Which way to York ?

Strava Plotted Ride The way we should have gone 28th August 2016
When my friend Mel, told me he would be coming back to England for a visit and would like to go cycling, brilliant, now where do we go ?

With our little group Team Innit Down we have done many weekend rides mainly the Coast 2 Coast also Penrith to Derby (stinker!!) Mel and I were just going for a day ride so it had to have beautiful scenery … well what else is there when you cycle in Yorkshire !!

I thought a gentle cycle to York would be fitting with launch at the Pavilion in the Museum Gardens, catering there beautifully prepared by the wonderful Ashley and Matthew of No 8.

We would see how we felt and either cycle back or get the train (think the train was always going to win).

I had plotted a route from Wakefield to York but then we ended up going from Leeds as that was where Mel was based and it made it easier for him. I had a quick look at the map and re plotted some of the route but I didn’t really look too closely at it.

BUT will be worth it
Start of Leeds to York Cycle Ride

It was all going so badly
Right from the off we went wrong. Simply getting dropped off at the start of the ride ended up with a tour of Leeds first. Not a good sign of the things to come.

We were following part of Sustrans route 66 which I have to say in parts was very poorly marked.

Before setting off I ensured my phone was fully charged but as the miles slow ticked away so did the battery power. I’m sure it’s a fault more with the phone than its user!

Why it is that every time you realise you have taken a wrong turning it’s at the bottom of a hill? NOT at the top where you could turn around and enjoy the down, NO, at the bottom just to tick you off even more … not only did you go wrong BUT you now have to climb the hill you thought you had the downward right to enjoy.

We went back and forth along the route and clocked up who knows how many extra miles. Yes, who knows indeed, as after all our efforts they blinking well didn’t record on Strava!!!

I got my ‘new old’ phone back from repair and before I have had chance to change back to it I have …. Err … well I have err … sort of …. Err lost it!?!?

I know, I’m as thick as ‘pig sh*t’! I’m either really good at some stuff and flaming well useless at others. I’ve put it somewhere safe … BUT where? The search goes on.

Setting off
We set of from Leeds at about 12pm. We didn’t stop for breaks, a sit down, a cup of tea or anything, well apart from a quick nature stop by the side of the A64 but other than that the time lapses were purely due to my bad map plotting and us missing signs or them not being there.

BUT will be worth it
When wrong here at Temple Newsam aswell

Tadcaster Local
I like to think that local knowledge is better than a bad map planners lack of knowledge and after the number of time we had gone wrong I bowed to local knowledge over that of my cycling companion.

Due to our MANY directional errors, as we got into Tadcaster we though it wise to recheck the map on my now 12% charged phone. I nipped across the road to read a road sign and report back to Mel, when a yokal sat on a wall asked where we were bond…..

….. York, I shouted across the road to him …. Yokal, ‘YORK’? on bikes?…

Right there, right there and then I should have stopped listening to him …. We had just cycled past him, ON BIKES, we were kitted out in cycling attire, I was sporting my cycling helmet and yet he had to ask how we were going to be travelling to York.

BUT as I said, I wanted to give the kindly gentleman a chance to help.

… You want to be going up there, over bridge and turn right, it will take you down and under and then just follow it all the way to York …..

I thanked him and reported back to Mel who was adamant we need to go straight on. The kindly yokal guy saw Mel pointing in the opposite direction to which he had told me and called over …

… the bridge is out, you need to go on there.

Mel still said we should go straight on as he thought even though the bridge was out there would be pedestrian access. I shrugged my should and said …

…either, but I would bow to local knowledge. And bless Mel he gave in and we went the yokals route …. Sorry Mel !!!!!

Which Right
We road up and down that bloody road looking for a right turn cycling track, only to realise that the guy was guiding us literally on the A64 to race the traffic!!

We agreed to turn round and cycle back into Tadcaster to go Mel’s route when we noticed a couple of cyclists coming towards us. We apologetically flagged them and ask if they knew how we got onto the cycle track down the side of the A64 to York.

….. Yes, you need to go back into Tadcaster and over the bridge, at the other side you will join with the track ….

….BUT isn’t the bridge out? …

…Yes, but there is a pedestrian bridge……

Ooops!! We thanked our fellow cyclists and as we watched them cycle off Mel and I took a moment before glancing at one another … ‘twat’ … and we cycled on.

Thank you to our fellow cyclists who waited for us and cycled with us to where our routes parted.

And thank goodness that the yokal was not still sat on the wall when we returned, otherwise I feel one of us would have shoved him over it!

We had so many stop starts on our ride that by the time we reached York (after yet again going wrong on the run in) we rode straight into the train station at 5.15pm, bought tickets and a coffee, located out track, waited 10 minutes and got in the train, not seeing any of the beautiful sights of York.

Oh, and going wrong didn’t end there, oh no that would be far too easy a day for us.

I had asked a platform guard which carriage bikes went into, Carriage D was her reply.
The train arrived and carriage L was directly opposite us so we set off at pace to get to the front of the train and carriage D.

BUT oh no, carriage D was full, we didn’t even make it passed carriage E when we had 3 train guards waving us back shouting … we’re full …. Go to Carriage I. Bloody hell we had to leg it back to Carriage I which we had already passed on our way to D!

BUT did it end there! …. NO!!!!

Train went from York to Leeds then on to Wakefield. Mel said he would come through to Wakefield to help me with bikes but that would have meant then him travelling back to Leeds again. No, I was fine and could manage taking two bikes off at Wakefield and waiting for my chariot to arrive to pick me and the bikes up.

Mel hopped off the train in Leeds and I went on to Wakefield. Not a problem as long as I was quick and the train didn’t set off again with me back on it trying to get bike number 2 off. No problems.

Arriving in York I had just managed to relay a message home that I would be on the 5.41 from York before my battery died, so I wasn’t sure who if anyone would be there to meet me. Not seeing a car I recognised on exiting the station and absolutely bursting for the loo and being famished I set off walking the mile home, a bike in either hand.

Only had to walk 1/3 mile before being picked up.

We went wrong at every turn, we didn’t get to enjoy the sights of York, we didn’t eat other than an energy bar BUT……

BUT will be worth it
Made it to Leeds Train Station Leeds to York Cycle Ride

…. what an absolutely brilliant day!

It was challenging, not the cycling, the map reading. It was fun, not the getting lost bit. And it was such a joy to ride with my good friend Mel. Something I’ve missed more than I realised.

It was great to reminisce about our past Team Innit Down adventures, the pain we go through whilst cycling 3 consecutive days after not doing the training we should have, the beautiful scenery we enjoy every day, whilst trying to keep the pain at bay.

BUT most of all the fun, laughter and comradery we ALWAYS enjoy when we, Team Innit Down ride together.

Adventures with friends on a bike, you can’t beat them!

Grab your bike and your mate and give it a go, you’re gonna love it!!

Enjoy your cycling and keep smiling
Jo x

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