A longer day in the saddle was proposed for today to help build some good base miles for those members who are taking part in Velo Birmingham 100 mile closed road sportive next Sunday. Just how many cooks are required to come up with a plan? First suggestion was to head to Huggate and Sledmere then “suck it and see”. Not very precise, but what’s wrong with a cycle on the wild side? Fortunately, Dave & Jenny rode to the rescue with a proper “route Master” plan. Luckily enough their idea was not too dissimilar to what had been previously discussed.
The main feature of the day was the cold northerly wind, forcing some to reflect on their choice of kit. Setting out through North Bar brought a reminisce of the recent Tour de Yorkshire passing the same way. Unlike the professionals, we had to wait for traffic lights to change in our favour before heading to the Molescroft roundabout and onwards to Cherry Burton.
Mindful of the distance to go, the pace was less frenetic than usual as we headed out to Middleton-on-the-Wolds and the long slog up to Huggate. After regrouping at the top, it was time for some excitement on the generally downhill run to Wetwang before tackling the next climb of the day, Life Hill. Not sure where the name comes from, perhaps as it seems to go on forever.
Turning onto the road from Sledmere to Fimber it felt like we’d joined the IOM TT as a continuous stream of motor bikes passed by. Most likely bikers from “Mag into the valley” weekend bike festival at Sledmere. It was therefore a relief to return to the quieter country lane leading us to Thixendale, an idyllic cycling route marred only by the road condition. #ERYC Pot holes, uneven repairs and gravel meant more attention than necessary was required for safe passage.
Along the way we passed a herd of short horn cattle who seemed to get caught up in the excitement of our procession and proceeded to stampede through their field in pursuit. The sight of hundreds of pounds of prime beef galloping alongside was quite impressive and no Matthew I’m not referring to you! Although….. you’d better take care if Stephen ever invites you on a tour of his work!
The climb out of the valley up to the roman road presented us with a spectacular view across the countryside bringing to mind the Carpenter’s song 🎶I’m on top of the Wolds, looking down on creation 🎶 Now that we had reached the “summit” it was nearly all downhill to Millington. On the final stretch it was time to engage the biggest gear and get in to “aero” position (a bit like a nip and tuck but without the surgery) just don’t miss the turn off to Millington as you fly down like a speeding cruise missile.
At the Ramblers Rest there were a number of other cyclists already ensconced however the twelve Knights were still able to gather round the table(s) to consume their goodies. All too soon it was time to face the chill once again as we set off along Millington Dale to return home via Huggate, Warter, Londesborough and Kiplingcotes. A superb route which I’m sure we will cover again.