Sunday 12th February saw our first extended club ride. I was always asking for trouble planning the first ride for February. From the forecast February was going to live up to its billing.
Not surprisingly there weren’t many volunteers so well done to Johnathan, Lewis and Simon who joined me for our trip to Helmsley. I can’t claim it wasn’t cold, wet , windy because it was , it even snowed a little, but it wasn’t as bad as the deluge that was forecast. It was out into the head wind via Flaxton and Foston before we headed up the monument climb at Castle Howard, one of my favourite climbs. The theme for the day was set as Lewis raced off in front , battling to the top against a VC York rider who had passed us on the way out. From here the rolling road took us to Slingsby and thankfully flat to Nunnington where at last we picked up a bit of a tail wind. Johnathan pointed out some blue sky above us, but mother nature was teasing us and the drizzle soon returned. We skittled through Helmsley and climbed out of town , the cafe stop now in grasping distance. One more climb and we plummeted towards the T-junction in Ampleforth, as my Tektro rim brake leavers approached the bars I was wishing for Simon’s disc brakes, few we all stopped in time. We parked round the back of Kirks cafe and walked in. Ampleforth is a posh place, evident by the family sat at a large table in their Sunday best, Grandad was even wearing a bow tie. The look on their faces as we walked in dripping wet was a classic. The staff didn’t bat an eye and served up much needed , if not a little expensive, bacon sandwiches and hot drinks. We headed back out when Lewis pointed out it was snowing , which seems a bit dumb now I say it like that but it stopped as soon as we were outside. There were 25 miles to go and just the final big climb up to Yearsley, it started snowing again but by now I reckoned it was looking pretty. From Yearsley it was a tentative descent to Brandsby, making sure we avoided the cycle eating hedge on the right. Lewis announced he was getting cold waiting for the rest of us so he headed off at his own pace, which turned out to be the speed of light because I swear he just vanished. With a bit of a tailwind the final leg from Sheriff Hutton whizzed by and the ride was over. One to put down in the book as remember that day when…. Hopefully the next one will have better weather, it will struggle to be worse !