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1 Variations on a theme – Recycled ride to TJ’s Cafe on Friday, 4 th May 2018 (the day after the Tour de Yorkshire came to the East Riding.) Cyclists: Alan Beecroft, Martin Bell, John Bodman Boddice, Paul Bonnel, Nick Hart, Helen Kitson, Phil McMullen, John Mather, Ian Metcalfe, Sheila Mullen, George Sweeting, Chris Szafran, Bob Watson, Steve Superman Watts, Rod Webster & Dave Big Wheel Williamson OYB (leader) Mileage: 43.81 miles Weather: sunny periods throughout the day with a light breeze later on. Route: Outward journey: Molescroft Inn, Cherry Burton, Etton, South Dalton, Lockington, Wilfholme landing, Watton and Hutton Cranswick. Homeward journey: Hutton, Neswick, Southburn, Lund, Holme on the Wolds, South Dalton, Etton, Cherry Burton and Beverley “Flippin’ Eck!” growled Big Wheel, his brow furrowing and his expression for once turning serious. “Those dozy blighters: they’ve already had the route by e-mail...don’t they bother to read it, and a map too and they still go another way.” A head count showed four missing from the original sixteen that had started off from the Molescroft Inn in the morning. There’d been early signs of the group not keeping together: in the morning, a few riders at the front were all set to carry on for Holme on the Wolds instead of turning off at Mere Lane in South Dalton for the pond photo call and then onto Lockington. Only a little later, another group had to be called back as they headed for Bracken instead of turning off for Lockington. After a TJ’s lunch we failed to regroup and there was a wait on the Southburn road for others to catch up. One suggestion was e-mails to spouses: partners would be required to recite and know the route like they once did their tables at school before venturing out of the front door on a Friday morning. Glancing at a flock of sheep in a nearby field, I imagined a sheepdog might be useful in rounding up riders straying from the planned route. It was a shame that a few riders missed the Lund to Holme on the Wolds section of today’s ride: elevated we looked down on a rolling patchwork of brown ploughed fields and others of early, fragile wheat and barley crops with their light green sheen but dominating it all big extravagant splashes of yellow rape seed. All criss-crossed by dark, short-cropped hedges so characteristic of the Yorkshire Wolds. On the roadside verges and seeming to have appeared overnight are hundreds of dandelions – common place but competing and playing their modest part in this riot of springtime wonder. In a little spinney, and at its peak, the pink blossom of a solitary flowering cherry catches a sudden burst of sunlight. All is transient in spring – one blossom or wild flower follows another. Now it’s the turn of a carpet of wild white garlic with its
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th after the Tour de Yorkshire came to the East Riding ...

Nov 04, 2021

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Page 1: th after the Tour de Yorkshire came to the East Riding ...

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Variations on a theme – Recycled ride to TJ’s Cafe on Friday, 4th May 2018 (the day

after the Tour de Yorkshire came to the East Riding.)

Cyclists: Alan Beecroft, Martin Bell, John Bodman Boddice, Paul Bonnel, Nick Hart,

Helen Kitson, Phil McMullen, John Mather, Ian Metcalfe, Sheila Mullen, George

Sweeting, Chris Szafran, Bob Watson, Steve Superman Watts, Rod Webster & Dave

Big Wheel Williamson OYB (leader)

Mileage: 43.81 miles

Weather: sunny periods throughout the day with a light breeze later on.

Route:

Outward journey: Molescroft Inn, Cherry Burton, Etton, South Dalton, Lockington,

Wilfholme landing, Watton and Hutton Cranswick.

Homeward journey: Hutton, Neswick, Southburn, Lund, Holme on the Wolds, South

Dalton, Etton, Cherry Burton and Beverley

“Flippin’ Eck!” growled Big Wheel, his brow furrowing and his expression for once

turning serious. “Those dozy blighters: they’ve already had the route by e-mail...don’t

they bother to read it, and a map too and they still go another way.” A head count

showed four missing from the original sixteen that had started off from the

Molescroft Inn in the morning. There’d been early signs of the group not keeping

together: in the morning, a few riders at the front were all set to carry on for Holme

on the Wolds instead of turning off at Mere Lane in South Dalton for the pond photo

call and then onto Lockington. Only a little later, another group had to be called back

as they headed for Bracken instead of turning off for Lockington. After a TJ’s lunch

we failed to regroup and there was a wait on the Southburn road for others to catch

up. One suggestion was e-mails to spouses: partners would be required to recite and

know the route like they once did their tables at school before venturing out of the

front door on a Friday morning. Glancing at a flock of sheep in a nearby field, I

imagined a sheepdog might be useful in rounding up riders straying from the planned

route.

It was a shame that a few riders missed the Lund to Holme on the Wolds section

of today’s ride: elevated we looked down on a rolling patchwork of brown ploughed

fields and others of early, fragile wheat and barley crops with their light green sheen

but dominating it all big extravagant splashes of yellow rape seed. All criss-crossed

by dark, short-cropped hedges so characteristic of the Yorkshire Wolds. On the

roadside verges and seeming to have appeared overnight are hundreds of dandelions –

common place but competing and playing their modest part in this riot of springtime

wonder. In a little spinney, and at its peak, the pink blossom of a solitary flowering

cherry catches a sudden burst of sunlight. All is transient in spring – one blossom or

wild flower follows another. Now it’s the turn of a carpet of wild white garlic with its

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heady fragrance and bluebells too which have sprouted up from a floor of bare

woodland decay. Eager to thrust open into life are bright green leaves on statuesque

trees. White candles are beginning to appear of a few horse chestnuts. There’s cow

parsley on the roadside verges which in a short time will be as high as any man.

Earlier, at South Dalton pond, there was a portent of things to come in Big

Wheel’s day when someone nudged his bike which had been propped up against the

pond’s fencing and his speedometer plopped into the murky, still waters. He looked a

bit glum until Helen poked about with a stick and found it and scooped it out.

Food and drink to her this little assignment as leader of the U3A Wild Things

group she’s used to rooting about in dykes, ponds, ditches and hedge bottoms. Big

Wheel beamed: the speedo returned and still working. Possibly feeling a bit humbled

by the prompt action of Helen a dozen men looked on thoughtfully.

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Before Wilfholme Landing, there was a short diversion to Laurel Farm Vineyard

at Aike which according to Bob Watson is the only vineyard in East Yorkshire which

produces a variety of white and rose wines. 2013 was the first year of production, a

challenging venture I should imagine in the cooler climate of East Yorkshire. Behind

the railings of the ornate gates is an impressive house. Someone mentioned that

Laurel Farm wines are sold at The Pipe & Glass, South Dalton. I’m curious to know how

much they cost and I’ll look for them on the shelves when I next call.

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It has clouded when we reach Wilfholme and under an overcast sky this place

today has a back of beyond, dreary and forsaken look. We stand on the high river

bank looking up stream at the meandering, dreamy course of a brimming River Hull and

this, as on other occasions, never fails to lift the spirits.

I don’t suppose anyone out today ever gives the name Lucien Juy a second

thought when out cycling. We’ve a lot to thank him for, particularly when slogging up

hills. Ninety years ago, the bicycle was transformed by this Dijon mechanic. He was

the genius who, in 1928 invented the parallel gear-shift mechanism with the sprung

top pivot - or in other words, the modern derailleur, the little device that magically

allows us to change gear without changing wheels. Before the derailleur, bikes

transmitted power directly from the pedal to a fixed wheel. When going downhill,

cyclists had to put their feet on the front rests and let the pedals go whizzing

round...one of the characteristic sights of the early nineteen-hundreds was a boy

sailing downhill with his head back and his feet in the air. It was the derailleur that

led to one of the greatest malapropisms of all time. In 1967, the rock group Cream

were on the road, when Eric Clapton started chatting about getting a racing bike. One

of the band’s roadies cried out: “Oh yeah, Disraeli gears!” The band fell about laughing

and agreed that Disraeli Gears must be the name of their next album, a smash hit

that turned out to be their American breakthrough. Bikes have been tinkered with

ever since 1928, but essentially, they remain much the same thanks to the brilliant

Monsieur Juy.

“The first this year,” remarks Helen on the long stretch to Holme on the Wolds.

She’s seen a male Orange- tip butterfly. The Orange-tip is the true sign of spring,

being one of the first species to emerge that has not overwintered as an adult. The

male and female of this species are very different in appearance and are often seen

along hedgerows and roadside verges which is where it was seen by Helen today. Lord

of all it surveys a solitary, majestic Red Kite circles and glides above, occasionally

flapping its huge wings.

Earlier, attached to the brickwork of a railway hump bank bridge which once

crossed the former Market Weighton to Driffield line was a rectangular metal sign

with the name Brackenberg on it. I was curious about this so spoke to a railway

enthusiast in my village who cannot link it to anything connected with the railway

system. (Ian Metcalfe suggested it was the name of a train like that given to the

Mallard or the Flying Scotsman.) Perhaps a photo to Yorkshire Life inviting comment

might solve the riddle. Other than the bridge, there’s no sign that a railway once ran

under it – a bit sad in a way, I suppose.

Lunch break was taken at TJ’s Hutton Cranswick where we sat outside. Not many

healthy options today as I look around: sausage, egg and chips or bacon sandwiches

appearing at regular intervals. One surplus fry- up which couldn’t find a taker is

looked at longingly by Bodman after he’s just devoured his first one!

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TJ’s have recently set up a scrap book where cyclists can record their

comments – a nice touch by this friendly place.

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Near the end of the ride, fourteen cyclists finally regrouped at Etton on the

seat near the war memorial.

Big Wheel was smiling again after a difficult day as a leader and there was much

friendly banter. However, I suspect he was regretting that triple scoop ice cream

after a sausage, egg and chips smothered in ketchup.

We often call at TJ’s and go along a familiar, well-cycled route but it’s been

varied today to include less well-known lanes. Well done Big Wheel for putting it

together for our enjoyment...and to the inventiveness of Lucien Juy for his derailleur

gear which adds so much to our cycling pleasure. Oh, and a final memory of that

solitary blossoming cherry tree at its peak in the small copse which I couldn’t look at

without recalling AE Houseman’s famous poem:

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

is hung with bloom along the bough

And stands about the woodland ride

Wearing white for Eastertide.

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Now, of my threescore years and ten,

Twenty will not come again,

And take from seventy springs a score,

It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom

Fifty springs are little room,

About the woodlands I will go

To see the cherry hung with snow.

George Sweeting

Postscript: I’ve just received Big Wheel’s e-mail to us all in Recycled about Nick

Hart’s sponsored walk for his OPSA charity which provides free plastic surgery

treatment to underprivileged children and young adults in Pakistan. These procedures

are mainly to correct cleft lip and palate, but also included other deformities, for

instance as a result of burns. Let’s dig deep as a group and give Nick, who cycles with

us, and is chairman of this charity a good support. Further details about donating on

www.opsacharity.com/opsa get-involved