“This Friday’s route is a little like school custard” suggested route master Mr Bumble “It’s lumpy but satisfying. Line up at the ‘Light Dragoon canteen’ at 10am if you want some”. After a few assented, one brave ‘boy’ ventured “Please sir, can we have some more?” he enquired tentatively before clarifying “.. more early. There’s a chance of rain in the afternoon and I wouldn’t want to dilute our custard.” Within minutes while most of us donned ‘tin hats’ and dived for cover, Matthew adopted his best Frankie Howard impression “Ooh er missus. Careful Melvin” he warned “You may getya assresized!” However “Mr Bumble” was in benevolent mood assuring us all that we should be home before the rain arrives.
The day dawned with bright sunshine but with a stubbornly strong wind from the south west. Eleven Knights turned up to sample Mr Bumble’s ‘lumpy custard’. However at the appointed hour, no-one seemed keen to be first ‘in the queue’. Eventually Norman took up the mantle leading us into the breeze, figuring that if he’s on the front everyone would have to go at his pace.
The first taste of the “gruel” on offer soon arrived as we turned towards South Dalton and headed upwards to Holme-on-the-Wolds. Maintaining our ‘sedentary’ pace we reached the top mostly together. “Well that wasn’t too bad” suggested some. The next course was a short ‘flattish’ aperitif but almost directly into the wind followed by some more ‘lumpy’ bits and a final ‘chaser’ into Middleton-on-the-Wolds.
“Are we ready for some more?” asked Mr Bumble as we continued to devour our way through to North Dalton. Now it was time for the “hor d’oevre” as we turned into the wind along Dalton Dale towards Warter. On reaching our turn off, Norman cried out “I want some Nunburnholme! Aren’t we going to Nunburnholme?” “Sorry sir, Nunburnholme hill is not on the menu today but we are going to the top of Nunburnholme”. “But I’ve brought my best ‘bib and tucker’ just for the occasion! This way is cheating” he cried.
After polishing off the “hor d’oevre” we felt on “top of the World”….well at least the top of Nunburnholme. The next appetiser saw us all heading downhill to Londesborough. The pleasure such a “cruise” was somewhat tempered by the continual barrage from the side wind. “Not often you have to peddle downhill” was one comment overheard. The “main course” soon arrived as we were presented with Intake Hill and a side of Market Weighton followed by “leg of Goodmanham”.
Finally it was time for a little breather as we headed for the Fiddle Drill. Having given our “digestive juices” a rest, Mr Bumble asked “Does anyone want some more?”. “Can we have our pudding now?” asked one speculatively. “Pudding!” bellowed Mr Bumble “How can you have any pudding when you haven’t finished your meat? There’s still a climb to the top of Cross Gate!” Setting off from the cafe there was the sound of gnashing teeth, either that or grinding gears as we finally came to the “sweet course”.
With the wind now firmly behind we began to “melt” downhill faster than an ice-cream in the desert. Indeed we enjoyed it so much we all cried out for MORE! so instead of turning off towards Kiplingcotes as planned we continued back to Holme-on-the-Wolds.
The “final course” was now ready as we headed back into the wind accompanied with a “dish of Etton Mess” followed by a cocktail with a Cherry Burton on top. “Anyone got room for more?” asked Mr Bumble “Oh go on then. Just a wafer thin mint” at which point we set off to tackle “Granny’s Hump”. Now at the end of the meal we could sit back and relax and reflect on the generosity of our “host” and can agree that indeed it was all rather satisfying.