Next up was the long and beautiful descent through Thixendale which looked its absolute best in the late morning sunshine. Up and back over the Brid road we were quickly heading along Millingtondale which comes close (but no cigar). Unfortunately this was also the scene of our next mech. A far more serious mech, a broken chain. Again Ged was on hand to help Stephen sort this and after a 30min delay we were on the road to Nunburnholme and up the hill of the same name. Without getting all commercial this is one of my favourite prints in our collection but has now sold out so not at all commercial!
Then it was roughly downhill all the way to Beverley and the excellent VeloCafe lunch stop hosted by Garry Payne - who used to ride against Ged as a junior many decades ago. Fed and watered and caked we set off on our final leg over the Wolds through Walkington and back down onto the flat towards our vehicles and into a warm but strong westerly. Paired up neatly we completed the final 10 miles or so in textbook formation and double quick time.
Bikes loaded and Ilkley pub selected for debrief we set off back into the setting sun.