Ripon - Knaresborough 27 Jan 2016
Another rainy day but we're getting used to the wet this winter. Pauline, Peter, Yvonne, Berni, Jenny, James W, Barbara and I eventually came out from under the cover we had sought in Ripon Market Place and cycled a whopping 8 miles before seeking shelter again in Cafe Chez-Nous in Boroughbridge. As we only had drinks we didn't score the cafe but it does count towards our target of visiting 50 different cafes in this year of our 50th anniversary - a target which is looking increasingly easy.
The break worked a treat as the weather improved for the rest of our journey - little rain but unfortunately lots of wind. Onwards to Knaresborough via villages we don't often visit such as Grafton, Marton, Arkendale and Ferrensby. Within sight of Knaresborough I veered off along a series of minor roads - perhaps not such a good idea considering the road conditions. We were faced with mud, floods and oncoming tractors and there was general unrest from the party - where is their spirit of adventure? Perhaps I will come back when the weather is better so they can appreciate the route more.
Having circumnavigated Knaresborough we then turned into Abbey Road and pedalled along the delightful riverside road. Once more we had to squeeze past vehicles - this time construction machinery - before reaching our destination. I chose the Black Mulberry for our lunch stop as a change to our normal cafe across the road - the Marigold. The Black Mulberry had a certificate in their window - the Cafe of the Year 2015 awarded by the York Wednesday cyclists. Unfortunately because of its lack of a toilet (we had to use the public toilets down the road) and despite its Cyclists' special bargain luches, the group only scored it 69%. Therefore, it is unlikely to make our shortlist of SOC best cafes.
The wind was behind us on our return journey, or at least across us, and we made good time back to Ripon despite the floods in places. I think people enjoyed the ride.