The rallying cry went up from St George for volunteers to ride out and hunt for a “Dragon” said to be devouring everything in its path and leaving pestilence and devastation sweeping the countryside in its wake. Within hours we had sixteen gallant Knights “booted and spurred” ready for the challenge.
Overwhelmed by the response, St George was all a fluster. “I’ll get back to you with a plan” he said “I’ve been busy all day”. Later, fortified by a hearty meal (and possibly a glass of wine) he formulated a plan. Splitting our numbers into three groups, we had the “Cornettos” as the advance scouts followed by the “Cappuccinos” and leading from the rear the “Gruppetto”.
Setting off at five minute intervals from Manor House, the Knights gee’d their steeds in the direction of Newbald. The sun shone brightly but the air remained cool so it was interesting noting the choice of “armour” with many Knights opting to go without “vambrace” and “greaves”. The Cappuccinos consisted of Pugwash, Matt, Heather, Colin and Andy G. Making our way through Hotham we caught our first glimpse of the Cornettos.
After waiting a few minutes at the bottom of Common Hill to reestablish a suitable gap, we continued to North Cliffe. Keeping the Cornettos in sight ahead, we passed through Harswell, Everingham and Bielby. Soon after that, the Cornettos split with Steve G, Chris Shep and Sharrin heading home, leaving Mark and Karl as the sole scouts. A swift effort from Matt made “the catch” as we turned onto the main road leading to Allerthorpe. The “venom spewing dragon” was reported to be living in a nearby lake demanding to be fed sausage rolls.
Mark was one of the first on scene. “Right where do we get service?” he enquired, completely missing the massive sign saying “ENTRANCE” by the nearest door. Sympathy was in short supply as everyone ribbed him terribly for his observational skills. Matt had just polished off his sausage roll when St George arrived. “I hope you’ve left me some sausage rolls” he glared directly at Matt only to appear a few minutes later “armed” with a bacon and egg roll.
With no sign of the “Dragon” and the only hungry things in the lake being some massive carp, we decided to take our leave and head for home. The two groups headed for Pocklington then Burnby where we had to “negotiate” our way passed the ongoing roadworks. On reaching our turn off to Londesborough we found the road closed. Faced with the prospect of continuing upwards to Nunburnholme top, Mark went over to speak with one of the workmen to see if we could safely pass through.
Obviously “safely” is a relative term as we found ourselves heading off road to get round work vehicles parked across the road. Shortly after passing the closed section we faced the short sharp ramp. It was just then that the “Dragon” decided it’d had enough being chased and decided to throw a spanner in the works. With an ugly crunching noise Matt ground to a halt to find his front derailleur completely buckled. After a few adjustments, he was able to limp home running on single gear.
From Londesborough we headed towards Market Weighton and Goodmanham. While running along the Spring Road the “Dragon” struck again. This time it was Colin’s turn as he suffered a puncture. While he effected the repair, the rest of us hung around watching a buzzard circling overhead, or was it a Kite?
The rest of the ride fortunately passed without incident as we headed home through Etton and Cherry Burton to end another great adventure. Perfect weather, sun and light winds, lovely route and great company. What more could we want?