Our Easter Sunday ride turned out to be quite the adventure for our gang of gallant riders. Led by our imaginative Route Master Michael, stepping into the breach in place of our intrepid leader. The group consisted of Michael, Puggy, Paul, Andy, Zog, James, Iain and rare appearance of Brian in summer shorts despite the slight chill in the air. The proposed route took in Middlehowe Road, North Newbald, Hotham, North Cave, Broomfleet, and Ellerker Garden centre for a cafe stop returning via Melton, Raywell, Cottingham and Dunswell. Well it would have been if the cafe was open. Various suggestions for alternative destinations were discussed but no decisions were forthcoming, so we set off to follow the planned route and make it up ‘on the hoof’.
The first part of the plan went well with a pacy ride. We soon found ourselves approaching Ellerker. “Now where do we go?” we all asked looking pointedly at Michael. “A pub?” suggested Puggy wistfully. “Only if they’re serving food!” retorted Michael, piercing the encouraging look which had appeared on Iain’s face at the thought of a pint of ‘nectar’. Revising our plan we steered ourselves towards South Cave with the hope that the Zoom cafe would be open, “If not, there is garden centre across the road” suggested Zog. While making our way through South Cave, heads turned to check out the Westend cafe in the forlorn hope of some refreshment….. closed! Arriving at the Zoom cafe the place was completely deserted with nothing but dust blowing in the slight breeze.
Pulling up at the South Cave Plant Centre we found the doors were also locked. Our spirts threatened to falter, but hope was still in sight, as we were given word from a passer-by that the “Butty Bus” at North Cave Wetlands was open. Undaunted by our lack of success we bravely set off towards the Wetlands returning to the road we’d just left half an hour previously. At this point Paul, Brian and Andy left the group to return directly home via Hotham while the remaining four went in search of some much needed sustenance.
While we were being served, the “Butty” lady commented that she’d had a lot of cyclists calling in today. “Is it because we are the only place open?” she asked with a happy smile. Not wishing to intimate the thought that the Butty Bus was the ‘last chance saloon’ James thinking quickly added “We do come here when it’s a bit warmer”. Having consumed our lovely hot sandwiches thoughts turned to how we get home from here. “How about heading to Sancton then up the hill to Kiplingcotes?” suggested Michael. “Sounds like a good plan” we all agreed.
As we mounted up the ‘Butty Lady’ cheerily wished us a “Safe journey home”. Setting off along the Cliffe Road with the wind at our backs, the pace picked up. I’m sure at one point Michael and Zog indulged in a little friendly ‘head-to-head’ with James tucking in as well leaving Pugwash and Iain vainly trying to keep up. “That was quite fast” commented Iain breathlessly as we regrouped.
When we reached Sancton, Zog decided to part ways and head home into the wind while the remaining four set off uphill towards Kiplingcotes and finally back home via Etton and Cherry Burton.Though the day had not gone entirely as planned, the challenges and camaraderie only made the journey all the more memorable.