Mr Toad, back from his recent trip to Spain, started to wonder what he can do for his next adventure. “I know” he thought, “I’ll call on the ‘weasels’ to see if any want to join me on a journey to Millington”. After posting two options of route, ‘Top Gun’ weasel suggested route A. Little did we know that he had an ulterior motive for this choice.
A gang of seven ‘weasels’ joined Mr Toad at Manor House. “Where’s Michael?” they enquired. “Oh he’s running late and will meet us en-route”. We hadn’t gone far when we faced our first obstacle, the fast flowing A1079 river of cars swirling past in both directions. Taking advantage of a brief respite, we managed to cross en-masse. We were soon joined by Michael as we approached Cherry Burton.
It wasn’t until we reached Etton that we had our first taste of the head winds we’d be facing along the way. A little later, there was some confusion as the leading trio turned left towards Kiplingcotes, however a cheery shout from Mr Toad soon had us all back together again. “Don’t think you’re getting away with it that easily” he said “Kiplingcotes climb is what I said”. And so off we set, clambering our way to the top of Kiplingcotes race course.
On reaching the top at Cross Gates, the sun put in an brief appearance bringing a welcoming warmth to the air. As we “flew” down to Goodmanham, the choice of route soon became clear as “Maverick” and his wingman “Phoenix” returned to base via Red Lane and Spring Road to attend a prior engagement while the rest of the gang continued to Londesborough and Burnby. Turning towards Nunburnholme, someone must have lost his bearings as he enquired tentatively “We’re not going up Nunburnholme Hill are we?”. Must have been all that climbing over the previous weekend addled his brain.
It was not quite Nunburnholme Hill, but the little ramp up from the B1246 towards Kilnwick Percy golf club can catch people out you don’t get your gear selection correct as you transition from 7% downhill to 7% uphill. After that we continue to climb for another mile before the tricky descent to the final climb up the “Balk” to Millington.
Lunch today was held at the Ramblers Rest in Millington, one of our favourite cafe stops. Setting off for the return journey, it was pleasant to finally have the wind slightly behind as we “weaseled” our way along Millington Dale. The climb at the end starts off gently but ramps up and up averaging 4.5% with maximum hitting 10%, enough to stop the energy of any tired legs.
Once we’d regrouped at the top, “It’s all downhill from here” someone suggested cheerfully. At least we’d have the wind firmly behind now. Cruising down from Huggate to North Dalton with Pugwash at the front, there was a buzzing noise coming from behind. Turned out it was “queen bee” Sharrin firing the “afterburners” to race ahead. Well should I set chase or just continue? In no time at all she’d buzzed off into the distance eventually missing the QOM by one second. Impressive effort.
On the next section from North Dalton to Middleton-on-the-Wolds we encountered a rollercoaster ride over two hills. This time it was Michael who set off on a charge followed by Chad with everyone else happy to maintain their own pace. At Middleton we were faced with the prospect of crossing the busy A614. With a constant stream of traffic both ways, we had to dash as soon as any gap appeared.
More fun and games ensued as Pugwash took the lead for the sprint along towards Holme-on-the-Wolds. Now that most of the weasels had had their bit of fun, things settled down somewhat for the final leg home to “Toad Hall” through Etton and Cherry Burton.