🎶How many roads must a Knight ride down, before they call him a fan?🎶 No amount of wind blowin was about to spoil our day out with fifteen Knights turning out for a flattish ride to Allerthorpe. Well at least that was the plan until our maestro route master gave an option of “long and flat” or “short and hilly”. “Short and hilly to the Fiddle Drill it is then. How about this route?” asked Raymond as he outlined the “new” route. 🎶How many times must a man repeat himself, before the message sinks in?🎶 After the third time of singing the same song we’d finally “got it”.
Just as we were about to set off, Michael appeared in the distance along the road. He’s obviously trying to earn himself the title of lastminute.com. As he got closer, shouts went out “Keep Going! Don’t stop!” Unfortunately for him he’d missed the “briefing” and started to set off in the wrong direction. Luckily for him, we were feeling in good spirits and shouted to advise him of his error.
Splitting into two groups, the first leg of our journey headed directly into the wind with a steady incline towards Newbald making it feel like cycling through treacle. The genius of our route master soon became apparent when we turned onto Stoneknowle hill with the wind now behind giving a little gentle push to help us on the way. The climbing however continued until eventually reaching High Gardham before a long descent towards Etton.
Next on the agenda was the climb up to Holme-on-the-Wolds with the wind blowin’ on the side. The full brunt of the wind was somewhat tempered by the hedgerows just watch out for the “broadside” when passing the gaps. Turning west on the Middleton road it was time for head winds once more. This however was only a “taster” of what was to come. Our route master had thrown in a “curve ball” opting to turn back towards Kiplingcotes. Now we were facing the full force of the wind directly ahead. Fortunately the initial climb was a short sharp ramp before dropping down to Kiplingcotes.
The final section to the cafe took us onto more familiar territory along the gravel strewn Spring Road before heading upwards on this year’s hill climb challenge to reach the Fiddle Drill.
On leaving the cafe, we headed back uphill along Cross Gate to the junction to Kiplingcotes. Turning onto the downhill we were fully exposed to a strong cross wind which made for a rather dodgy descent. It was like being shoulder jostled in an invisible peloton until we reached the shelter of the hedgerows further down. In a further route variation we then did a zig-zag to pass through Dalton Park Estate.
On reaching South Dalton it was back to our usual return route through Etton and Cherry Burton. It had been a superb roller coaster of a ride enjoyed by all despite the strong wind. 🎶How many hills can the knights climb, before they reach the sky? The answer my friend, is blowin in the wind 🎶