We had a very good turnout (27 riders) for the car assisted ride from Wetherby to Rufforth on 11 June. A kaleidoscope of cycling in terms of ages, gender and experience. And that was just the riders. Amongst the bikes we had two recumbents, one tandem, one Brompton, with the rest a mix of MTBs and road bikes (| even saw some Zipp wheels). And a mix of riders from Huddersfield and District CTC and Calderdale, reinforcing the links that exist between the two Member Groups. But the common aim was to have a pleasant, gentle ride along the trails and quiet country roads to the east of Wetherby and to the west of York.
The route was devised by Keith Robinson, who led the ride and kept us all in order. After a faltering start as we negotiated the barriers on the Sustrans trail out of Wetherby and alongside the racecourse, we were soon onto the promised quiet country roads and started to tick off the various pretty villages along our route – Wighill, Healaugh, Catterton, Bilborough and Askam Richard. And not a climb or lump at all, gear changing for most being a thing of the past.
The lunch stop was The Old School House in Rufforth. I will not say any except that one wag described our visit as “Kept in Detention” and to suggest that we will not be returning in a hurry. But everyone took it in good part (well, almost everyone) and unsuitably refreshed we set off on our journey back to Wetherby.
On our return we visited the Civil War memorial (Battle of Marston Moor 1644) and the air crash memorial (1945) in the nearby village of Tockwith. Tockwith is the location of the annual Christmas Cyclists Service (a regular Huddersfield car assisted ride) but I forgot to mention this as we passed through – although being at the back of the group made this a bit difficult anyway.
After Tockwith we even had a couple of short climbs to overcome before we emerged at Spofforth for a brief visit to the ruined castle in its delightful parkland setting. Spofforth was where we encountered the busiest traffic of the whole day, but this lasted only 3 minutes before we were able to dive off left into the housing estate and join the Harland Trail, the old railway line from Wetherby to Harrogate. This drifts downhill for 3 miles on a unsealed but quite rideable surface and meant we were entirely free of traffic until our arrival at the start point from which we had departed some seven hours before.
Thanks to everyone who turned out for what was a most enjoyable ride, with special thanks to Keith for route planning, organising and leading.
Our next car assisted ride is the John Radford Memorial on Sunday 13 August. Again a joint collaboration with Huddersfield and an opportunity for some gentle riding from a location (Fairburn) that can be easily reached in less than an hour and provides a quite different riding experience from our regular Sunday outings.
For those who are interested, a link to our route can be found here https://ridewithgps.com/trips/14770684