Three men of the club, and who do you think were there, the butcher, the baker the candlestick maker, all of them hoping it’s fair.
Seems like many others were put off by the gloomy forecast, unlike the butcher and baker who put their faith in the candle maker’s prediction of a weather window till after lunch.
The original plan was to head for the Ginger Cow but the consensus was to remain closer to home in case “rain stopped play” (obviously not fully trusting of the candle maker’s ability). I suppose it is the fickleness of the British weather we’re talking about.
After opting for the Fiddle Drill as of cafe of choice, “butcher” Raymond outlined a route which was quickly adopted. Setting off from Manor House with Raymond leading the way, we made our way to Newbald. The road surface was still damp from the early morning rain but at least the wind was not as strong as recent days.
The steady climb along Walkington Heads road was enough to get us all warmed up while the descent into Newbald provided the first “excitement” although tempered by dodging puddles and potholes along the way. From Newbald, we continued southwest to Hotham and eventually onto the Cliffe Road.
Raymond took the opportunity to show off his “racing credentials” by taking the lead as our “train” headed north. “Baker” Russell, was next on the front followed by “Candlestick Maker” Pugwash. On reaching North Cliffe, we pulled over briefly while Raymond “outlined” the correct procedure for our chain gang to operate. Unfortunately we did not have sufficient time to practice this before we turned off onto the Sancton Road and besides it was a social ride.
Making our way along Houghton Lane, we came upon a number of youngsters from the nearby forest school. The cheery waves and greetings we received as we passed made it feel like we were on the “Tour-De-Yorkshire”.
At Sancton, it was time for our first test as we headed up Beverley Lane starting with a 5.6% ramp and continuing upwards for almost two miles. Our “reward” for this effort came at High Gardham as we started the descent on Kiplingcotes Lane. At the bottom, we headed west once more along Spring Road before turning upwards on the short sharp 8-10% ramp up to Goodmanham.
On leaving the cafe we were greeted with some lovely sunshine and the warmth that came with it. Now feeling vindicated for our decision to “head out” we set off in good spirits along Cross Gates towards the Middleton Road. On the way to Holme-on-the-Wolds, Russell pointed out a “rather black looking cloud” ahead in the distance. Reassured by Pugwash that it would be moving eastwards away from us, we completed our return journey through South Dalton, Etton and Cherry Burton without getting wet.
On reaching home, we had no sooner stepped into the house, when the sound of thunder rattled around the skies followed closely by a huge downpour of almost tropical proportions 🌩️🌦️. Guess the bike cleaning will just have to wait!