The View From The Captain’s Cabin
It was with some trepidation when I decided to join in this epic 150 mile Wolds Way ride, however I was not alone in never having ridden so far. Chris said his longest ride to date was 60 miles. At least I’d completed 100 miles a number of years ago. As for the rest, most who’ve already completed this ride in previous years, “What on earth are you thinking about? You must be gluttons for punishment”.
Seriously though, everyone likes to challenge themselves just to see what they are capable of. Despite all the effort, there is still an element of pleasure in pushing oneself to the limits. (Honest!) The biggest comes at the end with a superb sense of achievement…. and because the “pain” finally is at an end! Well…. apart from tired and aching limbs.
The forecast for the day was a mixed bag, cloudy with some sunshine and a chance of showers later in the day. Twelve Knights turned out for the early 7am start.
The first leg of the ride saw us following familiar roads, heading out through Newbald, Market Weighton, Burnby, Pocklington, Millington and Huggate before turning towards Thixendale for the first feed stop of the day. Kevin & Vicky had set up stall outside the village hall, even managing to “appropriate” a tea shop sign to complete the scene. By this time, the sun had put in an appearance providing a little warmth and it was a chance to change into alternative clothing.
The next leg took us to less familiar roads as we headed west to Kirkham Abbey, before turning north-east towards Norton. “There’s just one little hill before the next stop” he said. On reaching said hill at Settrington, we found ourselves in the middle of a local charity bike ride heading in the same direction. I don’t think “little” is an adjective I’d apply to this hill as the 17% warning sign at the base was a precursor of what was to come.
After around two miles of climbing, it was generally downhill into Duggleby then over to Kirby Grindalythe before dropping down to Sledmere where the welcome smiling faces of Kevin & Vicky were there to greet us. A warming pot of soup, tea, coffee, sandwiches and a general smorgasbord of goodies were laid out. Just what was needed perk us up.
At this point, Heather suffering the effects of a cold decided enough was enough and headed home in the “broom wagon”. Mike also left the group at this point having to be home early and returned along with Alison who’d ridden out to join us for lunch. Given how my legs felt at the time I did briefly consider going back with them.
The 3rd part of the ride took us through a relatively flattish section to Weaverthorpe and Foxholes. With a following wind the pace picked up until we hit the climb up towards Ganton before looping round through Fordon and Hunmanby. The weather started to turn around this time with the first few brief spots of rain. Fortunately the wind died down a bit as we turned south to pass through Reighton and Grindale making our way to Buckton Hall, home of Vicky’s parents, for afternoon tea.
Leaving Buckthorn, there was drop in temperature requiring additional layers and with rain on the horizon, time for rain jackets. The next leg took us to Sewerby and round the outskirts of Bridlington then on past Burton Agnes to Nafferton, Driffield, Skerne and out next stop at Hutton Cranswick where we were met once more by Kevin & Vicky.
With a final top up of teas, coffees and any remaining goodies we were off for the final part of the journey through Bracken, South Dalton, Etton and Cherry Burton. Unfortunately for us, the rain kicked in making it difficult to avoid the spray from the bike in front.
Just as we were about to celebrate completing the route without incident, numpty brains Pugwash, had a moments lack of concentration coupled with some tiredness, misjudged the turn onto the cycle path causing the front wheel to skid on wet grass at the edge of the path bringing him to the deck (yes again)! No damage incurred and we soon arrived at the Tiger Inn for a well earned pint and to celebrate our achievements.
A huge thank you must go to Kevin & Vicky for the support provided to us all on the way round. A further thank you must go to all participants for the help and encouragement which helped get everyone to the finish line. I’m sure there will be some very tired legs around today and judging by the state of our bikes at the end I can guess what might be on the agenda today. Well done everyone.