♪♫”On the road again”
“Goin’ places that I’ve never been”
“Seein’ things that I may never see again”
“And I can’t wait to get on that road again”♪♫
[Willie Nelson, 1980]
On Monday 25th June, although for most of the day it looked like rain, at half past seven in the evening the wind dropped, the clouds parted and sunshine finally reared its golden head. I decided to take advantage of this lull in the anti social weather, so out came the bib shorts & jersey and off I set.
My ride began at the at the Molescroft Inn, which sits on the roundabout with Driffield Road and Malton Road. My plan was to head towards Cherry Burton on the A1035, a route which started with a steady descent down Constitution Hill, before the road quickly rises towards the roundabout with Dog Kennel Lane.
At this stage my enthusiasm was at it’s peak, but this bubble was almost about to burst. All was going well, I was able to tackle the hill without getting out of the big ring, I even accelerated towards the roundabout. However, once on the roundabout I made a slight adjustment to turn and before I knew it my rear wheel slipped from underneath me, how I held the bike upright I’ll never know, then panic set in when I couldn’t unclip from my pedals as I headed at speed towards the kerb. Not wanting to slip again I managed avoid the hazard and came away scot free, don’t ask me how!
I find the problem with riding on A or B roads are two types of road hazards, cars and traffic management, so I do my best to avoid these routes, most of the time. In this particular case, the roundabout had what looked like road chippings from surface dressing mixed with glass. A lucky escape as the road rash from that type of crash would certainly hurt, especially in shorts and short sleeves.
Mentally brushing myself down I headed along Malton Road, which gently rolls along past a crossroads junction and passes alongside Cherry Burton Golf Course. The road rises and dips again as you approach the old railway station on the now abandoned Beverley to York railway line. Past the Hudson Way public footpath the road climbs once more before I take a left turn and begin my ride along Rootas Lane, a narrow country lane.
It’s not far until I’m at the junction with New Road, Etton, so I turn right and head down the steep hill into the village. Before long I’m turning left again at the junction with Main Street, opposite the Light Dragoon pub, and heading through the village at a good speed on the flat asphalt.
Before long I’m turning right to ride up a small incline on the unmarked road sign posted to South Dalton. I can only think the road was built by the Romans, as it is dead straight, also whether it is luck or good judgement, dead centre in the horizon in the steeple of St.Mary’s, it’s a very strange sight to ride towards.
The road continues for over a mile, passing the junction with Kiplingcotes Road, which if taken eventually leads onto the Race Course, home of the Derby, the worlds oldest horse race. I continue forward and before long the road gently rolls towards the absurdly pretty village of South Dalton. As the road continues on to Main Street, I have to admit I’m lost, I’ve never been here in my life, so I did what all good Englishmen do in times of confusion, I headed to the pub!
Unfortunately in this particular case the pub in question is the Michelin Stared Pipe & Glass, winners of the ‘Pub of the Year 2012’ and no matter how tempting the prospect was, I just don’t have the balls to walk into that type of establishment dressed in lycra!
Parked up outside the pub I check my GPS and I have three choices, the first is to ride across Dalton Park, head up hill towards Holme on the Wolds, or the third choice, the one I took, which was to double back on myself. I hate having to turn back, I do my best to make my rides round trips, but the sun was getting low so I needed to head home.
Before long I’m back in Etton, with the prospect of climbing up New Road, a steep, but relatively easy climb which rises as the road joins on to Etton Road and over a hump backed bridge into the village of Cherry Burton. In the village I cross Main Street and head up Bishop Burton Road, a long steady ride which gently leads down hill for almost a mile. The ride isn’t easy for too long before the climb of the day, which begins at Lambfold Wood and rapidly rises towards the junction with Beverley Road, the A1079.
It’s a tough short climb, the only time on the ride where I drop into the lower front ring, but all the practice in North Newbald has kept me in good stead and before long I’m at the junction. Changing back into the big ring I cross the busy Beverley Road and head down Finchcroft Lane, a long straight country road, which eventually leads me to a junction with Walkington Heads.
Turning left I ride toward the crossroad with Coppleflat Lane, heading straight across onto the now familiar Newbald Road, leading onto Newbald Hill, which drops down hill for a mile before joining York Road. At the junction I turn right and head into Beverley, turning left at the Rose & Crown on to North Bar Without, leading on to New Walk. Eventually the road rises towards Molescroft Road, where at the top of the hill I finish my ride at the point I began, the Molescroft Inn.
Today the ride covered 16 miles, averaging 15mph, so a shorter and much easier ride than most of my previous efforts, as the elevation gain was only 75m compared to the rides to North Newbald and back which rise 220m. However, it was good to get back in the saddle after the poor weather.
Total Distance Covered: 123 miles
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