Well there was not a pudding in sight but there was plenty of yummy cake :)
We arrived on time at Kings Cross Friday evening only to find the boards displaying delays on all the trains before ours. So, our hearts sank as we saw the delays getting longer and heard that some trains had been cancelled. But, in the end, we were actually only delayed by 10 minutes out of Kings Cross and arrived 17 minutes late at Northallerton.
We arrived at our B&B just five minutes ride up the road from the station and were greeted by the owners who had waited up until 23.00 for us! They showed us around the place and we could even park our bicycles safely in their garage.
What had looked like a nasty weekend to come weather-wise (the train was delayed because of strong winds and the two minute ride to the B&B was made very easy by the strong tailwind) turned out to be a Grand Day Out in the Yorkshire countryside.
Saturday morning’s breakfast was lovely and filled us up good and proper for our ride. We arrived at the meeting point right on time, just as the Crinkly cake was being cut. :) We met 15 other cyclists, some we had met before, others we had only read about on yacf.
Deano was our ride leader and had planned a great ride for us. He even provided some spoke cards for us, I got Dennis the Menace one.
The first bit was a bit dull and on somewhat busy road but soon Deano showed us some great country lanes and we duly settled into our riding erm chatting. While we enjoyed the views and company we got split up. I knew that we had at least three behind me but others were too busy and we got split up. Since we normally have on these rides a marker when we do a turn but at one left turn the tail end must have been chatting too much.
So I ended up riding with five others in a little peloton chasing the main group. After a few miles and no sight of them, it was time to check the map and GPS. Though this part was only great in finding out where we were but not where the others were. After a phone call we were heading back onto track, a small detour of around five miles and we where back with Deano and the rest of the group. Who were very nice and had waited and not started on the famous fruit cake that Marj had baked for us.
Then we set off again and headed for Masham our lunch stop. Cycling over the river Ure we could see that it was rather close to bursting its banks, some places it all ready had.
The wonderful cafe handled the “storming” of 15 hungry cyclist very well. And I dived into a rather nice pasta bake with bacon and Peli into a cheese toastie with yummy chips.
Then we set out to ride back to Northallerton, though the feeding must have confused a few and they turned at the wrong corner. Lucky our leader was with us and had phone numbers to the few ahead. Their return was delayed a bit as one among them had a problem with their chain. But since it was rather mild for February and it wasn’t wet, we didn’t get cold while chatting.
Just before the feeding “station” we where told that this was THE hill of the day. Though my legs were telling me that we where going up hill for some time after before we found our afternoon stop. But as Deano said that climb was well worth it as we had a long down hill to enjoy, a few of us enjoyed it that much that they were shouting WHEEEEEEE as they zoomed past me. OK, I did go WHEEEEEEE too but not as fast as the others. Because my freewheel is playing up and the chain then ends up dangling between the chain stay and the wheel, will not bore you with the details here.
We then found a rather nice little pub, the Farmer’s Arms in Scorton, where Peli had her tea and I enjoyed two pints of a rather splendid Copper Draggon.
We only had about 10 miles left and the light was fading fast, so we nearly had a sprint to the finish line. Even with most of us having brilliant lights front and back some drivers were passing us like they haven’t seen us. So there were a few hairy moments when a driver didn’t pay attention to what was ahead of them and just followed whoever was overtaking us. Which meant that once or twice we had some cars pulling right in front of us, with not much space to spare.
But that didn’t ruin a brilliant day out with some new and old friends in a part of the country I haven’t been to before. 60 odd miles for me, since my little detour and some rather tired legs for the both of us.
At the car park while we were saying our goodbyes we found left over cake, now how that is possible on a bike ride I do not know. But me and Peli did not complain one bit as we took that back to the B&B to share with Peli’s mum, and sister and sister’s fella over a cuppa.
A good evening was spend with the family and good old chatter was done before we hit the sack. The only bit that annoys me a bit with B&B’s is that it is not often you get to sleeeeeep in. Because we both do love our bed. But we knew that breakfast would be good so got up early and had a leisurely time with the others before we checked out.
The rest of the day we spend at a very good cafe called Betty’s with hot chocolate and cake, we are not cyclists for nothing. :) After a little walk around town and a quick pint we said goodbye and headed for the station.
At the station I had the great idea of asking the staff at the ticket counter which end of the train they normally would take the bicycles. As it was a rather long platform and we didn’t wanted to delay the train with being at the wrong end. I ended up with a jobsworth and a conversation going something like this.
Me : Hello, do you by any chance know which end of the train they would take bicycles ?
JW : Do you have tickets?
Me : Yes, we have tickets. Do you know which end to be so that we will be at the right end of the train with our bicycles?
JW : You need tickets for your bicycles.
Me : Yes I know and we have tickets for us and have reserved space for our bicycles.
JW : Looking at me likes so why are you here then …
Me : Do you know which end of the train, I really don’t want to be at the wrong end of the station and delay the train with us running from one end to the other.
JW : erm, should be at the rear. (Not sounding like he knew or was sure and was looking sad that he didn’t have to sell me any tickets)
So you have probably guessed it already that we were at the wrong end of the train. So we ended up running with our bicycles with the train guard the full length of the station. And pretty much just threw our bicycles on board, jumped in and got the door slammed close behind us. The very nice train guard then told the train to go and came back to help us, with the bikes and took us through the guards quarters to our seats.
So again a wonderful weekend out riding with some good friends and spending some time with Peli on a weekend. This is good.