If I were to be a bit mischievous I might suggest that the old and the young in our fair land might appear to be poles apart, as one group have lived through or been directly affected by the second world war and the civilised world owes them a favour, whereas the other group thinks the world owes them a favour. However, when it comes to road sense and awareness of others, the two are bed fellows, I can say this because I almost found out the hard way on Sunday 12th August…
It was late afternoon and I was starting to get that itch, the one I get towards the end of the weekend and wanting to squeeze every last minute out of my leisure time before returning to work. So a bike ride was the order of the day, however, usually I have delusions of grandeur and head for the hills of East Yorkshire, on this particular day I felt lethargic and a ride to keep my eye in was all I required, so I headed to the flat areas to the south of Beverley.
The ride begins on Grange Way on the outskirts of Molescroft, a busy A road which bypasses the town of Beverley and not my favourite section of tarmac. Heading over the railway bridge, the road is heavy going for my tired legs and I’m pleased when I begin to descend towards the Swinemoor Roundabout, a busy road junction which I manage to cross without too much hassle. Joining Swinemoor Lane and passing the newly built Hospital, I’m already travelling in excess of 20mph on the unusually empty road.
As I race toward the industrial area of Swinemoor Lane, I notice a small group of teenagers messing about on the pavement, a few are on foot and some jumping their BMX bikes off the kerbs. Approaching the DIY retailer Wickes, I continue my fast pace and as I begin to pass the teenagers, one buffoon turns at a right angle and cuts across my path, as I swerve I’m convinced he’s going to take me down, almost unbelievably I stay on my bike, albeit on the wrong side of the road, thanking my lucky stars a vehicle wasn’t traveling in the opposite direction. I shout out my disapproval, but shaken and full of adrenaline I continue my journey.
Crossing the Grovehill Roundabout and heading across the Beverley Beck flyover on the A1174 Hull Road, I take time to think out my near miss, I can’t believe the stupidity of the teenager, it no exaggeration that on another day something like that could have put me in that new hospital. I don’t like to pigeon hole people, but he lived up to his stereotype, selfish little prat, I’ll bet he thought it was funny and didn’t give me a second thought.
My ride continues at pace along Hull Road, passing Tokenspire Industrial Estate and travelling through the village of Woodmansey. Passing the local
Primary School and rounding the corner at St.Peters Church, I slow to find room to make a right hand turn onto Long Lane, a narrow country lane linking Woodmansey to Beverley. Long Lane is flat and fast, before long I’m cycling at a steady 20mph, enjoying going fast and enjoying not having to go up hill for once.
Approaching the railway line approximately a mile along the lane, I notice and acknowledge a couple of cyclists taking a breather against the barriers, I also see an older couple cycling slowly on the same route as my own about 100m in front. It’s not long before I’m about to overtake my fellow cyclists when almost amazingly and without warning or reason, the elderly gentleman turns at a right angle across my path and once again I have to swerve, narrowly missing leaving the road. I have to admit at the point I called his parentage into question!
By now I was spitting feathers, furious that twice on one journey I have almost been knocked off my bike by other peoples stupidity, lack of awareness and general selfishness. I half expect this from youngsters, but it is worse when somebody elderly and more experienced does it! As I try to continue my journey I can’t help by think of the old saying ‘Accidents always come in threes’, so I drop my pace accordingly, although by the time I reach Beverley Minster at the end of Long Lane, I’ve averaged over 18mph.
I’d be well within my rights to call it a day at this point, but I’m made of sterner stuff than that, so I make the left hand turn into Keldgate, before long I reach a set of mini roundabouts and cycle across Queensgate onto Cartwright Lane, which heads to Beverley Westwood. As I start to cycle up hill I’m conscious that a Strava challenge awaits, as I up my pace and reach the start point for ‘Le Col de Beverley Golf Club’ an amusingly titled segment of around 1km on a steady up hill route with only the local cows and stray golf balls to worry the recreational cyclist. Still full of adrenalin I decide to put it to good use and I race (slight exaggeration) to the finish line at the club house, achieving a personal best time of 3 minutes 9 seconds, not good enough to worry Wiggo, but it makes me feel better!
Continuing my exploits I stay on the same road, which now becomes Broadgate as I cycle toward the village of Walkington. As I approach the traffic lights I make a right hand turn to join Coppleflat Lane, a road which gently rises before swooping into a hidden dip, before steeply rising again as the road crowns at the crossroads with Newbald Road and Walkington Heads. I decide to continue straight ahead, the road now becoming Killingwoldgraves Lane as it moves steadily down hill towards the busy A1079 roundabout, an East Yorkshire version of the roundabout at L’Arc de Triomphe!
Looking back now I’m not sure what I was thinking, however I hold my breath as I manage to negotiate the junction and make a right hand turn to join the A1174 York Road, a down hill section of tarmac which races past Beverley Race Course. As I make my way down hill, I had hoped to set some kind of land speed record, however a strong headwind puts pay to that idea and I’m glad when I ride into Beverley and the shelter provided by the tall town houses lining the road.
At the cross roads with the Rose & Crown, I opt to continue onto Wylies Road, before making the right turn onto Manor Road, then a left to continue my journey along the A1174 Norwood, a long flat section of road which heads out of Beverley. As I’m almost at the end of my ride, I set myself one last challenge, to get a Top 10 Strava time over the ‘Grange Way Bridge’.
Reaching the end of Norwood, I make a left hand turn onto Grange Way, it’s here I summon all the energy I can muster and seriously give it some welly. As the road begins to rise over the train lines my speed only increases and although I begin to slow and tire as I reach the top, I’m more than pleased when I check my Strava to find I have joint 5th place* on the segment out of 60+ cyclists, having averaged a respectable 20.4mph over the half mile course.
Cycling along Grange Way and past the Hayride Pub I end my journey at the Driffield Road roundabout, feeling both tired and lucky to be in one piece. The ride was only 15 miles long, although eventful, a distance I covered at an average speed of 17mph. I think in future I’ll keep to the hills!
Total Distance Covered: 94 miles
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