Ampleforth: Autumn Around Ampleforth
On a beautiful autumn October morning four keen cyclists gathered near Ampleforth College, for Chris and Emma's tour of the Abbeys. No, we weren't doing a pilgrimage, it's just the ride seemed to go past or very close to most of the Abbeys in the area. Five of us set off up the first hill, nope that's not a typo, Chris joined the ride for the first few miles but as he is injured he did a gentle road loop whilst the rest of us headed up and over to Rievaulx, the first Abbey of the day. We were going great guns, Vic and Baz in the lead followed closely by Dave T and somewhere behind was me spinning and spinning and spinning. Did I mention I hate spinning, who said grinding gears is hard work! Nope spinning is the work of the devil, my calves were killing me by the time we got to Hawnby. There I broke the good news that we were heading up Arden Bank, always a good lung buster! So up we went, they all flew out of view and left me spinning my way up! Eventually we met up again at the top and headed towards High Paradise. Then along the bridleway to Sutton Bank where Chris was waiting at the Café! I was dreaming of yummy cake as I spinned my way along the singletrack, the new track is starting to grass over so looks better than its original gravelly appearance, but the lovely tricky roots and dips have gone. Sob, I hope somehow it will return to its original state. Anyhow, enough about that, back to cake. I had a yummy Victoria sponge, I was most disappointed when no one else had cake and had healthy soup and sandwiches. Unfortunately the cake was too sickly for me and I managed to realise it would only end in disaster if I finished the cake (those have seen my extreme sugar high/lows (Patterdale 07 and Sutton Bank 09) will know it's not a pretty sight) so I placed it in front of Baz knowing the cake monster would not let me down. Despite Baz saying "I am not going to eat it", the cake disappeared. We then headed down a fun track to Byland Abbey (Abbey number two) and then along the road to Ampleforth college and Abbey (Abbey number three). It was a grand day out, 28 miles and too many hills to mention.