Following a rest day on Monday, the Knights set out for another tough day in the saddle by completing the Sella Ronda circuit. A third ascent of the Campolongo pass to Arabba was followed by the climb over the Passo Pordoi. Next up was the climb over the Passo Sella and a well earned lunch stop before hitting the next ascent of Passo Gardena. A long drop down to Corvara followed before returning to base at the hotel Melodia del Bosca. A distance of just 68 km but a huge 1852m of climbing.
:Surgeons on fire
After undertaking successful surgery on Captain Pugwash following his freak accident last week, Doctors Chad, Dave Wa, Dave Wi, Jenny, Michael and Sharrin choose to get away from the Market Cross hospital and take a relaxing ride to Hornsea. But what’s this? Stephen Powers has infiltrated surgeons corner on Slack and laid down the scalpel for the Hornsea and back in under two hours challenge. It’s windy. The surgeons are already knackered after putting the good captain back together. But Doctor Dave Wa and Doctor Dave Wi are amongst the peloton. This is going to be a quick procedure. But not painless….
Dr Michael is lucky to not find himself under the knife himself. Approaching his fellow surgeons at the Market Cross hospital rendezvous, a white van cuts him up. Dr Michael slams all on whilst simultaneously hurling out abuse to white van man. Mid-vitriol, he realises that WVM had the right of way after all and it was his own mistake. Profusely apologetic, Dr Michael is very lucky that his brakes were in good working order. Disaster averted and they’re off.
Wind in their favour, the six happy surgeons deliver a smooth operation. Little time for the usual Friday chit chat; the two hour challenge is clearly taking precedent. Luckily, the two most experienced practitioners are happy to share the brunt of the work, whilst Doctors Jenny, Chad, Michael and Sharrin gratefully tuck in behind. One or two expressions (from wife to husband) of dissatisfaction with the incessant pace does not go unnoticed. But does go ignored. Twenty’s plenty is clearly a mantra for another day.
The fast and furious 6 (copy-write Sharrin Powers) arrive in Hornsea with a dilemma. Which operation is most appropriate given the condition of the patients? Operation 1: Carry on back to MC hospital with no waiting room stop in a bravadorious (just made that word up) attempt to break the 2 hour challenge. Or Operation 2: Stop for a cup of tea and food. Doctor David Wi is outvoted by 5 surgeons to 1. Cafe stop it is. An array of delicious and nutritious offerings go under the surgeons’ knives. Beans on toast, cake, scones. Delicious.
Dr Michael enquires if the two hour challenge still applies if you pause your GARMIN stethoscopes whilst eating. The answer is somewhat ambiguous. Apparently It doesn’t count, but you can still do it. Doctor Dave Wa expresses his desire to take it nice and sedate on the way home, much to the chagrin of Doctor Wi, who will not give up on the sub-2-hours, even if it doesn’t count. The plan is that we all take turns at the front and if you’re utterly exhausted and can go no further, it doesn’t matter. Man (or Woman) up. Now that’s a plan!
Leaving the tranquility of Hornsea mere cafe, Dr Wa and Dr Wi quickly lead their more junior surgeons home. Doctors Jenny and Sharrin are close behind, with the relative newbies, Doctors Chad and Michael taking up the rear, with seemingly little appetite for moving up the chaingang of command. Approaching 25 MPH against the wind, this is just as well.
Doctor Chad is called in for an emergency in his home village of Leven and the remaining 5 surgeons take the cycle lane back to Beverley. Ably led by Doctor Sharrin, the wind has little detriment to speed as sub 3 minute mile follows sub 3 minute mile. Approaching Tickton and having taken a free ride for much of the route, Doctor Michael takes a token turn at the front.
We approach Beverley and check our respective stethoscopes. Doctor Dave Wi has 1 hour 45, Doctor Michael a somewhat contrived 1 hr 59 mins, 59 seconds and Doctor Dave Wa 2 hours 6 minutes. This not insignificant difference is the result of:a) Doctor Dave Wi switching on/off his stethoscope at the ‘stupid’ roundabout. b) Doctor Michael switching his device on at MC Hospital, pausing said device at Hornsea and deliberately keeping on pause until safely on the fast Bewholme road turnoffc) Doctor Dave Wa playing it by the medical book
Ten Knights set off from Market Cross promptly at 9am, although Andy appeared just in time to see the peloton disappearing round the corner as he arrived. Today’s route was proposed by Matthew with our cafe stop at the Ginger Cow near Everingham.
The main feature of this ride was the brisk westerly wind which we would face on the outward leg. Captain Pugwash was first onto the front as we headed over the Westwood. Thought I’d get my turn in early before everyone was fully warmed up.
Continuing onwards to Cherry Burton and Etton the “front runner” changed hands several times, although I’m sure there was a certain reluctance to “volunteer” for the position. The pace was just beginning to pick up when the puncture fairy descended on Chad as we headed towards Middleton-on-the-Wolds. Two tubes and two gas canisters later plus a small hand pump, Chad managed to continue with his rear tyre inflated sufficiently to complete the ride.
Next up was the 3 mile climb along the Warter road directly into the wind. Dave 🌊🏠 set a strong pace at the front, eventually proving too much for the rest of us. After regrouping it was off to Nunburnholme top before the fast descent to Burnby.
The sun came out when we arrived at the cafe adding to the pleasure of dining Al fresco. Matt ordered his usual green coloured smoothie. “Good choice sir” said the waitress “the grass was cut freshly this morning”.
The return route took us to Harswell and North Cliffe. With the wind now generally behind us, Warp factor 5 was engaged until reaching the bottom of Common Hill. After regrouping at Hotham we headed off to tackle Trundlegate. At the top, Andy left the gang, while the rest continued along Middlehowe Road to Walkington and home.
In the absence of our illustrious Friday route master the call went out to keep the “flag flying”. Stepping into the breech on this occasion was Corporal Jones with a decisiveness worthy of a soldier in the battlefield on seeing his commander mortally wounded, suggesting a route out to Sledmere.
Given the thumbs up from our absent “leader” the rest of the crew were happy to fall into line behind the proposed route. Some confusion arose however with some of our crew as they jockeyed for starting position. First up was Ming the Merciless asking to join up at Cherry Crossroads, followed by “Stormin” Norman, saying he’d join us at Manor House, until Corporal Jones pointed out the logistics of this, since our route did not pass that way.
Six Knights, including Kevin a potential new recruit, set off from Market Cross along the Molescroft road to Cherry Burton. Waiting at the end of the cycle path at Cheery Burton was Norman with a smile and demeanour like a belisha beacon. Continuing into the village, we stopped at the Etton junction to await the arrival of Ming the Merciless. Brrr Brrr, Brrr Brrr, went Norman’s communication device. It was “King the Silliness”. “Hello is there anyone there?….. There’s no-one here”. “Where are you?” said Norm, “I’m at Manor House” replied Jim. 🙄🤔???? Probably sums up our collective thinking on hearing this. “OK Jim we’ll pedal on slowly till you catch up”
We then tootled along towards Etton and on to Holme-on-the-Wolds at a pace more akin to a Sunday school outing. As we reached the top of the climb, there was still no sign of Jim. Given his track record for navigational skills we thought it best to wait a few minutes to allow him to join up. Some thought that, given his reputation on the hills, the additional effort for him to catch us, might help to slow him down somewhat. Wishful thinking!
Corporal Jones seemed to get itchy feet, (or perhaps was beginning to feel the cold) and started to set off once more. Fortunately “Johnny Cash” turned up just as we heeded the corporal’s “call to arms”. Now that our unit were all together the pace picked up as we headed to Middleton-on-the-Wolds, North Dalton and Huggate.
The next section of the route took us to less familiar roads as we headed along York Lane then down to Thixendale. The road surface along the valley to Fimber turned out to be more like a pock marked battlefield with numerous fractures and botched repairs making our passage a lot slower and uncomfortable. It’s not often one is glad to see a 7% gradient ahead but on this occasion it marked the return to smoother surfaces.
Heading next to Sledmere, the road became a little busy with motorised traffic. “Just a steady 1 mile incline” intimated the corporal. Not much of an inspirational speech and as it turned out, about as accurate as a doctored odometer. Two and half miles later after powering our way up some steep ramps, we finally reached the “mess tent” at Sledmere House.
The return route saw us head down to Garton-on-the-Wolds and Kirkburn then follow our usual route through Bracken farm and home. A superb route dulled only by the failure of the sun to put in an appearance. Summer starts tomorrow!
Today’s ride saw seven Knights setting off from Market Cross to meet up with a further five near the Dog & Duck pub in Walkington. The route was generally flat but with a few hills to warm up on and a few more near the end to test the legs.
First up was Bluestone Bottoms followed by Comberdale Hill, although those leaving from Market Cross would argue that it was the climb over the Westwood. The “reward” for our efforts was the lovely sweep downhill past the Little Wold Vineyard into South Cave. After regrouping at the junction it was time to zoom off to North Cave.
Brian took up the “lead out” as we flew by Cave Castle and along Ferry Road. I’m sure there was an added element of determination as we spotted a cyclist ahead, eventually making the “catch” as we past by HMP Humber. On reaching the main road, captain Pugwash took the “reins” to lead the group into Gilberdyke.
Turning off the main road towards Faxfleet we encountered our first bit of head wind. Half way along James G suffered a puncture bringing our “train” to a halt while repairs were effected. With such a large group, Neil took the opportunity to phone ahead to warn the cafe of our imminent arrival.
Shortly after setting off again, Neil suddenly realised his energy bar was missing from his pocket, most likely rattled out by the numerous potholes and rough road surface. Never one to give up on his food, like a lion in search of its prey, he returned to retrieve the lost item before rejoining the group.
With the wind behind us once more we made our way through Blacktoft, Yokefleet, Laxton and Howden Dyke and very soon arrived at the Cheese Shop in Howden. The air was warm enough to sit outside, however there was limited seating until we spotted a couple of benches across the street. After commandeering many of the chairs from outside, we were able to accommodate all of our group together.
Refreshments complete, it was time for Vasco da Gama to check the map to confirm our route home. Leaving Howden, we headed north towards Spaldington. On reaching Willitoft, Vasco realised we’d missed our turn to Foggathorpe. Back to the charts Vasco! “Rerouting…….. Please wait!…….. Searching for best route. ” “At the next junction, go straight on, then take the next right past the Oaks Golf club”
With the “sat-nav” getting us back on track, we turned back into the wind as we made our way through Laytham, Seaton Ross and Everingham. Now back onto familiar roads we returned through Harswell to North Cliffe and South Cliffe until it was time to start climbing once more. Common Hill was first up, a little 7% ramp up to see if you have anything left in the legs.
At South Newbald, the only one keen for Trundlegate was Matt, as he set off on his own, while the rest opted to take the less steep but more undulating route of Beverley Road.
Many thanks to all the big strong riders who took turns on the front while heading into the wind.
Did someone say Pizza! Yes I’m in, and me, and me, me too. Coupled with a pleasant sunny evening it seems it doesn’t take much to persuade us Knights to turn out in force. In previous years, the aim of the Solstice Ride was to get to Hornsea and back to the Corner House pub inside two hours. On this occasion it was decided to change things a little and stop at Berts Pizzeria before returning home.
Fourteen Knights gathered at Market Cross for the prompt 1830 start. Right from the off, the pace was hot, like a pizza straight from the oven as we wound our way through town to the Weel Bridge and out to Tickton. The main road had been recently resurfaced with an abundance of loose gravel making passage across a little dodgy. Additionally, where the cycle path runs close to the road it is now littered with loose stones thrown up by passing traffic so it was a relief to get back on the road to Meaux.
Just as we were approaching the turn to Benningholme a car passed by tooting the horn in support of our impressive “train”, either that or they were annoyed at being held up for a few seconds.
A split in the pack occurred as the pace set by the lead group proved too hot for all to maintain. Despite calls to regroup, the shouts fell on deaf ears as the five super heroes continued merrily onwards. Unfortunately for them they took a wrong turn at Great Hatfield taking the much longer route through Withernwick instead of heading directly to Mappleton.
The bulk of the group continued on for the photo opportunity at the Pennine Trail Gateway. With no sign of the errant super heroes, we decided to keep going, placating ourselves with the fact that they know where we’re headed and will join us at Berts……. eventually.
Further confusion arose shortly after leaving Hornsea when Neil suffered a puncture. While some stayed to “help out”, John was sent ahead to meet up with the rest waiting up the road. Unfortunately for him he missed the turn up towards Bewholme and continued along the main road. When we realised his error, Matt made a valiant effort to catch him but soon gave up when there was no sight of him.
The sun was beginning to get very low in the sky and caused some difficulty in setting the wheel in front. Despite this and the slight head wind, Matt, Brian, Chad, Mark and Stephen set a brisk pace at the front to get us to the Pizzeria in short order where we met up again with John and…….. Kevin? “What are you doing here?” Seems Kevin tagged on to the back of our train at Routh but was unable to maintain the pace so took his own route to the cafe. A little while later we were joined by the “lost boys”, “supergirl” having continued home without supper.
First thing on the agenda was a show of hands for beer. Hands shot up in the air quicker than Dick Turpin could say “stick em up”. As we savoured our drinks the pizzas started coming out. Pulled Pork, Crispy Duck, Calzone and er……. Tagliatelle? Having had ones heart set on a Pizza with Tiger prawns, chilli & anchovies the confusion and disappointment must have shown on my face. However one cannot let good food go to waste and it was enjoyed just the same.
Just as well it was the longest day, there was still some light in the sky even if the temperature was dropping quickly as we departed the cafe. I’m sure there was some initial reluctance to climb back on the bike but was soon dissipated as we set off “hot foot” once more back to Beverley. Another successful and eventful ride.
The View From The Captain’s Cabin
It was with some trepidation when I decided to join in this epic 150 mile Wolds Way ride, however I was not alone in never having ridden so far. Chris said his longest ride to date was 60 miles. At least I’d completed 100 miles a number of years ago. As for the rest, most who’ve already completed this ride in previous years, “What on earth are you thinking about? You must be gluttons for punishment”.
Seriously though, everyone likes to challenge themselves just to see what they are capable of. Despite all the effort, there is still an element of pleasure in pushing oneself to the limits. (Honest!) The biggest comes at the end with a superb sense of achievement…. and because the “pain” finally is at an end! Well…. apart from tired and aching limbs.
The forecast for the day was a mixed bag, cloudy with some sunshine and a chance of showers later in the day. Twelve Knights turned out for the early 7am start.
The first leg of the ride saw us following familiar roads, heading out through Newbald, Market Weighton, Burnby, Pocklington, Millington and Huggate before turning towards Thixendale for the first feed stop of the day. Kevin & Vicky had set up stall outside the village hall, even managing to “appropriate” a tea shop sign to complete the scene. By this time, the sun had put in an appearance providing a little warmth and it was a chance to change into alternative clothing.
The next leg took us to less familiar roads as we headed west to Kirkham Abbey, before turning north-east towards Norton. “There’s just one little hill before the next stop” he said. On reaching said hill at Settrington, we found ourselves in the middle of a local charity bike ride heading in the same direction. I don’t think “little” is an adjective I’d apply to this hill as the 17% warning sign at the base was a precursor of what was to come.
After around two miles of climbing, it was generally downhill into Duggleby then over to Kirby Grindalythe before dropping down to Sledmere where the welcome smiling faces of Kevin & Vicky were there to greet us. A warming pot of soup, tea, coffee, sandwiches and a general smorgasbord of goodies were laid out. Just what was needed perk us up.
At this point, Heather suffering the effects of a cold decided enough was enough and headed home in the “broom wagon”. Mike also left the group at this point having to be home early and returned along with Alison who’d ridden out to join us for lunch. Given how my legs felt at the time I did briefly consider going back with them.
The 3rd part of the ride took us through a relatively flattish section to Weaverthorpe and Foxholes. With a following wind the pace picked up until we hit the climb up towards Ganton before looping round through Fordon and Hunmanby. The weather started to turn around this time with the first few brief spots of rain. Fortunately the wind died down a bit as we turned south to pass through Reighton and Grindale making our way to Buckton Hall, home of Vicky’s parents, for afternoon tea.
Leaving Buckthorn, there was drop in temperature requiring additional layers and with rain on the horizon, time for rain jackets. The next leg took us to Sewerby and round the outskirts of Bridlington then on past Burton Agnes to Nafferton, Driffield, Skerne and out next stop at Hutton Cranswick where we were met once more by Kevin & Vicky.
With a final top up of teas, coffees and any remaining goodies we were off for the final part of the journey through Bracken, South Dalton, Etton and Cherry Burton. Unfortunately for us, the rain kicked in making it difficult to avoid the spray from the bike in front.
Just as we were about to celebrate completing the route without incident, numpty brains Pugwash, had a moments lack of concentration coupled with some tiredness, misjudged the turn onto the cycle path causing the front wheel to skid on wet grass at the edge of the path bringing him to the deck (yes again)! No damage incurred and we soon arrived at the Tiger Inn for a well earned pint and to celebrate our achievements.
A huge thank you must go to Kevin & Vicky for the support provided to us all on the way round. A further thank you must go to all participants for the help and encouragement which helped get everyone to the finish line. I’m sure there will be some very tired legs around today and judging by the state of our bikes at the end I can guess what might be on the agenda today. Well done everyone.
There was a split in the peloton today as seven Knights turned out to take part in this year’s Humber Bridge Sportive while another seven gathered at Market Cross for the normal Sunday club ride.
An early start saw the Humber Seven gather at 0730 for registration, ready for the start at 0815. Setting off in groups of 20 at 2 minutes intervals, the Knights managed to work their way near the front. All decked out in club kit, except for “he who shall not be named” who failed to read the script, we set off over the bridge. No passport required!
After clearing through Barton, the pace set by our little band, saw us passing many of the earlier groups on the climb up towards Horkstow. The road down passed Elsham to Melton Ross was undulating but the last couple of miles being downhill, the 300° turn at the end could easily be missed if you were not paying attention to the signs.
There was a brief respite from the sw’ly wind as we turned North towards Wooton before heading back south to the first feed station at Grasby. While we pulled in, Alan made a passing impression of Forrest Gump as he decided to continue without stopping.
Back in the saddle again, the next objective was the climb out of Caistor. At least the wind was helping now, however the traffic lights were on red as we arrived, fortunately changing just in time. Heading north to Brocklesby with the wind behind and generally downhill, led Mike to express what everyone else was thinking “This is the kind of riding I like” he said as our speed crept up to 30mph.
The 2nd feed station was at Ulceby, offering a variety of snacks and drinks. Suitably refreshed it was time for the final leg taking us on a loop around Goxhill before passing through Barrow and Barton and back over the bridge and time for a well earned beverage.
Today’s ride saw twelve Knights turn out at Market Cross including a new member James…. that should bring the average age down a bit! On arrival, Neil was spotted in the clothes shop, hope he wasn’t looking for new kit, otherwise we’d end up a bit retro with shirt and tie with trousers and bicycle clips! (“What’s wrong with that?” thinks Alan)
The group set off with the wind from the east following the cycle path to Cherry Burton where there was a brief stop by the pond as we waited for Jim to join us, then it was off northwards to South Dalton and Holme-on-the-Wolds. After regrouping at the Lockington turn, the fleet continued along the Bracken road to Southburn where it was time to turn into the wind. Despite the adverse easterly, Alan leapt onto the front to maintain a strong pace as everyone else tucked in behind, seeking any available shelter.
Fortunately we soon reached Hutton where we turned North once more. With a large fleet, we decided to signal ahead with our provisions order and halted at Bell Mills while Sharrin phoned in our requirements.
The journey through town turned out to be a bit stop-start as we first got held up at the train crossing then seemed to hit every red light on the way to the Bike Cave. Our luck changed on arrival at the cafe as we all managed to fit around the big table in the bike shop.
On the return journey we retraced our route back to Hutton Cranswick. Along the way, there was a familiar sound “he-haw, he-haw, he-haw” accompanied by flashing “blue lights”. It was officer Steve pulling over the leading group. “Now then sir, do you realise what speed you were doing?” he asked. “Don’t you know 20’s plenty?…… Just mind how you go” he said as he allowed the group to continue on our way suitably chastened.
Taking the back road to Watton, we then passed through Kilnwick and Lockington before returning along the same outward route. Another superb Friday ride and we managed to return to base before the forecasted rain.