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Beverley to Wakefield. An early start in order to get ahead of some more forecast rain, which did materialise for the last hour.
One further BCQ checkpoint at Howden, then back to Wakefield to catch the pre-booked return train.
Bridlington to Beverley. Overcast but thankfully dry. First to Flamborough Head, then clipping the Yorkshire Wolds before a long ride southwards through the agricultural flatlands of the East Riding. In many places unharvested wheat had been flattened by yesterday's downpour. Stop for food at Withernsea, and a short stop to find the artwork for gunpowder plotters John and Christopher Wright. Turned westwards through part of Hull and finally to Beverley.
York to Bridlington. Rain. A lot of it. First to Stamford Bridge – if Harold Godwinson had lost that battle in 1066, would we be speaking Norse rather than semi-French? Kanskje.
Over the Yorkshire Wolds in heavy rain, gratefully stopping at the café at Sledmere House. I confess that if I had passed anywhere near a railway station, I would have abandoned and sneaked home; this was most definitely Rainer Newberry’s category Type 2 Fun. Brief look at the strange WW1 Waggoner’s memorial, before continuing onward to Bridlington: the sea churned brown by the strong north-east wind.
Halifax to York, Mackintosh’s to Rowntree, toffee ride? Red traffic lights seemed optional in the centre of Halifax, counted six cars sailing through. Big climb from the start, 295 metres, with rain until after Haworth.
Climbing again over t’moor before descending cobbled Hainworth Lane into Keighley. On to Otley and some lunch then to Harrogate. Much flatter country through Wetherby to York.
Rode along the Solar System Greenway as far as Saturn: formerly railway, now a cycle path with planetary markers at distance scale of 575,872,239 to 1. Back into York, and a brief look at the plaque near Holy Trinity Church where Anne Lister and Ann Walker took communion together.
Wakefield to Halifax. With great trepidation after looking at the weather forecast, I set out on another cycling tour. Rail ticket purchased and accommodation booked in advance, I decided to set out and hoped that the rain was not as heavy as predicted. Spoiler alert: it was.
But first, the tribulations of booking a bicycle reservation on our fragmented railway network, and the minor annoyance of being forced to set up an account with LNER just for one bicycle space from Kings Cross, only to find the reserved space to be imaginary – maybe coach J was on another train at platform 9¾? Nevertheless, a helpful staff member unlocked the old-fashioned luggage van, and released my bicycle at Wakefield to allow me to set off.
This tour was to take in some of Cycling UK’s British Cycle Quest checkpoints (www.cyclinguk.org/british-cycle-quest). The quest itself is not particularly exciting, but it does draw you to cycle in parts of the country that you might not otherwise visit. So, firstly out of Wakefield to Sandal castle, then a long grind uphill in the steadily increasing rain through High Hoyland and Upper Denby before losing all the hard-earned elevation by dropping into Holmbridge, followed by the really hard slog up to the barely-visible Holme Moss transmitter checkpoint – alas, the 16% gradient and fierce wind near the top forcing me to get off the bike and push the last few hundred metres to the ridge. Back down again, and turning north along a sawtooth route to Halifax, rain continuing for most of the afternoon. Out of town to Shibden Park, once home to Anne Lister (1791-1840), before the overnight stop. Ms Lister died when travelling in Europe but is buried in Halifax Minster (which, alas, has limited opening hours).