Fourteen Knights including two “newbies” gathered at Market Cross for the “Grande Departe”. The first group of six set off through North Bar as soon as the “flag” dropped, followed shortly by a second group of four then the final four. At Manor House we were joined by Chris and Sarah.
The “Tete-de-la-Course” group consisting of Mark, Andy, Karl, Brian, Chris H +1 made an early breakaway as we set off towards Middlehowe road and the steady climb to High Hunsley. The first “pursuivant” group with Pugwash, James G, Chris Shep, Sarah and Colin followed but soon lost sight of the lead group. The final “Lanterne Rouge” group made up with Stephen, Sharrin, Michael, Chad and newbie James remained a few minutes behind.
Feathered friends featured early in the “Pugwash” group. Firstly as we rounded the corner onto Middlehowe Road, we encountered a car approaching the exit. For some reason the “lady” behind the wheel decided to “flip the bird”🖕 at Chris. 🤔 Probably because we had the temerity to hold her up for two seconds.
A little while later as we were passing Littlewold farm, we came upon a flock of chickens 🐔🐔happily pecking away in the grass at the side of the road…. Except for one! It started to panic as we approached, running round like a… well headless chicken. It nearly was, as it took a dive across the road right under Pugwash’s wheel. Fortunately it escaped with only a few ruffled feathers. Not sure if it would have fitted in my back pocket anyway!
After that little scare, we continued our journey to South Newbald and Hotham where we picked up the Cliffe Road. Our “chain gang” however, got interrupted when Colin lost a package from his back pocket forcing us to stop and retrieve it. Just as he recovered it, we spotted the “Lanterne Rouge” coming up fast behind us. Time to get a move on once more. With Chris, James and Pugwash taking the lead we made good time as we battled against the wind through Harswell, Everingham, Bielby, Hayton to Burnby.
The “Tete-de-la-Course” took a slightly different route at this point by taking the road through Nunburnholme to Kilnwick Percy while the “Pursuivants” went via Pocklington. James G peeled off early at Burnby to return home while the rest continued to the “feed station” at Millington.
After enjoying our sustenance, it was time to get 🎶on the road again🎶. We could have done with a bit of Canned Heat as we were beginning to feel the northerly wind seeping through to our innards. With Chopper and his mate having continued without stopping, we took the opportunity to “shuffle” the groups. Michael joined the remainder of the “Tete-de-la-Course” who were intending to follow the longer return route via Wetwang, Sledmere, Driffield and Brandesburton.
Chris and Sarah dropped back to the the “Lanterne Rouge” while Chad and newbie James joined the “Pugwash Group”. Not long after leaving Millington, the “Lanterne Rouge” group encountered a couple of deer that jumped into the road in front of them then disappeared into the bushes just as quickly. Obviously a bit more nimble than chickens but I’m sure it didn’t stop Stephen wondering how he might have got one home for dinner!
The “Pursuivants” followed the shorter route home taking us first to Huggate then Tibthorpe. Now that the wind was generally behind and the terrain mostly downhill, we enjoyed a superb run to Kirkburn. The “Pugwash” group continued along the Bracken road directly to Etton then home through Cherry Burton.
On the way along the Bracken road, the “Lanterne Rouge” had another “encounter”. This time, it was nothing more scary than Jim out for his first ride since injuring his arm.
Despite the autumnal feel in the air, we had a very good turn out for today’s ride. With the route(s) offering something for everyone, I’m sure we all enjoyed our day out.