Helmsley; To Rievaulx Cafe
The sunniest Sunday this year brought out 14 riders, many for the first time for months and eager to get back in the saddle up those tough grassy hill climbs. Some had got there very early and even made the café before the ride! It was a year since my recce of the route and fortunately there was a similar hard frost to minimise the wet mud (well, in most places). Missing a helmet (Rob) and a pair of cycling shoes (Judith - due to my early 10 am start you know!) meant a slight delay getting away, but alternative wear was found and survived.
The route avoided the high ground yet still proved a tough cookie, covering 25 miles and plenty of arduous field climbs. After Sproxton Moor and only a third of the way round tiredness was kicking in and mutiny brewing so we deviated to Rievaulx Abbey café and sat out amongst the snowdrops admiring the wonderful view of the abbey ruins. Then it was up Ryedale through a few farms where we missed signs and the fields and tracks got muddier, but the scenery was fantastic and the weather glorious, so I wasn’t listening to the moans.
Along the forest tracks on the edge of Rievaulx Moor the views and going got better and bar one, who sneaked back home on the road, we enjoyed the long dash down Riccal Dale back to the A170 and the café/pub in Helmsley. We’d certainly earned our drink from this Enduro and especially Lisa!